|Jennifer, Greg & Kevin at the Washington, DC|
5/10 K run during Genital Integrity Week 2011
- Lose the shoes, or at the very least the heels. This doesn’t just apply to women. Almost all men’s shoes also have heels built in. Big shoes can be detrimental to your health by impacting the way you move, hurting your joints, and discouraging you from physical activity. Try going barefoot more often and pick up a pair of nice minimalist shoes. You’ll be amazed by how much better and in touch with the world you feel with strong feet and less shoe between you and the ground.
- Don’t sit so much. Most people don’t realize how bad sitting all day is for your health. If you have a desk job, seriously consider switching to a standup desk configuration. If you want to watch a television program, try watching it while standing. You’ll burn more calories, keep a higher metabolism, and avoid problems in your hips, knees and back that can arise from staying seated for prolonged periods. Ditching uncomfortable shoes is a prerequisite for standing more. Forget about finding the perfect thousand dollar office chair, or buying one of those bouncy medicine balls to sit on all day, the only decent solution is to get off your butt.
- Avoid eating chemical-filled, processed foods. Just watch the film Food, Inc. There’s also a good book called The End Of Overeating In America by David Kessler, which talks about how food companies engineer processed foods for maximum addictiveness.
- Try dynamic stretching exercises instead of static stretching. Until a few years ago, I was big into static stretches, where you hold a stretch for 15-30 seconds. Then I started doing dynamic stretching exercises instead (think lunges, hip thrusts, high knee raises, etc.), and my flexibility went through the roof.
- Sleep! I’m still working on this one. For what it’s worth, I ditched my big coil spring mattress and now sleep on a Japanese futon. It’s much firmer and has helped me get a better night’s rest. There’s interesting research hypothesizing that excessive mattress cushioning and pillows keep the spine from moving naturally during sleep as you breathe in and out, preventing the spine from keeping itself lubricated overnight. Definitely worth checking out for anyone with a stiff back.
REBECCA: What do you do for fun?
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© 2011 Rebecca Wald / Beyond the Bris