“Sitting is the new smoking…” Dr. Christine Northrup
I caught the tail end (no pun intended) of Dr. Northrup’s PBS talk on aging the other day. She told the audience that decline and deterioration doesn’t have to accompany aging.
Middle age spread, in your stomach and your derrière is not de rigueur. Worse, those two things age us and are detrimental to our health.
Most of us sit too long. Okay, I sit way too long. So when I heard “Sitting is the new smoking,” I paid attention. It was time for some self-care.
I also looked at my backside in the mirror, for more than a second. Yikes, winter and writing equals more than Kim K has behind her (pun intended).
Writers, in particular, type away for hours, research, scan social media, check out blogs, all while sitting.
We embrace the BICHOK
Butts In Chair Hands On Keys
Well, not anymore. Here are five ways to prevent writer’s butt:
1. Every 55 minutes stand and stretch for five.
Stretch your arms over your head, to the right, to the left. Here’s the standing side stretch and one for the back. Do a chair squat or arm circles.
2. Dr. Northrup’s 20 second move.
I really like this one, but recommend that you stretch your legs and arms for a couple of minutes first or you could pull a muscle. Run in place, fast, for 20 seconds while moving your arms. Think of that old Charleston dance. If you’re really serious, do this for one minute.
3. Use a standing desk.
You don’t have to go out and buy a $500 IKEA desk or a standing treadmill. This guy has a DIY version for less than $22.
Push away from the desk and go for a walk. It doesn’t matter if it’s down the hall, around your office, to the kitchen, to your backyard, up and down the stairs. Just do it for three to five minutes.
5-Two minute yoga stretch.
If you’re a beginner, take this slow and build up.
And now for the bonus tip:
From Ploughshares Journal:
Hook up your laptop to a pedaling system. If you stop pedaling, you lose the document. If you hit your optimal heart rate, you win thirty seconds of Facebook time. Reaching your calorie goal will unlock spell-check.
These tips can take you through five hours of writing and sitting. If you’re doing any more than that amount in a day, I suggest you perform all of the exercises in Ploughshare’s Calisthenics for Writers.
Feel free to share any of your tips.