Men: take warning!

July 19, 2010

This May, a study came out linking sedentary behaviors and cardiovascular disease mortality in men.

The following excerpt from an article in the New York Times Magazine, in my opinion, sums it all up:

Men who spent more than 23 hours a week watching TV and sitting in their cars
(as passengers or as drivers) had a 64 percent greater chance of dying from
heart disease than those who sat for 11 hours a week or less. What was
unexpected was that many of the men who sat long hours and developed heart
problems also exercised. Quite a few of them said they did so regularly and led
active lifestyles. The men worked out, then sat in cars and in front of
televisions for hours, and their risk of heart disease soared, despite the
exercise. Their workouts did not counteract the ill effects of sitting.

So much for a quick 30-minute power lunch!! The study, in a nutshell, states that a 30-60 minute workout several times per week will not offset the damage done by prolonged sedentary behavior. One would have to do much more than just a gym visit. It’s recommended that one stays active throughout the day, perhaps by walking around the office, standing up during phone calls and leaving the building during lunch.

I always recommend that my clients set a timer every hour or so to get up, drink water from the cooler, take a walk to a colleague’s office instead of telephoning him/her. Staying active throughout the day keeps blood flowing to the extremities and helps the mind stay alert.

I also recommend the following ways to stay fit without going to the gym:

  • take the last parking spot at the grocery store or mall
  • use the stairs instead of the elevator
  • go for an after-dinner stroll
  • walk home from work
  • get off the train a stop or 2 before your destination and walk the rest of the way
  • bust a move on the dance floor on weekends
  • jump some jacks while watching Glee
  • incorporate a morning stretch routine
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