Sitting Is The New Smoking

Sitting Is The New Smoking
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Our bodies were designed to move! What part of this do we not understand? And because our bodies haven’t yet caught up evolutionary-wise to our current lifestyles, it’s no wonder we are in pain and sick. Raise your hand if you spend more than 5 hours a day sitting at a computer? Raise your hand if you drive to and from work and the gym etc? Raise your hand if you sit, or slouch at the table or on your cozy couch at night because you are exhausted? I raised my hand to all of the above and then I wonder why I have tight psoas muscles (the muscles the run all the way down from the top of your pelvis to your thighs) – and they are tight because I sit more than I am supposed to.

It takes a lot of yoga to stretch out all these under-used muscles, and a lot of strength training to sort out the other muscles that are compensating. So what’s the answer? How can we jolt ourselves out of this unconscious malaise – this new sit/hunch  – the “Shunch” (when you are bent over a device tapping away for hours)? Here’s how I try to mitigate the damage setting in:

1. I force myself to do 10 minutes yoga every morning. It doesn’t have to be a big deal – just 3 or 4 poses where I make sure I stretch out my back and hips. If you don’t have a yoga practice, grab a couple of good DVD’s so that you can follow along.

2. I set a reminder on my phone every hour to get up off my chair and walk around the yard, or the block. It always energizes me.

3.I walk for 30-40 minutes a day with the dog. I never feel like it until I see his waggling tail and pleading eyes.

4. When I have that afternoon energy dip, instead of reaching for a snack, I reach for my sneakers and either do a few rounds with my kettle bell weight, or get on my mini trampolene – my appetite goes away and I actually feel like drinking a glass of water. Moreover my energy is right back up there.

5.I sit on a yoga mat or yoga cushion when I watch TV. This is so helpful because instead of curling up into a weird position on the couch, I am able to sit comfortably cross legged or in any other delicious pose that stretches out my thighs, hips and knees.

This is why in my new book, Gorgeous for Good – 30 days to lasting beauty inside and out, I recommend you exercise for at least 40 minutes, 6 days a week!

If we don’t get up off our chair and couches, the truth is that it will have dire consequences on our minds, our bodies and our spirits. It’s time to move, and if you already do, maybe encourage someone who has trouble motivating themselves to come with you:)

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Sophie Uliano is New York Times best-selling author and leading expert in the field of natural health and beauty, who takes a down-to-earth approach to beauty focusing on what's truly healthy. Join my masterclass to get started.