Sky-diving Without A Parachute (And Some Easier Ways To Kill Yourself)
We always seem to default to the most horrible things that can kill us: plane crash, shark attack, parachute won't open. So, stroke, heart attack and diabetes are just not all that frightening to us. It's like the frog metaphor. Throw a frog into boiling water and it jumps right out. Slowly warm the frog up to a boil in some cool water and he doesn't notice the change until it's too late. Dead frog. Most of the research I've seen recently from the Mayo clinic and pretty much all of the doctors I've interviewed leads me to the following conclusion: If we don't exercise (even a little) every single day, we're with the slow-boil-frog.
According to Dr. Michael Joyner at the Mayo Clinic, even people at a healthy weight who rarely exercise are risking their lives. He, and many respected doctors like him, believe that this is so serious that inactivity needs to now be treated as a medical condition - that doctors should prescribe counseling and behavior therapy to fight it, just like they do with smoking, and alcohol and drug addiction. In the past, a doctor might prescribe pills to treat the effects of that lifestyle, like blood pressure meds, or anti-depressants. But now, doctors believe we should treat the cause of those problems. So, if inactivity is a medical condition, doctors will prescribe exercise, and even physical “rehab centers," where patients have to learn to live a healthier life. Because studies show that 3 months of steady exercise can reverse a lot of the negative symptoms of a sedentary lifestyle.
If you listen to our radio show then you've heard hundreds of tips for finding the right way to stay active for your personal lifestyle. And that's the key. Find out what works for you. Many studies have shown that even going to the gym for an hour every day isn't going to cut it. That's because we must be ACTIVE ALL DAY to make a difference in our longevity.
Write these tips down and post them in your office, put them on your fridge or load them into your smartphone. They will seem simple and maybe even silly. Ignore the urge to dismiss them. I use them every day. And when I can do a gym workout I do that too.
1. Stop using the elevator. Use the stairs whenever possible. Why do you think the stair-master machine is in every gym?
2. Stand/walk during every cell phone conversation. Ask my wife, I walk in circles during every business call I take.
3. Turn your desk into a 'standing desk'. Google and Facebook employees all have that option because they've seen the research on calorie-burns in people who stand. (Do a web search for standing desks and present it to your boss). It also prevents back pain. I just wrapped some cinder blocks in brown paper and then put the blocks under the legs of my current desk.
4. Buy a pedometer or download the pedometer app into your smartphone. People who know their steps are being logged end up walking 30% more each day.
5. Email me your progress and I will read it on the radio show. There's no better way for me to inspire millions more people to get active than by using your story.