This Blog Could Save Your Life

If you are sitting down while you’re reading this, please stand up. Now sit down again. And up.

If you could do that about every 10 minutes all day, you would probably live a longer life. But I know I couldn’t. It would be incredibly boring.

I would much rather get my exercise playing some sort of game. Most people have enjoyed sports at some point in their lives, but too many think they are too old. They’re afraid of injury, which is the point of this blog. So lots of people to whom I’ve described it said right away that they could see the need.

On the other hand, a few wise asses have told me they already know how to avoid sports injuries — by not doing sports.

My question for them, is “What will you do instead?” If the answer is “walking” or “gardening” or “exercise with Gloria and her six daughters”

Photo by Kevin Dooley
Photo by Kevin Dooley

or some other sort of non-sport physical exercise, I say, “Fine. Don’t read my blog.” But for those who refuse any exercise, I’d like to point out a couple of recent studies.

One that came out May 8 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that inactivity causes more heart disease among Australian women over 30 than smoking, obesity or high blood pressure.

(On an individual basis, smoking is worse for you than being inactive, but more people are inactive than smoke.)

It’s one more reminder of what a huge problem our sedentary ways have become. Exercise reduces the risk of just about every other developed-world health problem: cancer, stroke, respiratory diseases, arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes — you name it.

But maybe you are the intellectual type, an artist for whom pleasure takes place purely in the non material world. In that case, consider this other recent study.

On Tuesday The New York Times reported that walking can improve your creativity:

If you are unable to think of a catchy, creative way to present sales data or begin a newspaper column, take a walk. A brief stroll, even around your office, can significantly increase creativity, according to a handy new study.

So what do you do to keep the juices flowing? If you’re not doing anything, then please stand up. OK, sit down again. Now up….

2 thoughts on “This Blog Could Save Your Life”

  1. Great post, Laird! I’m grateful that we live on three levels, because even on those days when I don’t officially “exercise,” I’m still making several trips/day up and down the stairs. (We tried to calculate how many calories are consumed climbing the stairs, and figured we’d gain 3-4 pounds/year without the stairs.) I hope we can keep it up for many more years, or we’ll have to call on Gloria and her six daughters.

    1. I feel that way about the 22 steps to our house. On one hand, some day I might not be able to climb them. (And already some of our friends and family can’t). On the other hand, climbing them probably increases the amount of time I’ll be able to climb them.

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