I recently ran across an article about the effects of sitting on the body and the metabolism. This information is absolutely startling and made me think every time I think I want to sit down!

A study done in 2011 by Harvard researchers found  “watching TV for two hours a day increases type 2 diabetes risk by 20 percent and heart disease risk by 15 percent, Health Pop reported. More than three hours of daily viewing and you’re upping your risk of dying from any disease, the study found.”

The World Health Organization says physical inactivity is the main cause for approximately 21-25 percent of breast and colon cancers, 27 percent of diabetes and approximately 30 percent of ischemic heart disease burden.

While most of us might be familiar with these statistics and this information may not sound so shocking, hold on: Do you sit in an office chair or on your couch for more than six hours a day? Then here are some disturbing facts: Your risk of heart disease has increased up to 64%. You’re shaving off seven years of quality life. You’re also more at risk for certain types of cancer. Simply put, sitting is killing us.

I don’t know about you, but these statistics get my attention! But its not about running a marathon in order to reset your metabolism and create the stimulation necessary for bodily health, It’s about creating pockets of moderate activity throughout the day and giving your body a respite from sitting.If you have a job or career that requires sitting at a desk or in a car for long periods of time, restructuring your day to build in activity will help to counteract the negative effects of sitting is worth consideration. As little as 10 minutes of moderate activity every hour can prevent your metabolism from going into snooze mode.

The main reason you want to shoot for the ten minute chunks is because you’re creating a mini-stress in your body that helps increase your endurance and it is a doable goal for most people.

Some fairly easy tips for beginning to counter sitting for long periods:

1.  Park near the back of the parking lot.

2.  Stand up to visit the file cabinet instead of rolling your chair.

3.  Walk over and talk to a coworker instead of emailing them.

4.  Take the scenic route to the bathroom instead of the most direct.

5.  Stand up while on the telephone, walk in place if possible.

6.  Keep dumbbells at your desk and use them during breaks for a few reps.

7.  Take a brisk 20-30 minute walk outside at lunch 2-5 days per week.

8.  Wear a pedometer, an Indiana University study shows your activity will increase and the pounds are shed more quickly, 2 1/2 lbs/week for 12 weeks.

And of course, most of us are already thinking about dieting or cutting back on calories this time of year. Dietary habits also take a bit of planning to accomplish but a couple of calorie and cost saving tips:

1.  Pack your own lunch – make fresh veggies the main course, along with hummus seasoned in a way that you really enjoy or a Greek yogurt dip. Almost any dip mix can be mixed up with plain Greek yogurt for more nutrition and less calories. Homemade soup mixed up in the crock pot or a lettuce wrap is the perfect complement.

2.  Limit specialty coffee drinks – one latte can pack on 450 calories! A meal should be around 350 calories and a snack is 200 calories or less. If you are sitting during the day, all those calories should count for nutrition in order to keep the pounds and the heart disease away. Try switching to cappuccino made with non-fat milk and sweeten with Stevia, top with cinnamon or nutmeg, even cocoa powder. This cuts the calories down to 120-150 depending on the size of the drink. Herbal teas are delicious and refreshing hot or cold and again, Stevia is a wonderful non-calorie sweetener.

3.  Think of meats and cheeses are your side dish and the vegetables and salad as the main course. A serving of beef, chicken or fish should be 3-4 oz, or approximately the size of the palm of your hand or a deck or cards. This portion differs quite a bit from the usual American fare. When eating out, ask for a “To Go” box at the beginning of the meal and place 1/2 of your meal in it before you start. Then Enjoy!!

4.  Remember that every calorie counts, so think about idle snacking, hard candy, sodas and drinks that contain sugar.

One last thought before we leave the topic of weight loss – lipo suction was designed to be a spot treatment for difficult areas. Over the years it has become the “go to” in place of weight loss in many instances. I have seen several cases of rebound fat production in the areas where lipo suction was not performed, such as in the shoulders and upper arms. The reviews are mixed on some of the newer treatments such as crylolysis and lasers for melting fat. The main obstacle is that all lasers target chromophores which are pigment, either melanin or blood.   Lasers are just not able to penetrate deeply enough to heat the fat cells high enough to cause the cells to break down and eliminated by the lymphatic system.

With this information in mind, there are several old tried and true treatments that work well hand in hand with dieting and exercise.

– Body wraps do help to detoxify so that weight loss and body sculpting do follow.

– A new machine, Full Body Platform Vibration Fitness (think 1950’s belt vibrating machine) really does promote weight loss. The vibration speeds up the molecules, increases detoxification, stimulates weight loss and stimulates bone density. (Increased bone density by vibration was discovered by NASA as a treatment to restore lost bone density to astronauts who had been in space.) Once the pounds have been shed, then body wraps with the Platform Vibration or Belt Vibration and full body LED treatments will help to continue the detoxification process, sculpt and tighten difficult areas. With a little planning and care, you can improve your health and enjoy a lovely body!

We at Serenity Medical Health & Beauty Spa

are here to support and encourage you so that you will “Look better,
Feel better, Be better” and may I add, hopefully
“Live longer and well”!