Fitness Contrarian Principal # 3: Live an Active Lifestyle
If I had to choose between working out in the gym for an hour a day and then sitting behind a desk as opposed to living an active lifestyle by moving around all day long, I would pick an active lifestyle hands down for good health.
Going to the gym for an hour every day is a good idea but you can’t count on that alone for all your daily activity. One of the most under-rated aspects of good health is low-level easy movement all day long. You can’t be a couch potato just because you went and worked out for an hour.
I have a number of friends and personal training clients who feel that as long as they workout they can eat just about whatever they want and then lay around all day. The secret to good health and being thin is a proper diet and an active lifestyle. This is one of the reasons why people who live in the city are thinner on average then people who live in the suburbs. People in the city walk all day long. My grandfather had an active lifestyle and lived into his late 80’s without taking any medication. He walked a few miles back and forth from work each day, stood on his feet as a printer and then golfed on the weekends in the summer.
The New York Times just published an article called Men Who Stare at Screens. The article referenced a study that indicated that men who sat the most watching TV had a greater risk of heart disease. A man who spends 23 hours or more watching TV or riding in their car had a 64% greater chance of having heart disease. That may not be a surprise but what was not expected is that many of the men who develop heart disease also exercised. What the study pointed out is that even if men exercise but spend the rest of the day sitting in their cars and then on the couch for long hours, they are still at risk of heart disease. The workout is not enough to counter act the ill effects of sitting all day and being inactive while not in the gym.
Walking, biking, cleaning the house, gardening, shopping, playing with your kids, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, are all daily activities that keep you healthy and lean. Get off the couch and out of the car and start moving. If you work behind a desk, take a walk to get to lunch, or move around the building. Living an active lifestyle should be a top priority in your quest for a healthy life.
Let me know what you do besides going to the gym to keep active.
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Best – Mike Cola