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LifeStyle Newsletter - Get Up! Stand Up!

October 01, 2014

Sitting is bad for your health. Whether you’re sitting at a desk doing work, in a classroom listening to a lecture, or on a ship sailing the ocean, research suggests extended periods of sedentary behavior may increase the likelihood of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and cancer, as well as poor mental health. No one is sure why sitting is such a problem, but it is. According to The New York Times researchers have found:[1]

“…After an hour or more of sitting, the production of enzymes that burn fat in the body declines by as much as 90 percent. Extended sitting, they add, slows the body’s metabolism of glucose and lowers the levels of good (HDL) cholesterol in the blood. Those are risk factors toward developing heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.”

Adding insult to injury is the fact risk levels don’t change even if you hit the gym for a tough workout after sitting all day.[1] An Australian study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found people who sit for more than 11 hours a day have a much higher risk of dying within three years than more active people. The odds were better for people who exercised five or more hours a week, but exercise didn’t entirely offset the negative effects of sitting.[2]

You like to move it, move it…
According to The Economist, “A typical car-driving, television-watching cubicle slave would have to walk an extra 19 km (about 12 miles) a day to match the physical-activity levels of the few remaining people who still live as hunter-gatherers.”[3] Fortunately, research hasn’t indicated a hunter-gatherer level of activity is required to improve health outcomes. You don’t even have to join a gym, according to the experts. Just engage in moderate activity throughout the day. Here are some suggestions for becoming more active:

• Stand up. Standing requires muscle activity and supports processes related to the breakdown of fats and sugars within the body. In other words, it has a far different effect on the body than sitting. Standing desks are widely available as are options to convert a regular desk into a standing desk.[1]

• Break it up. Walk for two minutes every 20 minutes or so. Do a lap around your building or walk to a colleague’s office for a chat instead of sending an email.[3]

• Engage in desk-ercise. Look into exercise equipment for your desk. Depending on your preferences, you may opt for elliptical paddles, cycle pedals, or a skateboard platform. If you have more disposable income, you may want to invest in a treadmill desk.[1]

No matter how you do it – making trips to the grocery store on foot, gardening in the cool evening hours, walking with colleagues instead of sitting at a conference table, or being active in other ways – building leisurely activity into your day has the potential to greatly improve your health.
It’s Tailgating Time!
Whether it’s high school, college, or professional football, there is nothing like a good pre-game tailgate party. In Cincinnati, they like chili. In Green Bay, they have a taste for brats. In Buffalo, they’re fond of beef on weck (similar to a crusty Kaiser roll sprinkled with caraway seeds and coarse salt).[4] Southern Living magazine recommends mini muffulettas as a tailgating treat. You can make them the day before, store them individually in plastic bags in the fridge, and break them out for the big game.

Mini Muffulettas
2 (16-ounce) jars mixed pickled vegetables
3/4 cup pimiento-stuffed Spanish olives, chopped
2 tablespoons bottled olive oil-and-vinegar dressing
12 small dinner rolls, cut in half
6 Swiss cheese slices, cut in half
12 thin deli ham slices
12 Genoa salami slices
6 Provolone cheese slices, cut in half

Pulse the pickled vegetables in a food processor about 10 times or until finely chopped. Stir in olives and dressing. Spread one heaping tablespoonful of the pickled vegetable mixture over the bottom half of each roll. Top with one Swiss cheese half-slice, one ham slice, one salami slice, and one Provolone cheese half-slice. Top it off with the other half of the roll.[5]

What Do You Know About Football?

1. Which team won the first Super Bowl?
    a. Buffalo Bills
    b. Chicago Bears
    c. Green Bay Packers
    d. Kansas City Chiefs

2. What city did the Cardinals play in before they went to Arizona?
    a. Los Angeles
    b. St. Louis
    c. Orlando
    d. San Jose

3. The New England Patriots won back-to-back Super Bowl titles in 2004 and 2005. Which team was the last to win back-to-back titles before the Pats?
    a. Dallas Cowboys
    b. Denver Broncos
    c. Pittsburgh Steelers
    d. Washington Redskins

4. How many NFL teams are named after cats?
    a. Three
    b. Four
    c. Five
    d. Six

It’s Raining. It’s Pouring.
It’s not your imagination. Rainstorms are a lot more intense than they once were. The most intense daily downpours have been happening more often particularly in the Northeast, Midwest, and Southeast, according to During one memorable week last August, residents of Michigan and New York were deluged. About six weeks’ worth of rain fell in Detroit and 13 inches fell on Long Island over a 24-hour period.[7]

Why are so many parts of the country getting drenched? Experts say it has a lot to do with higher temperatures and faster rates of evaporation. For every one-degree increase in temperature, the atmosphere can hold seven percent more evaporated moisture.[8] In some parts of the United States, temperatures have been on the rise and are one to two degrees higher than they were just a few decades ago.[9]

In addition, cities are a lot bigger than they used to be and have a lot more pavement which can exacerbate the problem. Detroit actually experienced a similar downpour back in 1925. According to an ABC news report, “…But as bad as that prohibition-era deluge must have been, it fell on a city with a lot less paved area than we have now. The large amount of pavement in Detroit, or any large urban area, allows less rainfall to soak into the ground and creates more runoff during intense storms.”[10]

The silver lining behind the dark cloud of higher precipitation is a boom in firefly populations. Some experts say fireflies are an important biological indicator of environmental health. People who care about fireflies change some of their habits to help preserve them by reducing or discontinuing the use of pesticides in their backyards and turning off outside lights which might interfere with firefly communication. Children love fireflies because of their gentle nature. So, go outside tonight and share fireflies with your little loved ones.[11]

Quiz Answers:
1. C – Green Bay Packers
2. B – St. Louis
3. B – Broncos, 1998 and 1999
4. B – Carolina Panthers, Detroit Lions, Cincinnati Bengals, and Jacksonville Jaguars

[8] (Slide 12)
[9] (Scroll down to Slide 3)
The above material was prepared by Peak Advisor Alliance.