We sit down for breakfast (those who eat breakfast), then sit down in our cars to drive to work. We then spend up to 8 hours or more sitting in our office, including sitting to eat lunch. Then we get in our cars to sit and drive home. So what do we do if we’re one of the minority who get to the gym, following the advice to ‘move more’?
We sit down to exercise!!
You may be sitting in a spin class or on a rowing machine, or on one of the myriad seated stations at weight machines – some parts of your body are moving sure, but you are still sitting!
Why would you do this? It’s no wonder that most of us can’t even stand with reasonable posture or balance on one leg for more than a few seconds – we’ve forgotten how!
Whilst you may get a cardiovascular workout sitting on a bike or rower and you may work a small group of muscles in isolation at a seated weights station, both of these types of exercise are missing a whole chunk of the fitness puzzle.
If you take the feet out of the equation, you are immediately losing the functionality of your training, unless you are training for a wheelchair sport or something like that. If you have use of your feet, even if you can’t balance perfectly, then you should use them. Why sit down to exercise – I just don’t get it?
I think a lot of this is down to the ridiculously simplified model of fitness handed down to us by the authorities. This is the idea that it only matters that you move – not how you move – if you burn more calories than you consume by cycling on a bike then it’s just the same as doing a whole body workout on your feet.
This is utter nonsense of course – if you want to have functional strength and mobility or even cardiovascular fitness, you need to work the whole body, including your feet, your core stabilisers etc. etc. In doing so you will also burn a whole lot more energy in most cases than going to the gym for a sit down.
All the muscles and many more that you work in small groups, creating muscular imbalances, seated on machines, you can use in just a handful of whole body exercises standing, either on one foot or two. Far more time efficient, far more useful and functional and far more protective of injury too, unless you have a particular issue that demands that you must sit or unless you have a very good reason to isolate a particular muscle group, deliberately taking stability out of the equation.
Sitting was recently rated the fourth biggest killer by the World Health Organisation I understand. Gyms are supposed to be places where you reduce your risk of dying, not increase it! Now it’s time to sit down for dinner and then sit and watch some TV before we go to lie down again! And we wonder why we all have bad backs, stiff hips and ankles and non-functioning feet.
Maybe it’s time to start your own personal revolution against the chair? Literally, it is killing you slowly but inevitably.
For a non-seated way of doing things call David on 07504439555 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.