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It Has Nothing To Do With Age provides self-help principles. The inspirational stories give concrete illustrations of overcoming many of life's challenges. Difficulties pertaining to depression, grief, divorce, and death are presented and worked through by the participants. Physical impairments, injuries, overcoming issues with weight, alcohol, and nicotine are also dealt with and resolved by the athletes.

This book provides a model on how to overcome some of the difficulties that confront all of us . Further, this read sheds a beacon of light on preventive measures for good physical and mental health. Research demonstrates that exercise is an important component in treating such ailments and debilitating illness such as depression, stroke, heart disease, brain or cognitive malfunction,and Alzheimer's disease.

I suggest that proper exercise can be used as a preventive measure for psychological, cognitive, and physical health as well. Follow my prescription and lead a better, more fulfilling, and healthier life.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Sitting is Hazardous to your Health

How much sitting in a chair, during a 24 hour day, are you doing?  Sitting in a chair, for long amounts of time, is a major contributor to poor health in this country. Think about it for a moment.  Would it be interesting to you to know how many minutes or hours a day you find yourself sitting down?  How much time do you spend driving in a car, eating your meals, at your computer or some other electronic device, in an office, or sitting around talking to friends and family?
Why not with a stopwatch record time spent sitting during a week day and evening along with one day, from the weekend.  This will give you some idea as to how much time spent being active, vs. time spent being inactive. Sitting is detrimental to your health.
The body, regardless of age, adapts to whatever you do with it. Too much time spent without moving results in your body becoming stiff and uncomfortable to move. Further, being sedentary results in muscle fiber connective tissue contracting since the fibers gets stiffer and less flexible.  When this happens, the body produces less and less of its natural lubricating substances.  When tissues, muscles become dry, short and inflexible they are more likely to tear since lack of movement lowers the blood supply in the bones.  With a lower blood supply, bones become brittle and more fragile.
Other significant findings of too much sitting include the following:  1. When sitting, the electrical activity in the leg muscles shuts off.  2. Calorie burning drops to one per minute .3 Enzymes that help break down fat drops by 90%. . 4. After two hours of sitting, good cholesterol drops by 20%.  5. When, in a fixed position, like sitting, the muscles in the torso, neck and shoulders squeeze blood vessels, reducing blood flow and causing fatigue.  6.  Insulin levels effectiveness drops and the risk of diabetes rises.   7. High amounts of stress are placed on the spine specifically the lower back and neck. 8. Blood often pools in the lower legs which can cause numbness and varicose veins .9.  Decreased fitness reduces lung and heart efficiency, and a higher risk for injury and disease.
If you are sitting too much, how about making some changes?  For example, consider the following: 1. Move around, walk, climb stairs and repeatedly bend and straighten major joints in your arms and legs.  2. Frequent movement will help keep your sense of balance sharp, helping to  prevent life altering falls that are the biggest cause of death and disability for those  age 65 and older.  3. Figure out a way to replace a half hour of sitting with a half-hour of movement i.e. walk around the block .4. Plan 2 minutes of active movement during every half hour of sitting- walk to the living room, go outside and walk around your yard .
Make sure you have good ratio of setting to movement and remember not to sit too long.  Standing is better than sitting and as my Kansas City Chief football friend Ed Budde told me “keep moving.”
Sources include: British Medical Journal; American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; Science Daily; Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.


Debbie said...

Good article Frank. I'm sitting too much, so need to follow the suggestions in your article! I do have this comment about the running though. It is great that you and Tony are doing so much running, but I think that Tony should also be doing stretching exercises (regular stretching, yoga, etc). I suggested going to one of the gym stretching classes. What do you think?

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