Skip to main content

Guest Post: Dr. Joan Vernikos on the Importance of Everday Movement

Today, I'm featuring a guest post by Dr. Joan Vernikos, author of Sitting Kills, Moving Heals. I reviewed her book yesterday (read my review). Now, she shares a some thoughts on the importance of movement in everyday life.

Are you worried about your health or that of someone dear to you? Look no further. Helpful solutions are at hand.

The deteriorating health epidemic in the US has been attributed to too much sitting. Modern technologies and the conveniences they have afforded have accelerated this trend by encouraging, sometimes requiring us to sit for long hours at a stretch. We sit in our cars or commuting, at our desk or meetings and in front of the TV or computer when we get back home. These long hours of sitting are now shown to increase the risk of breast and colon cancer.  They have been shown to lead to a broad variety of other health disorders as well. Regular traditional exercise alone has not reversed, nor prevented this downward trend in health in people who, like most Americans, sit all day long. So what is the solution?

Through my years of research as a life scientist at NASA I found that what happens to astronauts in space is the same as what happens to you and me as we sit for hours on end. Muscles and bones and other organs of those in space, age 10 times faster than they would normally on earth. The common link is gravity, or the lack of it. In space there is almost none, and when we sit for hours we no longer use it. In a world surrounded by bad news about our waistlines and well-being, I also discovered some really great news. The lesson I learned from my space research is that we need to use gravity in simple every day movement to interrupt our habit of continuous sitting. And though astronauts exercise strenuously in space, it doesn’t prevent the accelerated decline in health caused by living without gravity.

The good news is that anyone, at any age, can reverse the effects of sitting. It isn’t about exercising longer or more strenuously, nor about standing for long hours; but about interrupting sitting with a different kind of exertion — with low-intensity, gravity-effective, simple, natural, habitual movements made throughout the day in the course of active living. These are simple habits like standing up often, stand up during TV commercials or to get some water or make a call, walk, stretch, take the stairs instead of the elevator, roll out dough, dance, garden and reap the rewards, even fidget, pace or hang clothes out to dry if they’ll let you. It is about moving all day the way our grandparents moved when they did not have today’s conveniences. Though this may not sound ground-breaking, what was a revelation to me was that with only such small actions each day, all day, that make the most of the gravity that surrounds us, we can realize significantly better health, longer life and more easily maintain a healthy weight.

Gravity, has the bad reputation of the enemy that drags us down, so a book in praise of gravity is counter-intuitive at best. And yet that’s what Sitting Kills, Moving Heals is about. Use gravity and it will keep you young and healthy. I wrote this book to share these practical, natural solutions with you all.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Getting back to blogging

It seems that blogging has dropped to the bottom of my list for the past year, and was pretty low for the year or two prior to that. I love to read, and am continuing to do so, but as my regular readers know I haven't been around much. My last blog post was almost a year ago!!

There are many things that have taken me away from blogging. Work has been much more challenging and interesting these past few years, but that means I really don't want to get back on the computer when I get home at night - or on the weekends.

Family life has been more busy with kids having multiple activities in the evenings, leaving little time to just hang out and write about the books that I read.

I will admit to a bit of a Facebook addiction, which means way too much time spent scrolling through my newsfeed instead of doing something more productive. This is one of the things I'm working on and hoping that this will free up some time for getting back to the blog.

Overall, life is good. Work is …

Book Review: The Bookman's Tale by Charlie Lovett

Peter Byerly is distraught over the loss of his wife nine months ago. He has retreated to their cottage in the English countryside, hoping to return to his love of collecting and restoring rare books. But when he opens a book about Shakespeare forgeries and finds a Victorian watercolor of a woman who looks just like his wife, Peter is soon on a search for the origin of the painting and the truth about Shakespeare's real identity.

The Bookman's Tale: A Novel of Obsession by Charlie Lovett is a wonderful journey for anyone who loves books. It follows Peter's search in 1995, which turns into a bit of a thriller at times. But Lovett also takes the reader back in time a bit so we can learn the story of his relationship with his wife and how he came to be a bookseller. He does a beautiful job of expressing Peter's feelings about the rare books he encounters, and his feelings are contagious.

And then he takes us back even further to the history of one particular volume, whos…

Banned Books Week: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park

This is the end of Banned Books Week and unfortunately, I haven't had a lot of time to write about banned books this year. But I did want to include at least one post about it, so today I wanted to share one of the book series that it seems most people are surprised to find on the list: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park.

According to Wikipedia:
The Junie B. Jones series came in at #71 on the American Library Association's list of the Top 100 Banned or Challenged Books from 2000-2009. Reasons cited are poor social values taught by the books and Junie B. Jones not being considered a good role model due to her mouthiness and bad spelling/grammar. This is an interesting example of a banned book. Many times there are serious, controversial topics featured in books that are challenged. Things like homosexuality, drugs, vulgar language, etc. You can actually understand why people may not want their children to read those books, and why they may challenge their inclusion in school libra…