Pick your poison – sitting, smoking, sugar

Smoking is cool.

Okay. It’s not any more. It used to be.

Have you ever seen Mad Men? That’s alright. Neither have I. The point is, back then, everyone smoked. People smoked on planes. Movie stars light up on screen. It was part of the culture. I wasn’t just accepted. It was encouraged.

Quit it – Smoking

No we know the truth. Cigarettes kill people. They’re bad. Don’t smoke people.

I’m not trying to be preachy. I just want you to be healthy. You want to be healthy too. Which is why you don’t smoke. Or, if you do, you know it’s bad and you’re trying to quit.

Good for you. Keep it up. While you’re at it, here are a couple more things to add to the quit it list.

Quit it – Sitting

No, seriously. Stand up. Sitting is bad for your health. Just like smoking. It will kill you.

Fact – We spend more time sitting than we do sleeping!

People spend 9.3 hours per day on their derrieres, eclipsing even the 7.7 hours they spend sleeping. Their sedentary lifestyles contribute 10 percent of the risk of breast and colon cancer, 6 percent of the risk of heart disease, and 7 percent of the risk of type 2 diabetes.

We do it so much, it’s so accepted, that we don’t even think about it. We’re sitting around waiting to die. We’re actually speeding up the process. When death comes calling it won’t be hard to find us either. We’ll be sitting at our desk, in our car or on our couch. Come and get us!

I know what you’re thinking, “that’s exactly why I exercise.”

You know sitting is bad, so you workout. You run or lift or something. Which is good. Not great. Here’s the bad news. People who sit too much die at an earlier age than those who sit less – even if those sitters exercised regularly.

See, sitting really is like smoking. Both are bad for us, even if we exercise.

If you don’t move it, you lose it –

Sitting for an extended period of time causes your body to shut down at the metabolic level. When your muscles, especially certain leg muscles, are immobile, your circulation slows. So you use less of your blood sugar and you burn less fat, which increases your risk of heart disease and diabetes.

The fix – get off your ass

Obviously, the solution is more movement. In addition to exercise. Scatter it throughout the work day. Take breaks. Stand up and stretch. Here’s what I do. Take a look.

  • Stand for two minutes every 20 minutes

  • If I take a call or make a call I stand up. I walk around if I can.

  • I use a standing desk.

  • Whenever possible my meetings are standing, walking or running meetings. It keeps thing brief. We get straight to the point.

  • I stretch and do bodyweight exercises randomly, all day.

  • I take a walking break before or after lunch.

Quit it – Sugar

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news folks. But, we’re not done yet. The list of things killing us continues to grow. You probably figured it out by now. Next up – sugar.

Processed sugar to be specific. You know what I’m talking about. Fake foods. Soda and sweets. Bread. Refined carbohydrates. High-Fructose Corn Syrup. It’s all ends up as sugar. It’s all bad for us.

 Fact – According to the USDA the average American consumes 22 teaspoonfuls of sugar a day, compared to the 9 teaspoonful daily maximum recommended. Per capita consumption was up 39 percent from the 1950s.

Sugar is toxic. It rotes our bodies. It’s addictive. It suppressed hormones that tell our brains we’re full. We eat more and more and more. It speeds up the aging process. It contributes to obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Stop eating sugar!

The fix – eat real food

It really is that simple. Eat real food. Lean meats. Fruits and vegetables. Lots of greens. Healthy fats. Avocados. Nuts. Seeds. Coconut oil. Grass fed butter. Eat as much of that stuff as you want. It’s good for you. Sugar isn’t.

Try this, don’t eat anything that comes out of a box or a bag. The fresher the better. Green is good. Bright, colorful foods. Swap out sugar for the real stuff and see how you feel.

 Stand more, sit less. Real food, no fake stuff.