Bare 5

Reconnecting to health and wellness

20131010-213040.jpg


Leave a comment

Welcome To Bare 5!

20131010-213040.jpg

We all have within us the potential to feel great, be strong and love life. The simple approach that can get us there: reconnect to being human. By honoring our natural instincts and connection to the world around us we can optimize our lives. Make the most of every day by taking your life back and reconnect to your true human nature.

Most of us have been getting more disconnected every year as life, technology and constant stress pulls us further away from our roots. More now than ever before, we need to reconnect. Reconnect to human nature: our true selves, the food, movement, rest, nature, friends, family, happiness and joy that makes life amazing. We are marvelous creatures with incredible potential. Bare 5 exists simply as a resource for connection, an outlet for people to plug back in to health. This blog is dedicated to sharing info, thoughts, resources and links that will help people take their future into their own hands and reconnect to being human, gaining health and wellness and to loving life.

If you’re new to natural living, there’s no better time to start than now and no better way than to kick off your shoes and let your Bare 5 toes reconnect with the ground and get some sunshine on your skin. We can all benefit from the simple acts of reconnecting with being human, from the way we walk, to what we eat, to how we move, sleep and even to how we connect with the earth itself and one another. The more we follow our naturally designed path, the better our lives will be.

Every week I try to add new links, info, resources and thoughts so take a look around, explore, browse and let me know what you think!

If you’re here for the Vibram Five Fingers toe shoes, check out the links on the right…
Or check out the Bare5 Barefoot Headquarters.

If you’re here to explore your health, browse around or check out the Resources or FDN pages.

If you just want the basics, take a look at the Bare 5 Elements and look for the Bare 5 Bottom Line, my synopsis of each post.

Thanks for reading, have a great reconnected day!

IMG_1347


Leave a comment

Trying Out Cannabidiol (CBD)

As most of you know I’m a big fan of nature. Subsequently, for better or worse, I like to think that the natural world can provide us with much of what we need to be healthy. I’ve spent most of my time as a health practitioner  focusing on the basics of natural food, movement, sleep, connection and enjoyment to reset human potential. As time goes on I have begun to get more interested in some of the more fringe nature based/traditional practices. One of the areas that I have been exploring is the realm of using plants/herbs/botanicals and other flora for health promotion or recovery. This is an area I’ve only waded into and want to take slowly so I’ve really only experimented with some adaptagenic herbs/flowers in a few different substances, supplements and foods.

Something that’s been in the back of my mind is the world of cannabis/hemp and its family of products. Many people swear by the numerous benefits of these plants and the medical community is starting to acknowledge what many people have been saying for a long, long time. I’m not interested in smoking marijuana but am interested in what makes it so effective for pain management and health promotion.

As is often the case, when I’ve been thinking about something (remember the cricket story?) the universe reaches out and says hi. Enter CBD. 

One of the main compounds in hemp/marijuana is Cannabidiol, abbreviated as CBD. I hadn’t heard much about cannabidiol until I was contacted by Dose of Nature, a company specializing in CBD and making it available and user friendly to the mainstream public. When most people think of hemp or marijuana they think of the stereotypical pot smoking situation/user. As such, most people are familiar with THC, the psychoactive compound of marijuana that gets most of the criticism and is responsible for the high and many of the other stereotypical effects of marijuana use. Conversely, CBD (which makes up about 40% of the cannabis plant extract) has been gaining steam as a therapeutic remedy for a number of health related conditions and is being actively studied for its healing and health promoting effects. It appears that cannabidiol is the part of cannabis/hemp/marijuana that may be the reason for its medical efficacy and general belief that smoking pot can be healthy and or good for you. Two of the biggest areas of interest for application of Cannabidiol are in brain function (seizures/deterioration) and cancer, with some very promising results, particularly in the anecdotal realm.

I am interested in all things natural so after a little research I became intrigued and thought it would be nice to trial their Redstrap CBD in Hemp Oil and see what happens. As I’ve written before, my philosophy has been a bit hesitant of isolating things from the whole but  I also have found it helpful to keep an open mind. Cannabidiol seems like a substance worth investigating so I gave it a shot…

I’m only 4 days into using it and must say I’m starting to like it. Here are my thoughts so far:

– It has an earthy quality (taste/smell) that I like. It may turn some people off but I like it.

– I have noticed a nice little energy bump from it, but it’s mild and I don’t necessarily lack energy as a general rule.

– Mental clarity seems to have been on point, but once again I usually do pretty well in this realm normally. 

– Libido seems to be a bit higher. Could be coincidence but don’t have a problem with that. 

– Doesn’t mix well with water but I’ve found a way around that by dropping the oil together in a couple ounces of water and then just shooting the whole thing in one gulp.

So on the whole I’ve liked my short term experience with CBD. It seems to be a little boost to a few things in my life so I plan on continuing for a little while longer and expanding my research in this realm. I’ll keep you guys updated on what my thoughts are down the road. 

If you’re interested in more info, head on over and check out Dose of Nature

Thanks for reading, have a great day!

IMG_0997


Leave a comment

Spring Sun Program

Now that spring is here, if you haven’t already, it’s time to start acclimating to the sun and letting yourself develop a tan. I’ve been a fan of embracing the sun for a long time because I don’t think we should fear or avoid it and feel that if we allow our bodies and skin to adjust and develop a tan slowly we can enjoy the sun much more throughout the warmer months and have to rely on sunscreen or covering up a lot less. Connecting with the sun and creating a relationship with it is much more advantageous and health promoting than hiding from it or getting burned by it.

I’ve written on this concept before each of the last couple years (Does The Sun Cause Wrinkles? & Sensible Sun Exposure) but this year I decided to write it up a little earlier…

Spring Sun Program

Your body has the ability to make its own protective barrier and it is more effective and safer than sunscreen. They key is to allow your tolerance to develop slowly, not to ask the skin to protect you before it’s ready or without practice. This is best done by using what I call the Sun Season approach. This approach looks at the four seasons in a slightly different way and uses the sun’s intensity cycles to structure a sensible sun-skin adaptive approach.

Here’s a quick explanation of the above graphic…

The Sun Season approach allows for easy and gradual adaptation to gradually increasing sun intensity. Just like lifting weights- if you start lightly and slowly but methodically increase the challenge your muscles can develop the ability to get very strong without injury if you keep within your limits and work smartly. 

You can think of sun exposure in the same way. Start off the spring sun season in Feb-Mar with some outdoor time when the sun is low on the horizon and less intense to challenge your skin very mildly and safely (like lifting very light weight). As the days and weeks go by keep exposing your skin to the sun regularly and the gradually increasing sun intensity will challenge your skin just a touch more each exposure. By mid spring sun season (around the vernal equinox on Mar 21st) you’ll be training your skin with medium intensity. As you continue building strength in your skin you’ll be able to adapt and handle the ever increasing sun intensity into the end of April and into the beginning of the summer sun season in early May. This slowly developing tan and skin resilience will continue to build and allow you to successfully be out in the sun throughout the peak sun intensity season without burning nearly as easily. Of course, if you overdo it you’ll probably get burned but it will be a lot less likely and will be less damaging if it does happen. 

The whole point of looking at sun exposure this way is to maximize your benefit and minimize your risk. If you allow yourself to slowly adapt to the sun you can have a much better relationship with being outside that requires much less sunscreen and avoidance and provides much more vitamin D, freedom and enjoyment.

The best way to avoid sun burns in the summer is to train the skin in the spring. 

Keep in mind the goal shouldn’t be outcome based: to get a tan. The goal should be to work the process well: train the skin to adapt to the seasonal sun intensity (which results in the nice outcome of a tan. 

Thanks for reading, have a great day!

Cricket isolated


1 Comment

Are Crickets The Next Big Thing?

Cricket isolatedHave you ever eaten a cricket?

I just did last week. Well, sort of. Let me explain…

As our world continues to grow and several billions of people inhabit the space probably best suited for a couple billion, one of the biggest questions that many people ask is “How are we going to feed everyone?”

Although this question is very important and complex that deserves plenty of discussion (which I may delve into sometime), one of the areas that many people think we can explore more is the massive world insects. Eaten for most of human history and still consumed throughout the world, all sorts of little creatures have been a source of nourishment over our history but are basically neglected in many of the larger, richer and more “sophisticated” countries. Why? Over time other things have pushed them out of our diets for a variety of reasons and we haven’t really had a need to bring them back so they became and have remained a more third world, exotic, novelty or Fear Factor type of food. To most Americans, the thought of eating any kind of insect is down right revolting and would take a major Life of Pi situation to even consider the idea of eating some kind of insect.

That brings us back to me sort of eating a cricket…

Exo Bars

A couple years ago I heard of a company that was going to make a bar made with crickets. I knew that the concept of working insects into the diet was one gaining some momentum for both nutritional and food sustainability reasons but honestly, although superficially intrigued, I never really gave it much thought after hearing about it. From time to time the last year or so I would hear someone on a podcast talk about these Exo Bars that used cricket flour but once again I thought “interesting…” but I never pursued it. Then couple months ago the topic of insects as food came up (pretty randomly) and I mentioned that I had heard there was a company that made a protein bar with cricket flour to which I got mixed responses of disgust, confusion and intrigue. Then literally two weeks ago I was reading the book Life of Pi and, as he was floating along starving in the pacific ocean eating anything he could get his hands own, my mind returned to the cricket bars. I made a mental note that it was time to track them down.

As fate would have it (I kid you not here) someone from Exo company sent me an email a couple days later telling me about their bars and asking if I would like to sample and review them. Since the universe seemed be bringing us together I was happy to try them out and a few days later they arrived on my doorstep…

Apple Cinnamon, Blueberry Vanilla, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Cocoa Nut

Sounded pretty good so I checked what they were made of…

Pretty impressive. Like Larabars (one of my favorites) they are mostly nuts, fruit and spices. The only real difference is the addition of cricket flour. From an ingredients standpoint I can definitely get on board with these simply because they a real food based bar. Next, and more important to some, is the taste. I opened up the Blueberry Vanilla to see it looked just like a Larabar.

I cut it up and my two older boys, wife* and I tried some. Not bad at all. In fact, it tastes just like many of the other fruit and nut bars. Dense, slightly sweet and nutty. A nice little snack bar. Both the boys thought it was fine as well.

*Note: don’t give your wife a bar made with cricket flour unless you tell her what’s in it first. :)

Reviewing The Exo Bars

Later in the week I tried the rest of the bars and really enjoyed them. Here are my thoughts:

  • The Apple Cinnamon was my clear favorite (I really like this one), with Peanut Butter and Jelly next and then Cocoa Nut & Blueberry Vanilla next. All were good and reminded me of the Larabar taste and texture.
  • There is no hint of cricket taste or texture and if I was doing a blind taste test I would have never known I was eating crickets or cricket flour. All I tasted was the flavor of the bars (i.e. nuts, fruit and spices).
  • I actually like the fact that I’m eating crickets because I think it’s an intriguing way to experiment with different nutritional paradigms but in a very user friendly way. It’s the best way I can currently imagine including insects into my diet. I love the concept Paleo lifestyle and how can you get more Paleo than insects?
  • The bars were dense and served as a great snack or addition to a meal.
  • They have 10 grams of protein, which is more than most fruit and nut bars.
  • The ingredient list on all of them was simple and good.

I headed over to the Exo website to check out these Protein Bars in a little more detail and liked their message and approach. They feel that crickets are a great alternative source of protein that is also highly nutritious and sustainable. I agree and look forward to seeing what happens from here, both in the Exo bars and the concept in general. Check out their site and let me know what you thinking you’re interested in trying some, use the coupon code “Bare5″ for 10% off.

The Bottom Line on Exo Bars: I liked them and will order some more. Although to many it may not sound appealing to eat a bar with cricket flour I encourage you to open yourself to trying something different because these Exo bars are tasty and a nice source of nutrition that just might be a glimpse at some of the future of food for our growing world.

Thanks for reading, have a great day!

IMG_0973-0


Leave a comment

10 Questions That Get To Who You Really Are

If any of you have ever watched Inside The Actors Studio you’ll be familiar with this. Often called the Proust or Pivot Questionnaire* these 10 questions are a fun little exercise in glimpsing at someone’s personality. Although they’re typically given at the end of a long, in depth and well prepared interview in front of an audience of acting students, I got a kick out of them and have been asking them to most everyone the last few days…

The Questions:

  1. What is your favorite word?
  2. What is your least favorite word?
  3. What turns you on, creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
  4. What turns you off, creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
  5. What sound or noise do you love?
  6. What sound or noise do you hate?
  7. What is your favorite curse word?
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
  9. What profession would you not like to do?
  10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?

*These 10 questions are not actually the Proust or Pivot Questionnaire but a simplified and distilled version created by host James Lipton based on the concept of using the Proust Questionnaire, which was first done by 1970’s French TV host Bernard Pivot in his show Apostrophes. The real Proust Questionnaire originates from Marcel Proust’s answers to some personality tests in the late 1800’s and is much more detailed, much longer and is a neat little story in and of itself.

These are 10 interesting questions and often provide great insight into a person’s life (and particularly their current state). The best part is there’s no rules. No right or wrong response. Whatever you want to say (or not say) is part of the whole process. You can think about them or just answer the first thing that comes to mind. It doesn’t really matter- because either way your answers are your answers. You can keep it simple or elaborate. You can have fun or be serious. You can answer however you want.

My answers:

  1. What is your favorite word? Connection (with persnickety or bamboozled a close second)
  2. What is your least favorite word? Pessimistic 
  3. What turns you on, creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Play
  4. What turns you off, creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Cigarettes 
  5. What sound or noise do you love? My son’s laugh (although the sound of a fan is right up there)
  6. What sound or noise do you hate? The sound my wife makes when she’s stressed
  7. What is your favorite curse word? Don’t curse really but would be a tie between “son of a” and “flipper!”
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Movie maker 
  9. What profession would you not like to do? Telemarketing 
  10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? You did well. Come on in though because the work isn’t over and we gotta lot work left to do.

My answers would have been different a couple years ago and will probably be a bit different a year from now. 

What are your answers? Feel free to share- I’d love to get a glimpse into your world. 

Thanks for reading, have a great day!

P.S. Here’s a few actors going through the questions.

Here’s the Inside The Actors Studio website.

Matthew McConaughey Interview

Robin Williams

The questions that led to what is known as the Proust Questionnaire:

Confessionsquestions Confidencesquestions Proust’s answers 1890
Your favorite virtue The principal aspect of my personality The need to be loved; more precisely, the need to be caressed and spoiled much more than the need to be admired
Your favorite qualities in a man. The quality that I desire in a man. Manly virtues, and frankness in friendship.
Your favorite qualities in a woman. The quality that I desire in a woman. Feminine charms
Your chief characteristic —- —-
What you appreciate the most in your friends What I appreciate most about my friends. To have tenderness for me, if their personage is exquisite enough to render quite high the price of their tenderness
Your main fault My main fault Not knowing, not being able to “want”.
Your favourite occupation. My favorite occupation. Loving.
Your idea of happiness My dream of happiness. I am afraid it be not great enough, I dare not speak it, I am afraid of destroying it by speaking it.
Your idea of misery. What would be my greatest misfortune? Not to have known my mother or my grandmother.
If not yourself, who would you be? What I should like to be. Myself, as the people whom I admire would like me to be.
Where would you like to live? The country where I should like to live. A country where certain things that I should like would come true as though by magic, and where tenderness would always be reciprocated
Your favourite colour and flower. My favourite colour. The beauty is not in the colours, but in their harmony.
—- The flower that I like. Hers/His – and after, all of them.[3]
—- My favorite bird. The swallow.
Your favorite prose authors. My favorite prose authors. Currently, Anatole France and Pierre Loti.
Your favorite poets. My favorite poets. Baudelaire and Alfred de Vigny.
Your favorite heroes in fiction. My heroes in fiction. Hamlet.
Your favorite heroines in fiction. My favorite heroines in fiction. Bérénice.
Your favorite painters and composers. My favorite composers. BeethovenWagnerSchumann.
—- My favorite painters. Leonardo da VinciRembrandt.
Your heroes in real life. My heroes in real life. Mr. Darlu, Mr. Boutroux.
Your favorite heroines in real life. —- —-
What characters in history do you most dislike. —- —-
Your heroines in World history My heroines in history. Cleopatra.
Your favorite food and drink. —- —-
Your favorite names. My favorite names. I only have one at a time.
What I hate the most. What I hate most of all. What is bad about me.
World history characters I hate the most Historical figures that I despise the most. I am not educated enough.
The military event I admire the most The military event that I admire most. My military service!
The reform I admire the most The reform which I admire the most. —-
The natural talent I’d like to be gifted with The gift of nature that I would like to have. Will-power, and seductiveness.
How I wish to die How I want to die. Improved—and loved.
What is your present state of mind. My present state of mind. Boredom from having thought about myself to answer all these questions.
For what fault have you most toleration? Faults for which I have the most indulgence. Those that I understand.
Your favorite motto. My motto. I should be too afraid that it bring me misfortune.

Notes

  1. ^ Carter, William C., and Henry-Jean Servat. 2005. The Proust questionnaire. New York: Assouline.
Unknown


Leave a comment

A Little Balance

A couple days late but you’ll see why…

Marvelous March

March 4th marks:

  • Holy Experiment Day
  • Hug a GI Day
  • The Constitution of the United States of America goes into effect in 1789
  • Vermont is admitted to the United States as the fourteenth state in 1791
  • The United States Department of Labor is formed in 1913
  • Mrs. Charles Fahning of Buffalo N.Y. recognized as the first woman to bowl a perfect 300 game in 1930
  • People magazine is published for the first time in the U.S. as People Weekly in 1974

The birthday of:

  • 1888- Knute Rockne, Notre Dame’s “Fighting Irish” football coach
  • 1903- William C. Boyd, American immunologist, pioneer of blood type inheritance/alleles and discoverer of plant lectins

Ok, on to balance…Unknown

It’s funny how life works and I am constantly amazed at its little moments that teach you something. I’ve been a preacher of balance for many years. Both literal physical balance and the more figurative life balance. They are often quite representative of one another and when you start to lose balance in either it’s not a good thing. The funny thing is that the physical balance side is so easy to tell where you stand (pun intended). If your balance is a bit off you wobble, if you’re a lot off you fall down. Life balance tends to be a little more subtle. 

For instance, one of the most enjoyable things I do is write, typically about health and wellness. It’s a hobby or pastime that I do on top of my two full time jobs: family life and personal training. It’s always had a seemingly appropriate sized part of my attention and was balanced with everything else. 

Then February happened. I got so involved in writing about fascinating things every day I ended up spending a lot of time on the blog last month. About half way into the month I had a thought pop into my head: Since you’re writing something every day this month and super committed to all this daily blog work you should take a break from this commitment in March. It sounded like a pretty good idea.

As February continued I became more and more enthralled with being able to find something cool about every single day and ideas on topics to write on just kept filling my head. My head was brimming with things to write about and share. I was really inspired, motivated and focused, filling up post after post, drafting new ideas and cataloging all these great notes about each day of the month. The next thing I realized it was March and I was still publishing and extensively researching every day.  Without realizing it, my casual plan to simply post a little thing each day in February had evolved into a mini obsession. I rushed right past the idea to keep this a February thing and then back off and take a break. My balance had long since been tipped. 

Even with a hobby or passion, which can offer so much positive impact on life, I think it’s important to keep balance because too much of a good thing is still too much. I think to myself, what did I miss while I was perpetually researching this date in history or editing my daily blog posts? In the pursuit of trying to appreciate every day of February, I ended up being so busy “appreciating it” that I probably missed quite a bit last month.

So that being said, I am going to take a little break from the daily posting and enjoy some other things this month. It will still be a Marvelous March but I’ll let it be on its own accord. 

So enjoy your month- I’ll still be around, but probably just sharing little things on the Bare 5 Facebook page, including some old posts, as I reestablish some balance in my world.

Brain Health 4 is still in the works and planned for release sometime soon but it will just have to happen when it happens. It’s my favorite of all the brain series so I want to do a bigger write up which will probably take some time. Until then, be well and have a marvelous March.

Thanks for reading, have a great day!

P.S. For all you who appreciate little facts of the day, here’s a cool website I found last month… Holiday Insights

IMG_0599


2 Comments

Find Your Tribe

Marvelous March

March 3rd marks:

  • I Want You to be Happy Day
  • If Pets Had Thumbs Day
  • National Anthem Day
  • Peach Blossom Day
  • Florida is admitted as the 27th U.S. state in 1845
  • NACA, the predecessor of NASA, is founded in 1915
  • TIME magazine is published for the first time in 1923
  • The Star Spangled Banner becomes the National Anthem in 1931
  • Oil is discovered in Saudi Arabia in 1938

The birthday of:

  • 1847- Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone
  • 1962- Jackie Joyner-Kersee, American Olympic athlete

Ok, on to tribes…

Find your tribe

The health and nutrition world is full of tribes: groups, dogmas or ideologies that connect a population of people all sharing a common belief or value system. Veganism is a tribe. So is Paleo, Crossfit, low carb, running and countless others. Tribes join together to commune, support and further their purpose and offer safe haven to lost souls and likeminded folks. These clans can exist over time and space and often help define their members and guide their lives in both the present and future. Tribes are an integral part of human existence. It’s built into our DNA to search out common folks with the same purpose. They can even replace one’s closest relatives and become family. Tribes/clans/groups are a big part of life. 
The health and nutrition world is a maze of tribes. Sirens from each call out over the Internet, television, magazines and from friends’ mouths, inviting you in to join people just like you. Lose weight, get in shape, feel better and on and on. Stop eating meat, don’t eat carbs, commit to running, lift heavy weights and you’ll be just like us! Look how great we feel and how much better our life is now that we went ______!!
Throughout our entire lives we find tribes. Whether it’s the kids who like certain cartoons or video games, the jocks or theater folks in school or other parents who let their kids get dirty and run around barefoot, we are constantly joining tribes. 
It’s good to join tribes. They give us so much benefit. We all need to join tribes. It’s probably a good thing for all of us to belong to a tribe or two throughout our life and particularly our health and fitness journey.
We just need to know when it’s time to move on. 
Tribes are another paradox. Incredibly useful and beneficial but terribly sheltering and limiting, often detrimental. We need tribes to be human but we need to learn when they’re no longer needed. Tribes can open minds, teach, nurture, grow and support its members. They also have a way of keeping those same minds closed to other ways of life, particularly those that don’t jive with the ideology, belief system, philosophy or dogma of the tribe. Tribes, although very nurturing at the beginning, usually end up being hindering in the end. 
I was a member of the “Paleo” tribe for a few years and it taught me quite a bit. Over the last year or so I’ve come to realize its usefulness is waning and its constraints are problematic. I do not regret “tribing” with other Primal/Paleo/Ancestral peoples. It was extremely beneficial and I am better off having belonged there for a while. I wouldn’t and couldn’t be where I am today without the lessons learned and growth I received from my time in Paleo land. The same goes for any and every other tribe I’ve joined in health and fitness, whether it was for a week or for several years. They all had something to offer but only until I was ready for more. 
Find a tribe. Learn from it. Love it. Support it. Grow with it. Then leave it. Walk alone for a while. Then, if you want, find another tribe and see what that one can offer. 
If you always walk alone you’ll find your way, although you’re likely to take a few wrong turns and get lost along the way. Joining tribes and using their insight isn’t a guarantee of the perfect route but is a great way to help guide your own unique journey and meet lots of fascinating people and ideas along the way.  
Thanks for reading, have a great day!


Leave a comment

The Sitting Paradox

Marvelous March

March 2nd marks:

  • Old Stuff Day
  • Read Across America Day
  • Texas declared its independence from Mexico in 1836
  • The film King Kong opens at New York’s Radio City Music Hall in 1933
  • The first automatic street light is installed in New Milford, Connecticut in 1949
  • Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors scores 100 points in a basketball game in 1962
  • Compact discs and players are released for the first time in the United States and other markets in 1983 (previously available only in Japan)

The birthday of:

  • 1779- Joel Roberts Poinsett in 1779 (American Ambassador to Mexico brought Poinsettias to America)
  • 1904 – Theodore Seuss Geisel, “Dr. Seuss”
  • 1917- Desi Arnaz- “Ricky Ricardo” on “I Love Lucy”
  • 1931- Mikhail Gorbachev, Leader of USSR
  • 1962- Jon Bon Jovi, singer, actor

Ok, on to sitting…

What a great thing: sitting down. Oh wait…

What a terrible thing: sitting down.

The Sitting Paradox 

Sitting has become this generation’s tobacco. It is now being considered one of the worst things we can do for our bodies and health advocates are almost in complete agreement: sitting can kill.

How can something that feels so good, is so convenient and natural, be as bad for us as something like tobacco?

Is it possible that it’s really that bad? Well, as usual, it depends.

Sitting itself isn’t that bad. Sitting all day is probably pretty bad. Sitting on the floor is probably good for us. Sitting in a car on the way to work, in a desk chair for 4 hours, in a car on the way to lunch, in a restaurant booth, back in a car to work, another 4 hours at a desk, followed by a seated commute home, sitting in a chair for dinner and then on a couch for a couple more hours before lying in bed all night = not so good. Repeat day after day after month after year = the problem.

The actual act of sitting is fine. We should sit whenever we want and should be capable of sitting in all different positions and circumstances. Even sitting in a chair with bad posture isn’t itself that bad. Doing it for extended periods of time and all throughout life is when it becomes problematic.

Doing anything all day will cause problems. Standing all day is problematic. Walking all day, although less problematic, still carries some downside. The problem lies in the volume and way we sit. The body adapts to what we do. If you sit down a lot, your body will get very good at sitting down which is fine until we ask it to do anything else. Then we have a problem.

We can’t escape sitting nor should we obsess over never sitting down. We need to think about doing it smartly. Sitting less and moving more is good for you, I’m not going to argue that. I am suggesting that since most of us are going to be sitting quite a bit, we do it better.

Active Sitting

To me, the key is to be an active sitter. This means doing 3 things. Get up often, change positions often and fidget.

Get Up Often

If you have to sit down all day then get up as often as you can. It’s better to sit down for 8 hours but get up 10 times than to sit for 4 hours without moving at all. It doesn’t matter what you do when you get up, just get up. The more active you can be during the breaks the better (walking, stretching, exercise) but the important thing is breaking up the sitting as often as you can. At least once an hour if not every 20-30 minutes.

Change Sitting Style & Positions

Use as much variety as you can get away with or imagine. Stand, sit, kneel, sit on a bench or even sit on the floor. Kneel on one knee, turn your knees to the side, sit crosslegged, sit on a ball, sit back in a chair, sit forward in a chair or use different chairs. Just keep switching it up, either throughout the day or from day to day.

Fidget

Fidgeting is a good thing. The more you move in your seat the better. Ever notice a kid who has to sit for a while? Their body needs to move. So does yours. The more you move your body around the better. Flex your butt. Rock and roll your hips. Tap your feet. Swivel back and forth. Do anything to prevent long times of rigidness.

Sitting less is likely a good thing but for all of us out there who have to sit regularly and for long periods of time, be smart about it. Get up often, sit different ways and move your body around while you sit.

The key is change. Sitting won’t kill if you don’t sit like a corpse.

Thanks for reading, have a great day!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 241 other followers