Books Archives

vegan_recovery

Photo credit Heather Kennedy available on Flickr under Creative Commons.

 

I have been on and off short bursts of vegetarian / vegan / raw food diets in my life. The longest, 100% vegetarian dedication lasted for about a year. Nevertheless, I do understand the arguments about the slaughter of animals, bred for food in horrible conditions.

I also know that eating little or no meat will enhance personal changes for those who are willing to take them. This is not necessarily about the motivation or moral aptitude but the fact that a plant-based diet asks for a different type of digestion, providing body with different fuel.  This, as a result, will lead to specific thoughts and emotions being awaken. Such a path is or might be beneficial for spiritual leaders, thinkers, writers and others who live from their thinking skills.

I know from my raw food  journey that raw food has been very demanding to digest, against the initial expectations. While the arguments to eat unadulterated plants sound very compelling, our digestive system does not deal well with breaking up the cellulose walls of leafy greens. Raw food stirs raw emotions up, leading a person to deal with all kinds of feelings buried deep and perhaps dark. Not everybody is ready, or prepared to work on them in such an intensive way.

I personally believe that vegan/vegetarian/raw food diet is special and suitable for some people or perhaps at specific times in life to help with personal transformation or a learning journey. Despite the ethical arguments I don’t think that vegetarianism is for everybody. Some people do need grass-fed meat (or fish), not necessarily the muscle meat, but more importantly the organs such as liver, kidneys, gelatine broth made from bones and so on.

I know that the arguments in favor of vegetarianism / veganism seem sound for many intelligent people. At least, human omnivores/carnivores need to question their motives for indirect killing for food. I am also aware of studies, such as the China study, by Campbell and Campbell, which argues that cancer, heart attacks and other diseases are caused by animal protein. There are hundreds of various correlations presented in the book, but again correlations are not causations. There is also a strong criticism of the validity of this research, e.g. here. It may be useful to study both views.

I personally think that a diet rich in muscle meat may lead to health problems in a long term perspective. However, the situation changes dramatically when one eats a varied diet, including majority of fruits and vegs and a substantial amount of glycine (gelatin) or taurine available from organ meats. Offal is of course what poor people used to eat: lard, tallow and broth, and in generation after generation they have been healthier than the rich ones (who mostly ate muscle meat). When glycine is consumed in abundance, a person will enjoy a good health, I think. This asks for another post 😉

***

The choices between lifestyles and diets can easily lead to emotional disputes. This is not my intention is here. We all make choices based on what we find appealing, convincing or informative at the given time. As long as we develop and make progress long term, the choices make sense.

The point, however, is to be open-minded and think for yourself. It’s easy to subscribe to a dogma, especially when a particular choice becomes a daily habit or practice and we really want it to make it work. Once a choice is being made, say to be a vegetarian or omnivore, one can stick to this for decades. Yet, even good morals are not enough to justify a self-chosen perpetuation of the approach.

How do you know whether you have become dogmatic? When you feel very emotional about your choice and uneasy to respect others with their different choices.

My approach to life is to test everything. I periodically question my own assumptions and test them anew. Only then I can encourage good progress and shed the skin of beliefs which don’t serve me any longer. I do encourage you to test your beliefs too.

***

Since I am interested in health and nutrition I read many books on the subject. I know many people who are inspired to become herbivores, but I only know a few who did the other way around. I find it truly interesting when a long-term vegan/vegetarian starts to eat meat. There is usually a profound understanding or a new perspective when such a breakthrough takes place. And I’m all ears to learn Why.

Joey Lott is one of such people who:

After 17 years as a vegan, Lott knows all about the fear, shame, and guilt that can go along with wanting to quit being vegan. But having come out the other side, wiser and healthier, he shares his perspectives on life and what it really means to “do no harm.” With compassion and plain old good sense, this book will appeal to both your emotions and your intellect. As Lott points out, “we might seek to take our place in the cycle of life rather than trying to step outside of it,” which is precisely what veganism attempts to do.

If you are open to a fresh perspective on the both moral and health sides of veganism, I recommend you read his kindle book, Vegan Recovery. It is cheap, short and to the point. And above all, it may intrigue you if you have committed to the vegan/vegetarian path.

For me this book proposes an interesting view on ethics and life cycle, certainly the points which deal with killing animals. I am well informed about the benefits of eating a full spectrum of animal proteins, so the health concerns were never mine. I wonder what you will think.

Enjoy the book. Let it be inspiring!

***

northern_lights

Image credit Malcolm Manners available on Flickr under Creative Commons.

One of my favorite little books of poems is “Northern Lights and Midnight Sun“. It was bought by my friend in Norway many years ago. Norway is a special country on many levels. It opens you up, mirrors back who you are and inspires you to follow a transformation from a caterpillar to a butterfly ;). Not even mentioning the gorgeous northern lights.

I keep reading these poems as they reflect more and more how I feel with Winter at the horizon.

***

I like the night. It’s as if night had no right to exist.
People are always harping on about the beauty of the sun and the day.
They’re a delight to the eye and soul, that’s true.
But there are hidden rooms in us the sunlight never reaches
but where only the night dare creep in.

Sigbjorn Obstfelder

***

I love the night, indeed. I adore her quietness. I love her magnetism. I feel her presence. I love the night, indeed.

The Night, the dark, the negative perhaps, is the fuel and restoration for the Day to come. We have learned to appreciate the Day and the light, but we keep forgetting how important the Lady Night is.

Night is a welcome for all the “in”s. Inward focus, intimacy and inspiration. Without the Night, the Day cannot exist. There is this never ending pendulum swing between polarities, Day and Night, action and rest, Out and In.

Day and Night have different qualities, similarly as men and women do. When Day produces energy and strives for results, Night produces form and strives for understanding.

Day has qualities of a man. There is the electric push for action, work to be done or responsibilities and duties. The spark, the pulsating energy, the outward spiral.

Night has qualities of a woman. There is this magnetic release and relief, reflection and restoration. The appreciation, dissolving and the inward spiral.

Producing and delivering is governed by Day. Nurturing and growing is governed by Night.
They co-exist in a rhythm and permeate each other.

In the rush for a day and things to be done, we forget that the quality of the Day depends on the Night.

Stop welcoming Night and your Day will suffer tremendously. Stop embracing the female qualities, and you will find yourself lost in the wrong stride. Skip the time for reflection, and you will break your leg by climbing the wrong ladder to success.

Day provides function while Night gives structure. Without structure, everything falls.

Appreciate the qualities of Night and restoration.

Embrace emotions. Welcome the dark side of you. It is still you.

Take the time to empower yourself with female qualities.

Look for the Night to nurture your body and spirit. It will ignite the Day!

 ***

I am Darkness. Darkness
that makes a thousand swaying lights
shine so painfully clearly.
I love those burning lights,
love the flame
that lies down
and trembles ecstatically before
the breath of night, I want to be
alive like that flame, but
I am darkness
that makes those lights shine.

Hans Borli

***

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Photo courtesy Fe Langdon, available on Flickr.

You are what you focus on” is the title of a chapter from the “Accidental genius” book by Mark Levy. There are two important points I will be making here, so please pay attention.

Focus

Your focus has defined who you are today. Your focus is now defining whom you are going to become. Clearly, your personality, skills and achievements reflect the areas of life to which you have dedicated your attention. This means effort, work, time or enthusiasm. Certainly, things hardly ever happen overnight. Time and effort are required.

Becoming healthy, developing a skill, working for purpose or having a fulfilling relation is not an event but a process. Maintenance is required too. Whatever resources and gifts you have got, these are yours to put in use.

An easy way to investigate how to put your skills to use is to do it with writing. Writing is a funnel through which thoughts are de-cluttered and organized.Writing is an easy anchor to attach weight to thoughts so that they are born in this space for a possible manifestation. Once thoughts are out of the head and visible on the paper, they can be easily explored.

Clear writing leads to clear thinking.

Conscious mind and subconscious mind

Before we talk more about focus, let us discriminate between the conscious and subconscious minds. Ultimately, there is one mind, but it helps to see it through its different roles. The conscious mind (related to self-consciousness as well) lives in the moment of now and is limited to, what some estimate, 4-10 bits of information per second. It practically means that in any given moment you can focus on a few things only. The subconscious mind, a connected network of cells with specialized tasks and functions, is capable of computing somewhere between 10 and 40 millions of bits per second.

In analogy, the conscious mind is the CEO of a huge company, say of 100 000 employers. The subconscious mind consists of all the workers and organizational levels. There is no way the CEO can be made aware of all details of the business, product development, customer issues, complaints, missed targets and so on. She can’t also be involved in all low-level decisions or tactics. These are being made through systems and managers. Only essential information is filtered out and presented to the CEO for planning, developing strategies and execution. The CEO defines the filter, the kind of information she is interested to receive for evaluation and action.

Selective attention test: how fast can you count?

If you have already encountered one of such tests in your life, just show it to someone else and find out how they perform. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch the video below.

Can you accurately count the number of times that the white team passes the ball?

Pay careful attention and find out whether your conscious mind can keep up with the counting.

Ready? Steady? Go!

If this is the first time you see it, you might be surprised with the result, especially if you missed the obvious. On the other hand, it is trivial when you know where to direct your focus, isn’t it?

This test demonstrates that attention is selective. You will only pay attention to what you have decided to focus on. Your subconscious mind will filter out “unimportant” information that your senses report to you so that the conscious mind, the CEO, can do the task. There is no way that your conscious mind can ever keep up with your senses.

The learning point is this.  Focus is discriminative. When you choose to focus on one thing, you have to neglect all others.

Attention alternation test

This test comes from the “Accidental genius” book.

Whenever you are, just look around for 5-10 seconds to spot all red things in your neighborhood. Close your eyes and mentally create a list of all red objects you recall.

How many are there?

Open your eyes and look around again to confirm whether you spotted them all.

Now, let’s make a slight variation. Suppose I offer you 1000 pounds (dollars/EUR) for a list of 100 red objects in your surroundings. Suppose you really need this money. Now, chances are that you will not only list all the obvious red objects, but you will also become creative in rediscovering them behind the veil. For instance, you may mention red lips, red letters on a tag of your jumper, red blood coming from your finger jabbed by a paper clip, a red flashing diode on your mobile or a red-colored strip over the clouds from the sunset. Have you made to 100, yet?

If you have done this exercise you can discover how “hidden” the objects may be even if they sit in your plain view. The difference between these two small tests lies in the precision of your focus (“How many red objects are there?” vs “Find me 100 red objects”) as well as your motivation/willingness to perform the task.

The learning point is this. The quality of your focus (precision plus motivation) influences the quality of your answers.

If you are looking to get unstuck, improve an aspect of your life or find a solution, an important idea or a resource may be hidden in your plain view without your active and dedicated effort. In other words, as with internet searches, the context, the right question, defines what you will find.

Conclusion

The tests above clearly demonstrate the importance of the right focus. What you focus on will determine how you lead your life. If you choose to pay attention to grumpy people, annoying situations, self pity and miseries, surely you will encounter them in your life. Your lenses of focus define what you see. If, on other hand, you choose to concentrate on happy moments, kindness or smiles, you will experience them in your life.You are the one with the power to alternate your attention.

Both sides, sadness and joy, ups and downs, difficulty and solution, have always been there. Why? Because the pendulum of life swings between the polarities. It is what you choose to see, hear and experience will color your life happy or not.

This is all great, but …

Where does freewriting come into the picture?

Freewriting has a special role. Under time limit and through continuous writing, you can reach your vast inner space beneath your daily chatter-box or critic. This is the space where creative solutions happily live in.

A good and precise question is your point of focus. Your practice of freewriting is a way to dig deep and discover what matters to you. When made actionable, the discoveries will lead you to success.

Final exercise

If your life vision is buried under the tasks of the daily routines, use freewriting to elaborate on this. Set the timer for 20minutes. Ask the question:

“What is necessary for me to have a fantastic life?”.

Write continuously, without editing, to answer this question. Include all the criteria, and the three aspects of “being”, “doing” and “having”.

Choose  one item from this exploration list. Take an action in the next few hours.

***

 

freewriting_problem_solving

Automatic writing for problem solving

Freewriting, also called automatic writing, is a fantastic tool for problem solving. Even more than that, it is a wonderful tool for generating creative ideas, organizing chaos in your head and getting unstuck. I’ve got really hooked to this practice when I read “Accidental genius” by Mark Levy.

I consider this book a must-read, especially for visual learners, who want to become effective in their problem solving. The book is full of valuable exercises and methods for generating ideas painlessly and having them well organized. Although it reads as a workbook, it can certainly be appreciated without making the exercises step by step. You can  jump into freewriting directly. Even though the book is geared towards a business world, the concepts are directly applicable to these who want to use their brains creatively. Be prepared, though, that it is a dry or cynical read, at times.

The idea of automatic writing is to define your problem first, set a timer to say 15min ans start writing continuously and as fast as possible until the timer beep. The fast paces forces your mind to reach for its internal resources and partial solutions, hidden from the plain view.

According to the author, there are six secrets for a solution-focused freewriting.

1. Try Easy.

“A relaxed 90% is more efficient than a vein-bulging 100% effort.”

Just relax and start scribbling. When you do automatic writing, your goal is not to produce a breath-taking piece of prose, but to jot your ideas down on the paper, instead. That’s it. You are to collect your ideas, as if you are collecting leaves, flowers or conkers with your kid for some home-make projects.

Before you start freewriting, it’s good to have a small ritual where you remember to be easy with yourself and stay centered during writing. When you allow yourself to relax, your mind will set itself free. It will maneuver through the maze of thoughts the way it likes.

2. Write fast and continuously.

When you write fast you actually ask your mind to operate closer to the speed of your thoughts than to the internal critic or perfectionist inside you. By uncensored writing you put the editor on hold so
that the creative part of you can have a better possibility to emerge through the process. If you don’t know what to write just keep repeating the last word.

With experience, your mind will know that you will not stop writing so it will relax on opening the gate to half-baked or inappropriate ideas. These are your golden eggs as such ideas are usually brutally honest and in-depth insights, observations, or knowings.

The goal of the continuous writing is to have a brain-storming session with yourself with the exception that you don’t hold the judgement. The judgemnt will only come later when your writing time is off and when you can inspect your thoughts, and refine them when needed.

Your best ideas, similarly as the most beautiful diamonds, will show up in rough, unpolished stones.

3. Work against a time limit.

“The timer enforces a self-imposed behavioral contract”.

In brief, the time limit makes you more resourceful. The analogy is to sprinting. If you are to sprint over a short distance, you can certainly commit to it. However, if you only know that you are supposed to sprint for some distance between 1 and 20 miles (km), you will have a hard time to keep your focus on. The goal is too vague and too demanding. In contrary, the limitation, the deadline or the barrier will challenge you to think outside the box and explore unknown paths.

4. Write the way you think.

This is a good one, because your imperative is to get the raw thoughts.  These will later become your material for creating the solution. When you write the way you speak, thoughts have already been polished or digested. The novelty is hidden behind the horizon.

Thoughts are super fast and your goal is to use writing to record yourself thinking. Use your own slung or strong language, words abbreviation or whatever words come to your mind. Your ideas are flowing in your head and they need to flow easily on the paper too.

 5. Go with the thought.

Write your thought down and extend it. Don’t edit, don’t contradict yourself to disagree with the idea. Even when your thought is provocative or crazy, go with it. When a thought is written down, accept is as it is and continue to explore it further down. Your task is to explore the path where the thought leads to, to exhaust all the possibilities that show up in your mind. If A is true then B comes next. If B is there then C must happen etc.

If you can happen to explore on line of thinking in depth in the given time, just set the timer for an additional 5 min and ask yourself where another path lead. “What is a different direction I can take for an effective solution?”

6. Redirect your attention.

In automatic writing, your objective is to explore the problem  and the solution at depth and at width. The later means that you want to travel as many thoughts as possible (within the time limits). When When you feel that you may become bewildered on not knowing what to write next, redirect your attention.

A good focus-changer is an open question related to what you have just written. It may challenge you to explain this particular point of view differently, or to look for holes in your thinking. This redirection oftentimes comes in the forms of an open question such as “How else can I say that?”, “What am I missing here?”, “How can I describe this situation to X?” (where X becomes kids, a friend, the boss, a bookshop seller, a sportsmen, a Disney character etc), “What is the best case scenario?“, “How can I implement it fast?”, and so on.

When you feel you have explored a direction, just ask an open question to start a new conversation with yourself.

Thinking without anchor is poorly utilized

As explained in the previous post, thinking needs a physical anchor to make it a laser-concentrated focus towards a solution. Paper or a computer screen provide a powerful focusing force. Without the physical outlet, prolonged thinking often gets circular, or degenerates into daydreaming.

The process of freezing your thoughts onto paper is invaluable because:

  1. it helps you to create order from chaos
  2. it centers and grounds you
  3. it provides perspective and context
  4. it enables you to understand (over time and practice) of whom you are becoming
  5. it pushes you beyond your comfortable thoughts
  6. you access knowledge you have forgotten and consult inner knowing you were not aware you had
  7. it allows you to track the associative line of thinking back to its origins
  8. and  give you a solid, raw material to explore, expand and create from

Make freewriting a daily habit. Your genius is waiting to be consulted 😉

***

Photo copyright by Ian Sane, available on Flickr under the Creative Commons.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

sitting_kills

 

Sitting kills, who would say that?

Sitting Kills, Moving Heals is a title of a book by Joan Vernikos. It grabs my attention. Why? Because it is a light read with an important message.

Joan is an expert in stress and aging, a former director of Life Sciences at NASA. She was responsible for the health and well-being of the astronauts. It is known that astronauts suffer from a fast physical deterioration when in space. Their muscles become weaker and their immune system is compromised among many other symptoms. They basically experience symptoms of an advanced aging. Joan links these side effects to the lack of gravity.

She suggests that the same mechanism relates to the sedentary lifestyle. When we sit, we totally rely on a chair or couch and we find ourselves in a nearly anti-gravity pose. Joan recommends that we use gravity to our advantage by moving our body as often as possible. This doesn’t sound as anything new as we all know that right exercise promotes health.

The key lies in what we understand by the word “moving“.

Move, sweetheart, move

According to Vernikos exercising a few times a week will not help much if the remaining time is spent predominantly sitting. You will still experience physical deterioration. It is the everyday little movements, often and short, which interrupt sitting (or standing if one stands for long hours) that make the difference and promote health.

She discovers that the very act of standing up from a sitting position is very effective and beneficial for health. Her message is simple:

“Sitting is okay, but it’s uninterrupted sitting that is bad for us.” 

“We are not designed to sit continuously. […] It’s not how many hours of sitting that’s bad for you; it’s how often you interrupt that sitting that is good  for you!

Standing up once per hour is more effective than walking on a treadmill for 15 minutes for cardiovascular and metabolic changes. Sitting down and standing up continuously for 32 minutes does not have the same effect as standing up once, 32 times over the course of a day (the latter is far better).

It’s interesting, isn’t it? To get the benefit, the non-exercise activity has to be spread throughout the day.

This is not a new concept as many bodyworkers will say the same: we are designed to move, not to sit neither stand for long hours.

Why?

Because the balance of the body is constantly being achieved when we move. While the old paradigm views bones and muscles as the structure of a body, a new paradigm views bones as floating in the connective tissue. It’s the connective tissue, the “endless web” that connects and supports. Connective tissue, in response to movement, is the organizing factor of the structure.

In other words, health is not a fixed state, it is being achieved while body is moving. Moment by moment.

The movement we are taking about is the non-exercise movement, such as standing up, kneeling, stretching to reach a book on a shelf, vacuum cleaning, sweep brushing, chopping vegs, shredding cabbage, bending to wash a baby etc. These are all types of movements that were daily companions of our grandparents.

They should be ours as well!

***

The work of Vernikos is not new per se. The importance of movement and gravity dates back to the work of Goldthwait in the beginning of the 20th century (see references below) and later to Ida Rolf. These ideas were however not appreciated, neither incorporated into the medical practice. Luckily, they are being used by bodyworkers.

It is only recently that the prolonged sitting has been brought to the public attention by a number of researchers. The book of Vernikos is important as she adds her unique perspective on the importance of challenging the gravity for our health. “These are all movements, almost below-threshold kind of movements, that do not burn up a lot of calories, as we know them, but that are designed to work against gravity”.

Connective tissue

Why the little frequent non-exercise movements are paramount comes as a consequence of the role of the connective tissue. I’ve been long fascinated by what knowledgeable bodyworkers can achieve in a short time. They use structural alignment and initiation of right processes in the body so that the body can self-align itself. 

Let me cite one of the books by Oschman that explains the importance of the connective tissue:

“The overall form of the body, as well as the architecture and mechanical and functional properties of all of its parts, are largely determined by the local configuration and properties of the connective tissue. All of the so-called great systems of the body […] are ensheathed in and partitioned by connective tissue. The connective tissue forms a continuously interconnected system throughout the living body. All movements, of the body as a whole and of its smallest parts, are created by tensions carried through the connective tissue fabric. It is a liquid crystalline material and its components are semiconductors…”

 

“Connective tissue structure is a record or memory of the forces imposed on the organism. This historical record has two components. The genetic part recapitulates the story of how our ancestors successfully adapted to the gravitational field of the earth. The acquired component is a record of the choices, habits, and traumas we have experienced during our individual lifetime. The collagen fibers orient in a way that can best support future stresses, assuming the organism continues the same patterns of movement or disuse.”

This all means that any injury, habitual or prolonged patterns (such as sitting) will be recorded into the connective tissue. In response, misaligned body leads to disturbance in patterns of neural activity, blood and lymph flow and muscular contraction. In a long term it will result in groups of immobilized and flaccid muscles that reduce nutrition and oxygenation of cells and tissues. The body becomes tense and then various health issues and diseases may arise.

It is the overall tension release and frequent non-exercise movements that contribute to our health, as any change in habits, even slight, will alter the connective tissue architecture.

 The data

Except of the importance of understanding the role of connective tissue, a physiology of inactivity comes to the surface. When you sit for long hours, your body does things that are bad for you.

For instance, consider LPL, lipoprotein lipase, which is a “fat-storing enzyme”.  It is produced by many tissues, including muscles, and it plays a key role in how body processes fat. LPL is significantly reduced during sitting (or inactivity), and increases with activity. It attaches to triglycerides from the blood and transports them to the muscles. It splits them into fatty acids, which are stored in fat cells.

Low levels of LPL are associated with a number of health problems, including heart disease. So, when you sit, your metabolism slows down (leg muscles don’t produce LPL). According to Vernikos, a very effective activity for the LPL surge is standing up from sitting.

Even though the studies are not very extensive yet, the data are clear. Too much sitting leads to increased risks of various diseases and premature death.

Chair is basically an enemy of your health.

  • A study published in the journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 41: 998-1005, Sitting time and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer looked at the fates of more than 17000 Canadians over the span of 12 years. The results present a warning: the mortality risk from all causes was 1.54 times higher among people with daily sedentary lifestyle compared to those who sat infrequently

“Experimentally reducing normal spontaneous standing and ambulatory time had a much greater effect on LPL regulation than adding vigorous exercise training on top of the normal level of nonexercise activity. Those studies also found that inactivity initiated unique cellular processes that were qualitatively different from the exercise responses. In summary, […] the average nonexercising person may become even more metabolically unfit in the coming years if they sit too much, thereby limiting the normally high volume of intermittent nonexercise physical activity in everyday life.”

“Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, colon cancer, breast cancer, dementia and depression constitute a cluster of diseases, which defines ‘a diseasome of physical inactivity’. Both physical inactivity and abdominal adiposity, reflecting accumulation of visceral fat mass, are associated with the occurrence of the diseases within the diseasome.[…] Physical inactivity appears to be an independent and strong risk factor for accumulation of visceral fat, which again is a source of systemic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is involved in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance, atherosclerosis, neurodegeneration and tumour growth.[…]

The finding that muscles produce and release myokines provides a conceptual basis to understand the mechanisms whereby exercise influences metabolism and exerts anti-inflammatory effects. According to our theory, contracting skeletal muscles release myokines, which work in a hormone-like fashion, exerting specific endocrine effects on visceral fat. Other myokines work locally within the muscle via paracrine mechanisms, exerting their effects on signalling pathways involved in fat oxidation.”

  • There is also a study entitled Breaks in Sedentary Time: Beneficial associations with metabolic risk in Diabetes Care Journal 2008, 31:4, 661-666, which provides evidence in favor of interrupting the sitting time frequently. A larger number of breaks are associated with better metabolic profiles, including waist circumference and glucose metabolism.

Take away message

 Even if you run every day or regularly work-out, it doesn’t matter much to your health if you spend most of the day sitting, be it your car, your office chair or your couch. You are at an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, a variety of cancers and an early death.

In short:

Uninterrupted sitting kills you. Slowly. Very slowly. Before you notice. Tweet: Uninterrupted sitting kills you. Slowly. Very slowly. Before you notice. See http://www.elapekalska.com/5085/sitting-kills-moving-heals/

However …

You can change your lifestyle by incorporating a few simple steps that will improve your odds (of a good health) drastically:

  • Stand up frequently, ideally every 20-30min.
  • Move throughout the work day. Walk around, do some stretching or eye exercises, do a few squats, reach for a book, clean your desk, prepare your herbal infusion (such as nettle).
  • Stand or walk when you can. Do it when you are actively thinking, talking over phone or discussing an idea with others. You can also transform your desk to allow you to work while standing.
  • Sit on an exercise ball. It calls your core muscles for action and helps improve balance and flexibility.
  • Use a rocking chair while you relax, watch TV or read. Rocking chairs encourage the activity of your muscles. See e.g. this page or that article.
  • Reduce TV or computer time at home.
  • Practice stretching or core stability exercises.

Resources:

Books by Joan Vernikos:

Books by James Oschman:

Work of Goldthwait:

  • Body Mechanics and Health by Joel Ernest Goldthwait and Leah Coleman Thomas
  • “The Relation of Posture to Human Efficiency and the Influence of Poise Upon the Support and Function of the Viscera” by Joel Ernest Goldthwait in Boston Medical and Surgerical Journal 161: 839-848, 1909.

Books by Ida Rolf:

Connective tissue:

***

Photo courtesy Dita Actor, available under the Creative Commons license on Flickr.

***

 Page 1 of 3  1  2  3 »