Confession: I used to think that my trainer, RKC II Kerry Swick was absolutely nuts for telling me that sitting down is one of the worst things you can possibly do for your health. In fact, I wrote off her comment entirely early on in my training until after 2 months of serious HKC prep workouts. Kettlebell training has the remarkable capability of lengthening your spine as well as giving your hips explosive power. Never in my life have I come across an exercise protocol that targets the hip flexors and spine the way kettlebells training does. It’s the real deal! However, after 2 months of going back and forth from training and my desk job, I noticed that my body was doing some…shall we say…awkward things.
So what are these “awkward things” my body was doing? Well, for starters, I started noticing my hip flexors getting tighter and tighter in between training. I actually had to have RKC II Kerry Swick set me up with some hip specific stretching to work out the kinks so I could swing properly. I was going to post photos of me stretching, but because I am lazy today, I found an article from Cross Fit Oakland that actually shows every last stretch my trainer had me do (and truthfully, I still do them). Check out the information here!
Ok, moving right along, I had another issue with my back that started to occur from sitting. For those fo you who don’t know this, a few years ago I made a not so wise decision on a skateboard and hit a divot in the road at the bottom of the hill going about 25 mph (and no, I was not wearing a helmet). Needless to say, I wrecked and ended up with a SEVERE concussion, a battered right shoulder and a few ribs out of place. It took several chiropractic visits to reset my back, but I still have a mild compensation in my right shoulder due to the impact. (Side note: I also have permanent damage in my right eye from the impact of the fall. I hit the pavement so hard that the impact caused the optic nerve in my right eye to compress. I have permanent visual disturbances because of that fall. Now when I turn my head in certain directions, I will actually see a bizarre flicker of lights out of that eye. Really weird! Lesson here is WEAR A HELMET). While my back is pretty straightened out now, my right shoulder tends to “lock up” after prolonged periods of sitting down. That old compensation pattern definitely tends to creep its way back into my life, and I got to say, RKC II Kerry Swick was right. SITTING SUCKS!
Sitting isn’t just bad for your back. Did yinz know it’s bad fo your health? This is real talk, ya heard? I am not joking. Check this out!
While I was studying to obtain my Beyond Organic Health Coach Certification, I learned some really scary stuff about the dangers of sitting. Yes, SITTING. As in YOUR BUTT in YOUR CHAIR. Did you know that living a sedentary lifestyle is actually a major risk factor in an early death? A Cardiologist by the name of Dr. David Coven actually did a study that suggest sitting is WORSE for your health than SMOKING. SAY WHAT!?!?! Check out that interesting tid bit here. Jeez, I used to sit down AND smoke back in the day. Lord have mercy!
Another piece of information I learned from my certification program was that for every 2 hours of sitting down, you actually increase your chance of getting diabetes by 7%. So if you work an 8 hour day like your average American and are constantly sitting down behind your desk, you are increasing your chances of getting diabetes by a whopping 56%. YIKES! Don’t believe me? Check out that tid bit here, here, and here.
Finally, sitting practically puts the brakes on fat metabolism. According to Elin Ekblom-Bak of the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, after 4 hours of sitting, your body actually starts to send alarm signals to the brain. These signals actually affect your body’s ability to regulate glucose and fat. Your body goes into a “compensation mode” if you will, and begins to store excess fat deposits as a direct result from the stress sitting causes on the body. FREAKY!!!! Check out more on this tid bit here.
Again, what have we learned from this? SITTING SUCKS!
So what are we to do when we are working a 9-5 behind or desks? Obviously, kettlebell training (and exercise in general) will help correct your body’s compensated movement and metabolic patterns. However, there are even smaller changes you can make that can have a dramatic effect on your health. Here’s a simple solution for your sitting problem from the lovely land of YouTube.
Once more, what have we learned? SITTING SUCKS!
That about sums it up for me. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have sat down for a total of 45 minutes getting this blog post up for yunz. It’s time for me to stretch out and do some heavy swings. I’m thinking that my brand new 20kg should do the trick just fine. As always, remember to eat smart, train hard, and enjoy your life!
P.S. Have you been siting down all day too? Maybe you should get out of your seats and jump around!