Saturday, 11 December 2010

Uh-oh! There may be trouble ahead...

I won't deny that I'm not very active. On days that I don't visit my mum, I spend many hours reclining on a sofa with a lap-top on a small table, surfing the internet. I make sloths look hyperactive!

I thought that this wasn't a problem as I also don't eat very much (as I'm so engrossed rummaging through the vast amount of information out there) and I'm maintaining a relatively stable weight.

Then I read Sedentary Physiology at Obesity Panacea which lead me to Sedentary Physiology Part 1 – Not Just The Lack of Physical Activity , full study HERE.

"Hamburg et al. (2007) examined the effect of 5 days of complete bed rest on metabolic health in 22 adult volunteers. Study participants remained in bed for over 23.5 h per day, rising only for matters of personal hygiene. At the completion of the study, despite no changes in body weight, they experienced significant increases in total cholesterol, plasma triglycerides, glucose, and insulin resistance. The changes in carbohydrate metabolism were particularly pronounced, with participants experiencing a 67% greater insulin response to a glucose load following the 5-day intervention."

The thing is, I've never liked sports & formal exercise. In infant school, exercise involved running around in the playground. That, I could do. In primary school, exercise involved running around in the playground, some PE and some outdoor sports (rounders & cricket, using a tennis ball). That, I could also do, although my short legs made me rubbish at running. In secondary school, in addition to PE, there were sports such as football, rugby, cricket, hockey, tennis, swimming & cross-country running. That, I utterly hated (tennis was just about bearable) and so to avoid doing them, I developed an art for forging sick notes in my mum's handwriting. This improved my normal handwriting, so some good came of it. So, what to do?

As toilet breaks force me off the sofa, I shall drink more to make me wee more often. I shall also use the upstairs toilet during the day and the downstairs toilet during the night. See also Eat Less, Move More: Solutions to problems.


praguestepchild said...

Actually I think there is a lot to the idea of 'passive' exercise. I live on the fifth (well, fifth American) floor of a building without an elevator. I carry all the family groceries up and refuse down the stairs. It's not uphill sprints, of course, but it is done several times on a daily basis. We've several people living well into their 80's in our building on the upper floors and I'm convinced that carrying stuff up the stairs was a contributing factor to their longevity. I don't think any of them pursued an active exercise regime.

Kateryna said...

I'm one of those starting to get older people who schlep bags of groceries and garbage up and down stairs, plus I still take public transport to work. From what I've noted, I get far more exercise than many people I work with who drive to work. I won't be joining a gym club anytime soon.

julianne said...

Nigel - I can relate! Give me a computer or a book (especially some juicy nutrition related one) and I'd choose a chair over a walk any day. 18 months ago I was asked to work with CrossFit Auckland clients and thought I'd better try out their exercise programme - it is not a good look to be working with gym clients and not be doing the same exercise. So I have my 2 appointments per week, and because they are appointments in my diary that is the only thing that gets me off my butt. First exercise too I've ever really loved - even though it is in a masochistic kind of way.

Anonymous said...

You want to get yourself a small dog Nigel.
Something like a poodle or preferably a small crossbreed.
I've got a lhasa apso cross chihuahua which loves to walk and socialise. She's a babe magnet. It's surprising how people, especially women will be friendly if you're walking a little attractive dog.
I average over 30 miles a week walking, the dog's needs forces me out at least twice a day.
Great for lifting your mood too.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

Hi everyone. I live in a house so there are no stairs to get in/out. Once I've got used to going up/down one flight of stairs for loo breaks, I shall increase it to up/down & down/up again. And so on.

I'm not a doggie person Bill!

CarbSane said...

Hey Nige! I too spend waaaaaay too much time sitting around reading about this vast WWW. But I do make a concerted effort to increase activity here and there. When I go bring the trash out, I take a lap around the yard. I use the upstairs bathroom and run up the stairs. Sometimes I just run up them and back down as I pass them on the way to the kitchen. I park far away from destinations outside the home, etc. It seems to be working!

Nigel Kinbrum said...

Somebody at mum's nursing home had a cunning idea. As I tend to get severe munchies after going for a walk, I shall go for a walk immediately after breakfast to see if that prevents it.

Anonymous said...

I once saw a post that showed a person's caloric burn chart (from those things people wear on their arms) and being mildly active a lot of the day makes a HUGE difference. Can be much more than an hour or so of "exercise". As for other effects not related to body fat, I can believe it, too. I just don't think we're meant to be sedentary. OTOH, I come from exercisers, and a sedentary day for me is a 5 mile each way bike ride to work. However, I was fat, and will be again if I don't maintain a certain lifestyle, plus it seems to help with depression.