The Mint Blog

Sitting is the New Smoking

Ok, before you start reading this, I want you to first do 5-20 chair stand-up/sit-downs. Seriously! Do it!
Now, I hope you really did it! If you did, don’t you feel a little invigorated now?? How many of you have a desk job and don’t move that much during the day?

How many of you have heard –SITTING IS THE NEW SMOKING–??

This concept is not only referring to sitting on your couch in the evenings or on the weekends. This includes sitting at work too. I’d have to say sitting=smoking seems a bit extreme, but still there must be something to consider with this in relation to our health.

This topic is getting a lot of attention lately, because some of the research is showing that this can have deleterious effects on our health, and this idea isn’t just showing up in our Functional Medicine niche.
Are headlines like this one from CNN exaggerating when saying- sitting can kill you, even if you exercise?? Research shows that adults over the age of 45 sit between 10-12.3 hours out of the 16 hours that you are awake. (Hold on, reading this just inspired me to do a couple of desk push ups….I’ll be right back!). Research is now linking long hours of sitting to problems like high blood pressure, high blood sugar, depression, being over-fat, having cardiovascular problems, cancer, and shortened life expectancy (ie- all-cause mortality goes up), but can this seriously be correlated to sitting?? (I’m still not convinced, but nevertheless, I just felt the urge to do a few static lunges!!).

I have to admit, this just seems unfair to even go there… surely smoking is worse, but the analogy is due to some researchers considering the effects cannot be counter balanced by having other “healthy” areas in your life, ie- exercising for 30 minutes either before or after work does not un-do the fact that you sat for 10+ hours that day. Some researchers however are saying this new catchy phrase, “sitting is the new smoking”, is just not true, and I’d have to hope they are right, but either-way, we need to move more if we are sitting at a desk all day, because we all know that being sedentary is bad for us even if it’s not comparable to smoking.
Dr. Mercola, a very well-known functional medicine doctor is a very big advocate on not sitting. In fact, he tries not to sit more than 1 hour a day!! (Wow! I’ll do 10 deep, diaphragmatic breathes now just in case all of this info is making my cortisol levels rise.) There are now about 10,000 research articles on this topic of sitting less due to negative health effects. I know I personally feel better and my mind works better when I’m more active and do stretching, strengthening, and cardio exercises routinely. I also know I feel worse when on a vacation where we are less active and do less outdoor activities. So while sitting may not be exactly comparable to smoking, we know that movement is very important and necessary for overall health.
Like most things that have to do with having healthier routines in your life, whether referring to relationships, your body, or your mind, it takes a little work on your end and effort to make these changes and replace the old habits that are not benefiting you and may even be harming you.

Office Exercises for Increased Movement

Here is a schedule of some Mindful Movements from the Institute of Functional Medicine. These exercises are not time consuming or strenuous and most people should be able to fit it into there day without much trouble. This schedule will provide you with various types of movement throughout the work week, and can be customized for your desired level of activity. (Note that some of the exercises listed below require an exercise or resistance band.)
I encourage you to make an effort to move more if you have many hours in the day that you are sedentary. This will not only benefit your health but your quality of life.
As you can see, there are lots of little things that we can do that add up to helping us maintain or restore our health.
For those of you that haven’t already started working with us in the Functional Medicine part of Mint Health , I think it is the perfect time to plan on getting more in touch with your body, so you can be better equipped to start 2018 off right! Are you ready to look at some of the behind-the-scenes issues that are keeping you from functioning at your best, and may even lead to a serious health situation in the future??
We know that the primary driver of chronic disease is the interaction of genetics, lifestyle, and environment. This is why Dr. Buchert and I are so focused on helping spread the word to you all and on helping you take action in ways that are truly healing and often lead to disease reversal and true disease prevention.
If you are seeing us on the Ob/Gyn days (Tuesday/Thursday), and you want to take a deeper dive than we are able to do with conventional medical workups and recommendations, please click on the ” get started ” tab below to begin your life-changing journey into Functional Medicine (these appointments are on Mondays and Wednesdays and are longer, more in depth, and offer more thorough “lab” evaluations to help us figure out YOU!).
If you have a minute, take a look at what some of our patients have to say  HERE !
And if you have missed some of our previous write-ups, you can access these  HERE !
We hope you have a wonderful day and that this gives you more ideas to add to your New Year’s resolution planning!
Renee NP and the  Mint Health  Team
p.s. Next week Dr. B, Brittany, and I will be sharing some of our favorite holiday recipes, so you can start planning a Christmas meal feast that will not leave you and your family “blah” and “bloaty” for days!!

Turkey Poppers (the whole family will love these!)

2 lbs of organic ground turkey
3 tbsp hemp heart seeds
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp turmeric
2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
2 flax/chia eggs
1 tbsp dill (dried)
3 tbsp parsley (dried)
1 tbsp onion powder
1-1.5 tsp salt
Mix all ingredients together thoroughly and shape into melon size balls.
You can also add carrots or sweet potato- grated
Flax/Chia eggs- 1 tbsp freshly ground flax and/or chia plus 3 tbsp filtered water = 1 “egg”; soak until gelatinous
Bake on 375 for 30 minutes or until cooked throughout.
Dr. BuchertSitting is the New Smoking

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