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Sitting is the new smoking, get up and MOVE MORE!

fitness freedom and flow Aug 25, 2018

I'm a bit of an addict when it comes to getting out on a hike as often as I can. I love to move my body, because I feel so good when I do.  I also enjoy finding new trails close to me and changing them up as well.

Today we headed to Chestnut Hill and hiked the Forbidden Drive trail. The weather was a crisp 70 degrees and it seemed like the entire community also had the same idea as us.

Brett and I figured out a way to make our hikes a little more challenging when we are ready using some body weight movements (more in a future post). We also decided to bring cash and do a longer version of the trail next time and stop for lunch at the Valley restaurant.

If you live in the area, I highly recommend you plan a date to get to Wissahickon Valley Park  and trek over Pennsylvania's trail of the year; Forbidden Drive Trail. We only did a section of the trail and hiked about 5 miles total. There are side trails off the main trail as well so the possibilities are endless.

We only brought our water (each of us with a 32 ounce hydroflask, staying hydrated on long hikes is important) and good walking shoes. FYI: it's important to wear shoes that don't compromise your natural walking mechanics. And one cell phone to take photos only, and boy did we get some good ones.

Your body is designed to MOVE.

Not just sit, in the car, on the couch, at a desk. Unfortunately, our culture perpetuates a sitting society, who are also sitting ducks for the effects of not moving enough.

"Sitting can wreak havoc on your health, and not just in the form of minor aches and pains. Recent studies show that too much sitting contributes to a host of diseases—from obesity and diabetes to cancer and depression. The typical seated office worker suffers from more musculoskeletal injuries than those workers who do daily manual labor. It turns out that sitting is as much an occupational risk as is lifting heavy weights on the job. The facts are in: sitting literally shortens your life. Your chair is your enemy, and it is murdering your body." (quoted from; 'Deskbound: Standing Up to a Sitting World').

I've become obsessed with low impact movement... don't worry, I like moderate activity and high impact some too. But low impact and low intensity movement is the bulk of what we all should be doing, day in and day out.

I feel SO much better when I move daily. I love 10k steps as a guideline. Some days I don't get that many, some days I get more. I feel best when I can walk an hour or more a day. I also feel better when I break up sitting for too long while I'm working. The longer you are sedentary the more you need to get up and move so your spine can have appropriate blood flow. You'll also avoid low back pain and so much more if you keep moving throughout the day.

Recently, I realized how much I am accustomed to convenience when Brett's elevator at his apartment complex went out. His apartment is on the 4th floor... so we decided to try and take the steps more often than not. I mean, why not? We are capable of that kind of movement and it challenges our bodies.

How can YOU include more movement into YOUR day? It's not complicated, as a society we just overthink it and make it harder than it should be. Or perhaps forget to make it a priority because we are in such a hurry or used to convenience. Yet, that mindset of convenience is inconveniently making us less and less healthy.

It's time to 'undo the sit'. Sitting is the new smoking. Sitting is literally killing us as a society.

If you are someone who has always been sedentary, you are missing out on  how good this kind of movement can feel. I encourage you to think about what you want for yourself in your health and life and think about what's stopping you from having that. Then, create ONE single action step you will do to move your body more. Just start small, don't overshoot, don't judge yourself. Just get out there and enjoy it! The best movement is the type you will actually do, but you have to do SOMETHING.

On our hike, I also incorporated some stability yoga stances on a rock in the creek. We also took some side paths that required climbing up and down. I love the variety on our hikes they are never boring and there is always something new to appreciate and some form of wildlife to observe.

How will you MOVE your body more today? I'd love to hear from you, leave me a comment below and let me know.

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