Get Out of That Chair & Move!....But Get Fit, Not Hurt
People are not meant to sit all day. Do you notice that mid-afternoon energy slump when you need to grab another cup of coffee? Does your lower back or neck ache by the end of the day? This is because 86% of American workers sit at work for an average of 9-10 hours per day. We have 360 joints within the human body all designed to be standing upright and mobile and when we don’t move enough, we age ourselves prematurely.
So what is the solution? Try the boot camp that your co-worker goes to? Join a gym or maybe take up running? Today’s fitness industry can oftentimes be misleading. With popular tv series like the Biggest Loser and the influx of Crossfit gyms on every corner, people are led to believe that higher intensity exercise is the quickest way to get in shape. But when we consider our inactive lifestyles and stressors that come from a lack of movement, it’s no wonder the injury rate in the fitness industry is at an ALL TIME HIGH at nearly 75% for all new participants. When choosing an exercise program, people need to understand that working out is not risk free or “one-size-fits-all”. I’m going to share with you 3 facts of sitting too much, 3 strategies on starting the right program and 3 considerations when hiring a Personal Trainer.
Here are 3 common effects of sitting too much:
- Pain – prolonged sitting with poor posture creates full body imbalances of tight and weak muscles that contribute to neck issues, shoulder impingement, upper/lower back tension that can lead to disk injuries, and hip problems.
- Mental health decline – sitting reduces blood oxygen circulation for our “feel good” hormones and contributes to increased symptoms of depression, anxiety and waning levels of overall concentration.
- Disease – excess sitting may lead to greater risk of cancer. According to Dr.Mercola, findings presented at the 2015 Inaugural Active Working Summit found that sitting increases the risk of lung cancer by 54%, uterine cancer by 66% and colon cancer by 30%. The reasons are thought to be linked to weight gain and associated biochemical changes such as altered hormones, metabolic dysfunctions, leptin dysfunction and inflammation.
Making sure your program fits your needs is the first step to assuring the safety and effectiveness of your workouts:
- Consider your goals – if you’re not preparing for boot camps or competing in the next Crossfit games, then perhaps the high risks of injuries associated with starting these types of programs coming from a sedentary lifestyle are not worth taking. On the other hand, if your goals are to prevent injuries, gain or maintain a healthy and active lifestyle, while losing a few pounds and getting stronger, then a program with a higher focus on functional movement over calorie burn may be right for you.
- Consistency – find a facility close to home/work so you can easily make your fitness practice part of your daily routine. Make sure it’s a place you enjoy going to so you’ll be more motivated to attend regularly.
- Common Sense – Don’t start a program that is beyond your fitness level. Injuries are the #1 reason why people don’t reach their fitness goals. Consider getting an assessment from a Movement Specialist at your gym to identify any postural or muscular imbalances that have developed from lifestyle factors such as prolonged sitting that could lead you down a path towards injury.
Unsure of where to get help and what questions to ask? Consider hiring a Personal Trainer who can provide:
- A thorough Assessment protocol. At Tru Fitness, we offer a comprehensive Functional Movement & Gait Evaluation Package to help you identify postural and muscular imbalances that, if left unaddressed, could lead you into a cycle of repetitive injuries and chronic pain. Our exclusive and 1-of-a-kind program can be tailored specifically to help you with your individual needs.
- Does your Trainer have experience with corrective exercise modalities and functional movement training? This is the best way to ensure less injury risk with beginning a new program.
- Does your Trainer’s lifestyle philosophy line up to how you’d like yours to be? If you feel like your Trainer doesn’t understand your needs, it won’t be a good fit down the road. The most successful training relationships are built on trust, and mutual respect.
All our Trainers at Tru Fitness are Movement Specialists and can provide you with a thorough Assessment to help you get started on the path to a healthier, active and pain free lifestyle. It’s never too late! If any information that I’ve shared resonates with you, take that first step and contact us today.
Author: Tina Miller, MS, CSCS, CES
Owner Tru Fitness
Barefoot Training Specialist
Corrective Exercise Specialist
Balanced Athlete Coach