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Scientists were wrong about exercise

Updated on July 19, 2012

Just the other day on NPR I found a very interesting article. It was an interview with New York Time's Phys Ed columnist Gretchen Reynolds. The full article can be found here. The basic gist of the article is that scientists were mistaken about exercise. Apparently getting up and exercising for just 30 minutes a day is not enough for our bodies. The problem is that in today's society we spend too much time just sitting and lazying around. Whether it is at home in front of the TV, at work at our desks in front of the computer or even just sitting in traffic, we spend too much time sitting down. In this article Reynolds suggests that instead of spending all day sitting in front of the computer at work, you should set a timer and every 20 minutes get up and walk around.

The reasoning for this is that the human body is not made to be a vegetable. Since the beginning of time man has been on the move. It is only recently that the human race has taken to sitting down. Because our bodies are not made to be sitting for long term there are lasting effects of inactivity. Mostly being that the blood stream stops breaking down fatty sugars in the blood, just standing for a few minutes she says can decrease the chances of getting diabetes, and can help to improve your brain. Makes you think why wouldn't you do something as simple as just standing up?

After reading this article I started to set a timer for myself. I would spend 20-30 minutes at my desk on the computer and then when the timer went off I would stand up and go find something else to do (standing activities of course). I washed dishes, folded laundry, cleaned the apartment... I was much more productive than I would be just vegging out in front of my computer screen for hours. The only problem is that now when I sit in class I get very antsy that I have to sit still for and hour and forty-five minutes at a time. I wonder what Reynolds would have to say about the wii, since it tries to get kids active instead of sitting on the couch playing traditional video games.

In the interview Reynolds also takes on the myth about drinking water during the day. Now I have always thought that having to drink 8 glasses a day sounded ridiculous. I have never succeeded in drinking that much water. What Reynolds says she has discovered is that if people drink when they are thirsty then you should not have a problem. My only concern with this is that signs of dehydration begin with thrist and end with lack of thirst. So the problem you see is even if I am not thirsty I could still be at risk of being dehydrated. I have been drinking but have found that the taste of water just sometimes doesn't suite my fancy. So I have discovered these syrups that have all kinds of vitamins in them because they are meant to get kids to drink more water and they are fantastic. I just put a little in a bottle fill it with water and I will drink nearly three times as much water as I would normally.

You just want to be careful with the water, in one of Jillian Micheals' podcasts she talks about drinking too much water. What most people do not know is that there are dangers in drinking too much water, when you drink too much water it causes a chemical imbalance in your body that can be detrimental to your health. Micheals' told an anecdote about a trainer friend of her's who OD'd on water (as crazy as it sounds) and passed out at the desk of a gym. So this is serious stuff!

Reynolds also touches on running and walking in the article, I have been trying to get myself into running for years now, but after hearing what she has to say on the topic I think that I will stick with my walking.

Now that summer is here I suggest we all grab a hat, shoes, bottled water and head out!


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