“Designed to Move: The Science-Backed Program to Fight Sitting Disease and Enjoy Lifelong Health”
This is the book I read recently. It’s the latest by Dr. Joan Vernikos. Former Director of Nasa’s Life Sciences department.
After working with astronauts for a few decades, making sure they are as healthy as they can be Dr. Joan Vernikos noticed that being in space, in absence of Earth gravity, makes astronauts experience all the symptoms we associate with aging, like losing muscle and bone mass and strength, losing sense of stability and balance, at a much faster rate. The only difference for astronauts is that their “aging” is reversible. Once they get back to Earth and start to move and live in Earth gravity again their body gets back to previous condition after some time.
It made Dr. Joan think about the effects and importance of gravity for our health, mobility and longevity.
She made a few experiments with people on Earth, reducing their exposure to gravity as much as possible by making them to lie down and move as little as possible for prolonged periods of time – by that time she was not surprised to find out that not moving, not using Earth gravity much (that what sedentary lifestyle is) caused people to start experience the same effects of aging and reduced health and vitality.
Plus, that was kind of surprising, people would lose interest in life! Even though before experiments people planned to catch up on reading, watching favorite movies, studying – very fast after they would start their bed regime they would lose interest in any of those activities and would get progressively depressed.
Not using gravity, not using our muscles properly, not moving, as it turns out, causes us to get progressively sicker, weaker, older and more depressed.
You don’t get healthy to move, you move to get healthy!
Movement is the condition of health and vitality.
From a lot of other studies and experiments the data also revealed that working out for an hour a day is not a solution to the problem, is not a panacea for health, if we sit for the rest of the day. No matter how intense we exercise.
And certainly HIIT or Tabata training for a few minutes a day wouldn’t be an optimal movement solution for health either, if the rest of the day we sit on our rear end non-stop.
So what IS the solution?
Pretty damn simple as it turns out – changing our position in relation to gravity every 30 minutes (The optimal time interval was determined through the series of experiments and observations).
It can be as simple as standing up from sitting, walking around to drink water, doing a stretch.
For ambitious people like me and hopefully you – no matter if you stand or sit (I work standing) – you got to change your “gravitational” position every 30 minutes by squatting a few times, 3 squats are enough (unless you want to do more), stretching with your hands above your head reaching for the sky, doing some errand, going to drink a glass of water.
Even just standing up from sitting, or sitting down and standing up again (if you were standing), will make a difference from being in a wheelchair and being able to walk unassisted. Literally. Proven.
So what’s the best movement for your health and vitality? Best anti-aging, anti-depressant, anti-muscle-loss movement that anyone can do? Anywhere.
Standing up from sitting every 30 minutes of ther day.
No special equipment, much of free time or special facilities required. No excuses basically.
Try this for 30 days.
Journal the difference at the beginning and at the end.
Read the book for more fascinating information!
Daily Bite of Health.
MAXIMIZING PERSONAL ENERGY.
TO MAXIMIZE PERSONAL IMPACT.
From COVER FITNESS MODEL. To 1000-YEAR-YOUNG. To MARS.