Move, Eat, Think
When I started my studies in chiropractic I was given a challenge to design a human frame that was well made for sitting. I challenge you to do the same.
On top of the physical difficulty of sitting well, is the fact that it makes us lethargic in the way it affects our metabolism. So when you finish 8 hours of sitting at a screen (incredible even to say out loud) what happens when you’re done….more sitting? Even an hour’s exercise here doesn’t beat spending the day up and about, from a health perspective.
If you are stuck at home in a set up not ideal for working (whatever that is-see above challenge), stuck trapped unable to work and/or living with the added stress of trying to manage life with all the restrictions and their effects, then listen up.
Your body needs to:
Move right, Eat right and Think right
It is essential to life. The feedback from our joints, especially the spinal joints and especially those right at the top of the spine give constant stimulation into our cerebellum (little brain). This is then involved, in direct conjunction with other areas of the brain, in controlling your motivation, anticipation, decision making, emotional and language development and functions of body regulation. The cerebellum feeds your prefrontal cortex- Phineas Gage anyone? (link below)
Imagine not moving. See yourself in front of the screen where your head juts forward and your upper neck sits restricted. Now you’ve read the above, imagine how you function with that. No actually don’t, just get up NOW and
air swim, jump a full circle, do jumping jacks, run on the spot so fast you can’t see your arms.
Spin a sun salutation.
And please, please, if you have kids in front of screens get them up first to do the dance. They are, after all, still developing their selves physically, emotionally and metabolically.
When I was a student I made a lifesaving find of an old architect’s desk in the charity shop. Tenner, win. With the desk tilted and me standing, this was sensational for all the hours and years studying to become a chiropractor. Nevertheless, even with a standing desk we have the tendency to lean in. This has its own strain on the lower back and pelvis. Try feet apart slightly, knees with a little give and let your whole body move you rather than pivot from one point. Go barefoot too.
The deal breaker for me in lasting a whole day was……… reckless dancing!! Chose your song. Play it loud and jump, roll, sing loud, swing your arms, stamp, whatever…..until the song ends. Be ridiculous and do it in company if you can! Then go back to the desk. I swear this will improve your mood, your body will seriously thank you for it, your diaphragmatic breathing will get a reset and you will last the day so much better.
How often can you do this? Every hour? My favourites were I recall
- Dionne Warwick Always Something There to Remind Me. 2 minutes 53 seconds. You’ve got that.
- Primal Scream Moving on up…
- Funk Soul Brother anyone?
- Brimful of Asha?
Don’t you judge me now on my music tastes…
Make a play list. At least once mid morning and mid afternoon you can do this. And before you start and after you end work. Do it while you boil the kettle.
Other than that, I can’t tell you how to sit much other than do it as little as possible. Beyond that the best I can say is knees lower than hips. So towel under the bum, wedge cushion or if your chair allows then tilt the seat forwards. Any way to get those knees low. This will encourage the best pelvic position which will feed up the spine to determine your head alignment.
2nd. Eat food
In our house we have a saying: You can eat it but it’s not food. That’s for all the stuff that’s processed, that’s not going to make an overall positive effect to the functioning of your body. Real food on the other hand provides nutrients for energy production, healing and repair and immune system basics. The other stuff will challenge your body and create inflammation and stress which, in addition to creating accelerated ageing, is not going to get us through life in a strong, healthy way.
Eat more veg and drink more water, nails it really
Yesterday we made ‘meat’balls. Equal mince and grated carrots, chopped onions, garlic, thyme and left over quinoa. Roll them in balls and stick in the oven. Minutes to prepare. Eat with steamed broccoli. Add rice if you want to eat more, but we were stuffed with that. Good food does not come with a hefty price tag (even shown to be cheaper!) and it does not have to take long to make. But we do need inspiration. Find a food blog or website to follow. I love Green Kitchen Stories, Anna Jones and the Hemsley sisters. Simplify recipes where you need. Make in bulk and tomorrow’s lunch is made for you.
It is incredible to learn that 60% of the food consumption in the USA is from ultra-processed commodity crop calories. It can be hard, especially if we’re trying to change old habits and favourites. But this statistic definitely makes me think when I write the shopping list.
I have to add here, although I’m trying not to keep repeating myself, vitamin D is necessary (not nice to have, but necessary) for our immune system processes and reduces cytokine storm. Vitamin C is necessary for immune system function and repair. Zinc is antiviral, preventing viral replication. If you get a cold or other virus you suck a zinc lozenge 5 times a day for up to 5 days to nail the thing before it replicates too far. Stock up. Take D and C daily and keep zinc in the cupboard for when you need. I’ll write another blog on this but you can’t go wrong on 4000IU/day vit D and 3g/day of vit C. If you want more info, shout me.
3rd. Think well
Whilst some forums provide us with information and necessary connection, they can also slip in many stories that put undue worry, concern and distraction. Try not to listen to the radio too much. At least not one with repetitive bad news. Let me know if you find a station that works….
What we really need to do is:
- point our eyes to green and blue things: trees, sea, grass, skies (here’s hoping for more blue)
- Hang out with our pets
- smell our food
- listen, really listen to each other or to the lyrics in songs, or to audiobooks.
- and sleep!! Get enough in. It’s essential. And it’s free. Follow Daniel White Health on Facebook for all the reasons for why.
I want to inspire you. The most sensible and arguably responsible thing to do right now is make sure you are in good health. The difficulty I sense is knowing what good health is. I hope these words help some.
For now, go and:
- Get a pillow for your chair or find a high table to stand at
- Set up your favourite song list ready for tomorrow
- Think of some meals to make. Check out https://greenkitchenstories.com, http://annajones.co.uk/recipes
- Look up Phineas Gage. It’s incredible! Copy this into your search bar: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phineas_Gage
Till next time….