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As an Architect, I have a fairly sedentary job. Sure there are days when i’m out on a job site or doing an energy inspection, but most days I sit comfortably in front of my computer researching, designing and drafting. The older I get the harder it is to shake those extra pounds, but worse then that, is the pain. You laugh, you say “But you’re only in your 30’s” However, it’s true. Things hurt now that never hurt when I was an active 20 year old or a spongey teenager! My back hurts from too many hours of sitting. My neck and shoulders are stiff from hunching over my desk and poor posture. We weren’t made to sit all day long, and yet, in my line of work sitting is what I do. And a lot of it.
Staying active has proven to be beneficial for metal and physical health. All manner of study has been done relating deceases to sitting all day, or high stress jobs that keep us sitting in front of computers for 60+ hours a week. For me, I have always loved the gym. I liked indoor track in high school and lifting weights in the weight room. I enjoyed yoga in college, and joining the Planet Fitness (Now Orange Circuit) and the YMCA. I look forward to going to the gym and sweating it out. I always feel better afterwards. Don’t get me wrong, there are days when i’m too busy or too tired, or just don’t want to. But in general, I love the gym. But i’m not a runner, I hate to run. So in April of 2013, after feeling terrible and having gained a few too many pounds, I joined the gym again (because I will be the first to admit that when things change in my life I stop going to the gym crazy, but true) and I read a book that has changed my thinking on health and fitness. The book was written by Harley Pasternak who has written several books “The Five Factor Diet”, “The Body Reset Diet”, “Five Factor Fitness” The premise behind the book was, we must be active, every day. It turned me on to Fitbit a step counter (like a pedometer) that you wear on your wrist. There have been some complaints about their accuracy, but what is most important for me is that I look down at my wrist and see 1 flashing dot out of 5, I know I need to get moving. The average person, in a healthy world, would take 10,000 steps a day! On an average day, i’m no where near that. Not with a sedentary job. In addition to those 10,000 steps a day, we do need to do resistance training. Check Harley out here on his AOL experts page where he talks about the ability to do these exercises at home. What I love most about 5 factor fitness and health is it’s easy to remember. 5 days a week. 5 exercises (cardio, strength, strength, core, cardio). And if you follow the diet you eat 5 times a day with the following 5 ingredients (Protein, Fiber, Healthy Fat, Healthy Carbohydrate, low calorie drink). I’ve tried the 30 day detoxes, and the shake companies without a lot of success. I developed an aversion to whey protein, I didn’t eat enough on protein days to mentally stimulate my brain, all that extra protein is hard on your kidneys, and I just had a hard time keeping up with all the things I can and can’t eat. I’m tired of that, I want a lifestyle change that works for me.
But sitting all day is terrible for your body. We only burn about one calorie a minute sitting all day. And even a healthy exercise program can’t combat the sedentary lifestyle. So get up, walk to the copier, take a lap around the office, socialize with someone on your feet for a few minutes. Even when working at a local call company during the holiday season they had us get up for 15 minutes and do stretching during our shifts. It’s important to stay active! And for us ladies, one of my good friends who is an athletic trainer and heath coach says that to maintain our weight as we get older, we have to do strength training. It’s not just good enough to be active.
So watch what you eat, get up off that chair and get moving, and do a little exercise to help muscle retention and weight as we grow older every day!