Saturday, June 2, 2012

On The Ball

I don't know about you but I spend an awful lot of time at my computer. I run an Internet based business via my eBoutique EVOLUTION VINTAGE & EVOLUTION REWIND, I am also a writer AND try to stay connected to all the family and friends I left 2700 hundred miles behind in Ontario Canada after relocating to California.

I know how sitting and a sedentary lifestyle to any degree can to do your overall health: mind and body.  I have decided to switch it up and get "on the ball" - Literally!  I have recently replaced my desk chair with an exercise ball. This is not a novel idea but it is behind my desk.  It is an inexpensive way to forced myself to improve my posture and work my abs and core muscles the entire time I'm behind my computer working. With my personal time constraints as a business owner and busy mom I am always finding ways to multi-task.

According to the author of the new book; "Drop Dead Healthy - One Man's Quest For Bodily Perfection", A.J. Jacobs, "Sitting the the new smoking". In a recent interview he said " I was surprised by all the research showing that sitting at your desk is terrible for your heart. It's kind of scary. Sitting is the new smoking. Any type of movement helps - even getting up once an hour from your desk to walk around for a couple of minutes. I took it further. I wrote this book while walking on a treadmill desk. It took me 1,200 miles."

I'm not ready to blog while spinning so replacing my desk chair with the ball is my first "step".

Here are 10 reasons/benefits to get on the ball (Courtesy of Dr. Francis DeFalco):

1. Forces proper spine alignment. Because an exercise ball is not stable, your body needs to try to balance itself on it. The perfect spinal posture is coincidentally the easiest to balance with. Thus, your body will automatically try to align itself into the proper posture. This helps improve your spinal health, and decrease back pains.
2. Causes you to frequently change positions. An exercise ball causes to you to change your position often to balance. For example, if you turn 45 degrees to face the phone, your body will assume a new position. This helps reduce damage caused by prolonged sitting in the same position.
3. Fitness is at your fingertips. Another great thing about using this alternative to a chair, is that you can do stretches or mini-workouts whenever you want, without getting up. If you’ve ever stuck waiting for a minute or two, you can make productive use of that time with a quick workout or stretch. Because it’s much more convenient, you will probably do it more, thus resulting in better health.
4. Improve your balance. This one is very understandable. Sitting on an unstable surface all day will improve your sense of balance, as well as the reactions of your muscles. The result? An overall better balance, that can be observed out of the office.
5. Get that 6-pack you’ve been wanting. Your body primarily uses your core (abdominal) muscles to help compensate for changes in balance. Thus, your essentially getting a low-key abdominal workout. This may not sound like a lot, but consider the amount of time you spend on your computer at the office, or at home. Those hours can build up, and result in a strengthening of ab muscles.
6. Improves your circulation. Using an exercise ball will keep the blood flowing to all parts of your body, throughout the day. A desk chair on the other hand, reduces circulation to some parts of the body after prolonged use.
7. You’ll feel more energetic. It has been proven that staying in one position, will make you more tired, while moving around and being active with give you more energy. With an exercise ball as a chair, you will feel much more energized after you finish your work.
8. Burn up to 350 calories per day. More movement during the day = more calories burnt. Burning 350 calories per day = losing one pound of fat every 10 days. You may not burn quite 350, but nonetheless, it will help you stay fit.
9. Really cheap. Specialized exercise balls designed for sitting usage can range from $15 to $80. Much cheaper than buying an ergonomic chair, which can range anywhere from $100 to $400 and up.
10. C’mon, its fun! Who doesn’t like the idea of bouncing around on an exercise ball all day. Exercise balls are an exciting alternative to chairs, and may just give that spark of fun to your day.

Are you going to get on the ball????

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