HYPNOSIS CAN HELP LOWER RISK FOR PREMATURE DEATH

If you want to have the best chance at a long, full healthy life, make positive lifestyle choices. That is the result of a study reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The study followed 4,886 adults for twenty years. Habits identified as unhealthy included smoking, alcohol consumption of three or more drinks per day for men and two or more for women, less than two hours of exercise per week and averaging less than three daily servings of vegetables and fruits. Hypnosis can help you make those changes.

The statistics are clear. During the twenty years, 1,080 of the participants in the study died. Those who scored poorly on all four standards and were identified as having the worst health habits compromised 29% of those who died. By contrast only eight percent of the 1,080 died from the category which had none of the four unhealthy standards.

The chances of dying earlier were greater in every category for people with the unhealthy habits. The risk was 10% greater because of poor diet, 18% from excessive alcohol consumption and 43% higher for both physical inactivity and smoking.

The researchers indicated that the study did not try to assess whether changing a poor lifestyle behavior would also change people’s risk for dying prematurely. They did conclude that the more unhealthy behaviors in which a person engages, the greater the risk for premature death.

If you are ready to lower your risk for premature death by changing poor lifestyle behavior, hypnosis can help you make the changes. Whether it’s quitting smoking, lowering alcohol consumption, exercising more or eating healthier, hypnosis can be a valuable tool to make those changes, lower your risk for premature death and BE WELL.

HOW HYPNOSIS CAN HELP REDUCE RISK FOR KIDNEY STONES

     Most of us have heard of the tremendous pain that kidney stones can cause.  Whether it is continuous, throbbing pain or extremely severe spasms, no one wants to deal with them if they can be prevented.  Hypnosis can help reduce the risk for developing them by helping you get moving.

     A study of 84,225 women led by researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle reported on a way to reduce risk for kidney stones.  The study was published in JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF NEPHROLOGY encouraging people to become more active.

     The researchers reported that active post-menopausal women were 16% to 31% less likely to develop kidney stones that sedentary women.  The women were followed for eight years and maximum effects were found in the most active subjects.  Best effects were found at the equivalent of four hours of light gardening, three hours a week of walking at a moderate-pace or one hour of moderate-paced jogging.

    So we have still another reason to get moving.  If you are having trouble starting or maintaining an exercise program, hypnosis can help.  Get a hypnosis session to get moving, protect yourself from the pain of kidney stones and BE WELL.    

EXERCISE MOTIVATION AND HYPNOSIS

     Have you been thinking about starting to exercise?  Is thinking as far as you have gone in actually getting started?  Hypnosis can be a great motivator to get you moving.

     If your are trying to lose weight, boost your mood, get into better shape physically or get your heart beating faster, nothing beats exercise.  A study done in the U.K. reviewed several years of health research and found that 30 minutes of exercise on most days decreases the risk of depression, heart disease, obesity, certain cancers and type 2 diabetes.

     Hypnosis can help you not only GET moving but KEEP moving.  So if you need help in either area, make a appointment with a hypnotherapist.  When you go to the appointment, be clear about your goals so they can be incorporated into your hypnosis session.

     It helps to plan in advance what type of exercise you plan to do.  You will not accept a hypnosis session that you would never do.  I always tell people, "There is no use giving you the suggestion that you will do an hour work out at the gym every day if you hate the gym."  Instead, think about what you could do that you actually enjoy.  Think about what you did as a kid.  If you liked to run and play, take a walk.  Or ride a bicycle.  Buy some roller bladesl. Fly a kite. You are much more apt to do something you enjoy.

    Make your goals as specific as possible.  Rather than thinking, "I need to exercise", think "I will walk four mornings a week from 9:00 till 9:30."  Think about where you are going to do the exercise, if you enjoy nature your goal may be to walk in the park or on a nature trail.  If you don't like to get too cold or too hot, grab a mile at the mall.  Most mornings the mall is still relatively empty.  Set goals for distance.  If you walk at a brisk pace for 15 minutes, you should have walked about one mile.  A pedometer is a great way to keep track of your distance.  Health experts recommend 10,000 steps a day.  Keep track of your progress.  Draw a happy face on the calendar when you return.  The reason children like gold stars is that they are motivating!

    Whether your exercise goals include home equipment, going to the gym, videos or taking that walk, have them clear in your mind, so the hypnotherapist can make sure they are part of your hypnosis session.

    Get going, get moving.  Hypnosis helps!!

EXERCISE MOTIVATION AND HYPNOSIS

    Are you trying to lose weight, get into better physical shape, boost your mood or get your heart beating faster?  Nothing beats exercise.  If "thinking about starting" to exercise, is as far as you have gotten in actually getting started, hypnosis can be a great motivator to get you going.

    If you have read this blog for a while, you have seen reports on some of the research about the value of exercise.  A study done in the U.K. reviewed several years of health research and found that just 30 minutes of exercise on most days decreases the risk of depression, heart disease, obesity, certain cancers and Type 2 diabetes.

     It helps to plan in advance what type of exercise you plan to do.  And, be specific so your goals are measurable.  For example in planning a walk or run:

       1.  WHEN will you exercise? A specific time helps. Rather than thinking, "I need to exercise.",  think, "I will walk four mornings a week from 9:00 till 9:30".  

       2.  Be specific about WHERE you will exercise.  If you enjoy nature, your goal may be to walk in the park or nature trail. If you don't like to get too cold, or too hot, grab a mile at the mall.  Most mornings, the mall is still relatively empty.

       3.  Set GOALS for distance.  If you walk at a brisk pace for 15 minutes you should have walked about one mile.  A pedometer is a great way to keep track of your distance.  One mile is about 2,000 steps.  Health experts recommend 10,000 steps a day.

       4. TRACK your progress.  Write down your accomplishments in a log.  Draw a happy face on the calendar when you finish your work out.  The reason children like gold starts is that they are motivating!

   Your exercise goals may include home equipment, videos, a class or going to the gym.  When you go to a hypnotherapist for exercise motivation know WHAT you want to do for exercise, WHEN you want to do it, WHERE you plan to do it, For HOW long you plan to do and WHY you want to exercise.  Clear goals can be incorporated into your hypnosis session to make it strong and personalized for you.

     If you've decided, ""It's time!", hypnosis can be a valuable tool for you to to be motivated to exercise and BE WELL.  

 

REDUCE HOT FLASHES WITH HYPNOSIS

    I often tell my clients "Hypnosis is not magic.  I can't help you fly by flapping your arms, no matter how much hypnosis we do."  So then, how can hypnosis help reduce hot flashes?

     Researchers at Liverpool John Moores University published an article in THE JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY on reducing hot flashes.  They found that women who worked out reported 60 per cent fewer hot flashes than women who did not exercise.  And even those who still had some hot flashes found them less intense, were better able to regulate their body heat and perspired less.

     If you are not exercising regularly and are experiencing hot flashes that are making your life miserable, it is time to get moving.  Hypnotherapy can be a valuable to help you get motivated to exercise, reduce those hot flashes, feel better and BE WELL. 

HYPNOSIS FOR MORE YOUTHFUL SKIN

    No, there are no magic words that will give you a more youthful skin.  But hypnosis can help you get motivated to exercise.  And a study presented at the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine by researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, indicated that people over age 40 who exercised regularly improved their skin condition significantly.

     By the age of 40, people's skin has started to change.  The stratum corneum or top layer of skin has started to thicken.  This makes the skin look dry and flaky.  At the same time, the dermis, or second layer of skin, begins to thin and be less elastic.  

     The study found that those who were over 40 and exercised regularly had a healthier, thinner top layer of skin and a thicker dermis layer.  In addition, in just three months those over the age of 65 exercising regularly had less sagging, crow's feet and fewer wrinkles.

   Having youthful skin helps you look your best.  Exercise helps you be healthier and feel your best.  If you need motivation to get moving, look your best and be well, hypnotherapy can be a great tool.

GET MOTIVATED TO HIGH-INTENSITY EXERCISE

     Do you often feel that you just don't have time for a thirty or even ten minute block of time for exercise?  If you are trying to lose or maintain weight, you may feel that it's of no use to try since you simply don't have time.  A recent study of more than 4,500 adults reported by Jessie X. Fan, PhD, professor of family and consumer studies at The University of Utah in Salt Lake City found that lack of larger blocks of time for exercise did not mean it was hopeless to try to lose or maintain weight.

    The researchers in the study found that intense, short bouts of moderate to more vigorous exercise was sufficient to help people lose or maintain weight.  Brisk walking every day or stair climbing were considered in the moderate to vigorous exercise category, 

     So no more excuses.  If you are short on time, set a goal of brief periods of as little as one minute at a time of vigorous exercise. If you sit at a desk all day, getting up once and hour to take a quick walk around the block or climb the stairs outside your office may be all you need to lose or maintain weight one minute at a time.  If you need some motivation to start doing brief periods of high-intensity exercise, hypnotherapy can help.  

WHAT TO DO AFTER A STROKE OR HEART ATTACK

      A report published in BMJ on an analysis of 305 studies by Huseyin Naci, a fellow at Harvard Medical School, Boston and a doctoral candidate in pharmaceutical policy and economics at London School of Economics, reported that exercise may work better than medication after a stroke or heart attack to prevent early death.  Naci reported moderate-intensity aerobic activity like brisk walking for at least two-and-half hours per week worked as well as medication for heart attack patients.  It was more effective than drugs for stroke patients who were able to exercise.  

    Obviously, medical doctors need to discuss lifestyle changes as well as the use of medications with patients who have had either a heart attack or stroke. In many cases, a combination of drugs and exercise may be the best in preventing early death for those patients.

    If you have been approved and encouraged to start moderate-intensity aerobic exercise by your medical doctor following a stroke or heart attack, hypnosis can be a valuable tool to get moving. Use motivation to get moving and BE WELL.

CUT THE RISK OF BREAST CANCER

     Lauren McCullough, PhD epidemiologist at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, reported on a study some 3,000 women who exercised moderately for ten hours a week.  The women were both pre-menopausal and postmenopausal. The exercise included gardening and walking both considered in the moderate exercise category.  The conclusion of the study was that the moderate exercisers had a thirty percent lower risk for developing breast cancer than women who were sedentary.  Researchers believe that the risk lowers for those who exercise because in addition to causing the body to reduce body fat, exercise enhances cell repair and may increase antioxidants.

     If you need another reason to start exercising, cutting the risk of breast cancer could be a good one.  If you've been thinking you "should" start exercising but haven't, remember this study was done with women who exercise moderately.  If you need to get started and need some motivation, hypnotherapy can be of valuable tool to get moving, cut the risk of breast cancer and BE WELL.

LUNG HEALTH MEANS BETTER BRAIN HEALTH

Still another reason to keep your lungs healthy.  Charles Emery, PhD, and professor of psychology at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, reported on research tracking health data of 832 adults for nearly two decades.  The adults were in a an age range of 50 to 85.  The researchers found that reduced pulmonary (lung) function led to mental decline in not only people suffering from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) but even in healthy adults.  It is believed the reason for the cognitive decline was because when lungs function poorly, it reduces oxygen in the blood which could slow down signals between brain cells.

    To have the best chance for better brain health, it is important to keep your lungs healthy. Make healthy choices like eating a healthful diet, exercising regularly and avoiding pollution to your lungs by stopping smoking and avoiding secondhand smoke.  You can support those healthy choices with the use of hypnosis.  Breathe better, think better and BE WELL.  

LUNG HEALTH MEANS BETTER BRAIN HEALTH

 Still another reason to not smoke, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and avoid environmental pollutants such as secondhand smoke.  Charles Emery, PhD, professor of psychology at The Ohio State University in Columbus Ohio,  reported on research on lung function and its influence on brain health.  The researchers followed health date on 832 people between the ages of 50 and 85 for almost twenty years.  They found that reduced lung function  due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) but also in otherwise healthy adults led to cognitive deterioration.  

   The researchers theorized that reduced oxygen in the blood due to poor lung function could slow down signals between cells in the brain.  If you need to get motivated to quit smoking, exercise regularly, avoid secondhand pollutants or exercise regularly, hypnosis can be a valuable tool to increase your chances for better brain health.

STRESSORS INCREASING STROKES AND HEART ATTACKS

    Barry A. Franklin, PhD, director of preventive cardiology and cardiac rehabilitation at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, has identified five emotional and physical stressors that can temporarily increase the risk of a cardiovascular event such as strokes and heart attacks.  While the risks are highest in people with heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, physical and emotional stress can also affect healthy people.

     Physical stresses which can trigger strokes and heart attacks include overexertion such as shoveling snow and strenuous winter sports such as cross-country skiing. A combination of a diseased heart, cold temperatures and unaccustomed physical activity can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke by 50 to 100 times over those who don't exert themselves.  For people who don't normally exercise, shoveling snow or skiing can cause increases in blood pressure and heart rate at the same time that breathing cold air is constricting the arteries. In addition, people skiing tend to be at higher altitudes with a lower pressure of oxygen in the air making increased demands in the heart.

    Another physical stressor which can trigger a cardiovascular event is having sex. This is particularly true in extra-marital sex which can cause a greater level of arousal than normal  and cause the heart rate to increase by as much as 30 beats per minute which can put extra demand on the heart.  One report indicated that around 80% of heart attack deaths which took place during or after sex took place in hotel rooms where the sex partner was not their spouse. Researchers do not believe sex is risky for people who are physically active and having sex with a regular partner or spouse.

   Emotional stressors can be just as dangerous in increasing the risk for a heart attack or stroke.  Bad news like learning of the death of a loved one or getting bad health news immediately elevates your risk for a heart attack.  THE NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE reported that the risk of having a heart attack is highest on the day bad news is received.  The risk continues to remain high for at least a month afterwards.

    Another emotional trigger which could activate a cardiovascular event is watching sports.  This is important for those who are really invested and passionate about their team.  When true fans get really excited, the heart rate can increase by as much as 100 beats per minute which could rigger arrthythmias or clots.

    Extreme anger can also raise your risk for a heart attack.  Just being aggravated does not raise your risk but extreme anger can trigger an increase in blood clots, heartbeat irregularities and constriction of arteries.

    There are things you can do for each of these risks. If you are normally quiet sedentary, don't shovel snow.  Buy a snow blower or hire someone to shovel your snow.  If you are a sedentary, amateur skiier, start increasing your activity level well before your ski trip.  And dress for the cold weather including a scarf to cover your nose and mouth. exercise regularly for safer sex and choose a regular partner or spouse.  Become less invested in sporting events and take any heart medication prescriptions regularly. If you have received bad news, spend time with loved ones and other people who care. Consider therapy for extreme anger and get medical advice from your doctor. All of these risks are greatest in people who don't exercise, are overweight and who smoke.

    Dr, Franklin is coauthor with Joseph C. Piscatella, of PREVENT, HALT AND REVERSE HEART DISEASE.  Learn more about how you can lower your risk for heart attacks and strokes. Remember hypnotherapy can be a valuable tool to make positive changes to decrease your risk of stroke and heart attack.

 

HYPNOSIS FOR AGE-RELATED LOSS OF STRENGTH

      Most people are familiar with the term "osteoporosis" which describes the gradual age-related loss of bone.  Less familiar to most of us, is the term "sarcopenia" which is the age-related loss of strength, function and bone mass.  Symptoms of sarcopenia include, becoming weak, walking slowly, and falling more easily.  In addition, sufferers of sarcopenia are less likely to recover from illnesses and more likely to die,

   Michael J. Grossman, MD, a specialist in antiaging and regenerative medicine in Irvine, California, writes that this disease "generally starts at age 40.  By the time you're 50, you're losing 1% to 2% of your muscle mass every year."  Besides the symptoms of sarcopenia listed above, those  having this age-related muscle loss have more fat which can produce inflammation causing such chronic diseases as cancer and heart disease. Having less muscle, means a person burns less blood sugar (glucose) so you are at greater risk for developing or controlling diabetes.

    Dr. Grossman recommends a protein rich diet which includes a four ounce serving of chicken, turkey, fish or lean beef.  In addition, he recommends supplements including a daily vitamin D supplement in the 3,000 to 5,000 IU (international units) level,, 1,000 mg (milligrams) of omega- fatty acids with 400 mg of EPA and 300 mg of DHA taken twice daily and if you are exercising, three grams of the amino acid Creatine.  He recommends finding a doctor trained in antiaging medicine and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy to test hormone levels.

    To stop or reverse muscle loss, you should be doing both aerobic and resistance exercise.  Besides walking for lower-body strength, upper body strength can be increased with exercises such as ballroom dancing or playing tennis.  Lifting weights or resistance bands can also be used to strengthen the different muscle groups.

     If you are concerned about losing muscle mass or strength and functioning of your muscles, you may need to get motivated to add these recommendations into your lifestyle.  Hypnotherapy can be a valuable too to strengthen your muscles and BE WELL.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT BELLY FAT

     Did you know belly fat is dangerous even when you have kept your overall body weight under control?  A study of more than 350,000 people published in THE NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE reported that a large waist can nearly double your risk of premature death.  Excess belly fat results in what we call an "apple" body shape.  Also known as visceral fat, it is stored in the abdominal cavity.  This is dangerous because it can wrap around or even invade internal organs including the heart.

   There are two types of belly fat.  There is soft belly fat and then the hard belly that is often called "having a beer belly."  The hard beer belly is the more dangerous of the two because people with hard belly fat have high levels of the inflammation marker C-reactive protein (CRP) which is a risk factor for heart disease.  Among other serious health conditions linked to belly fat are:  diabetes, migraines, cancer, dementia, and lung problems.

   So measure your waist just below the navel.  A good goal for women is 35 inches or less and 40 inches or less in men.  Unfortunately, there are no known ways for spot reducing just visceral fat.  Healthy overall weight loss includes:  1) eating healthy foods and watching portion size, eliminating junk and processed foods.  Void processed carbohydrates such as snacks, white bread, fruit juice and beer.  All these can cause a rapid spike in blood sugar that may increase belly fat. 2) Add aerobic exercise such as a 20 minute walk daily.  This will burn calories, reduce fat and increase metabolism. 3) Set your thermostat lower.  New research finds that sleeping in a cool temperature could increase your body's energy expenditure resulting in weight loss.  

    If you add these behaviors into your daily life, you should boost metabolism and lose weight including  the visceral belly fat that is so dangerous.  If you need motivation to eat well and add the aerobic exercise, hypnotherapy can be a valuable tool.  Use hypnosis, get rid of that belly fat and BE WELL.

FAST FOOD LINKED TO DEPRESSION

   If  you are a fast food junkie and suffer from depression, a 2012 study finds those two conditions  may be related.  The study of 8,964 people was done by researchers at the University of Las Palmas. Gran Canaria, and the University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain and was published in PUBLIC HEALTH NUTRITION.

    The study findings indicated that those eating the most fast food during a six-year period were 37% more likely to become depressed than those who ate the least fast food.  Those who ate large amounts of commercially baked goods such as doughnuts and muffins also were more likely to be depressed.  

     The largest consumers of the commercially baked goods and fast food tended to be younger, less active and single.  So the depression might be caused by lifestyle rather than the specific foods studied.

     Poor eating habits, lack of exercise, depression are all things that can be helped with hypnotherapy.  Change bad habits with the help of hypnosis and BE WELL.

EXERCISE IMPROVES LIFE EXPECTANCY

     If you are at a healthy weight with a BMI between 20 and 25, you  may feel like that healthy weight ensures you of a long life.  But a 2012 study published in the journal PLoS gives a warning signal to couch potatoes who so far have managed to stay at a healthy weight.The study found that 30 minutes a day of exercise could add extra years of life and as much as 4.2 years could be added for those willing to spend as much as an hour a day of exercise.  

     The study participants who were sedentary and over the age of 40 were almost twice as likely to die during the course of the study.  The authors noted, "This finding may convince currently inactive persons that a modest level of physical activity is 'worth it' for health benefits, even if it may not result in weight control."

     Even those people who are severely obese can benefit from exercise. A Mayo Clinic cardiologist, Francisco Lopez-Jiminez, who was not involved in the study said, "We have to set priorities with patients.  First and foremost is to get sedentary obese people to become as active as they can and not to use their weight as a measure of their success.  Sometimes we tend to focus too much on the weight issue and to little on the exercise part of it."

     The enormous scale of the study which culled data from six major study groups totaling more than 632,000 people adds reaffirms a sedentary lifestyle is more dangerous than obesity in negatively influencing health.  You may not be able to lose weight today, but you can start moving today.  If you need motivation, hypnosis can help you get moving, improve your life expectancy and BE WELL.

HYPNOSIS FOR WEIGHT MANAGEMENT

     Have you ever thought about hypnosis as a tool for weight management?  A University of Connecticut study conducted in 1997 found that hypnosis can play a significant role in managing weight.  The researchers reported that test subjects who used only weight-loss methods such as diet lost an average of six pounds during the testing period.  Those who also used hypnosis lost an average of fifteen pounds.  In addition, those who used hypnosis kept the pounds off for two years following the therapy.  

    I always tell my clients, hypnosis is not magic.  If you continue to do exactly the same things, you are going to get the same result.  But hypnosis can be a great tool to motivate behavioral changes to include exercise and eating and nutrition habits. The hypnotherapist's suggestions must be personalized to meet each individual client's needs.  Each hypnotherapist has there own way of establishing those needs.  I require an hour and a half clinical interview with the client to learn about personal and family behavior around eating and movement.  We discuss the client's motivation to make a change and create a plan of how they want to eat, drink and move that will allow goals to be met.

    The hypnosis session will include positive, beneficial suggestions based on the clinical interview and the client's plan.  If you want to get motivated to make changes in your weight or changes in your eating or exercise behaviors, hypnosis can be a valuable tool to BE WELL.

   

HYPNOSIS AND SOCIAL CONTAGION

   You may not have heard the term "social contagion" before.  But I expect you have observed its influence.  New scientific studies are identifying how our family and friends can influence the choices we make.  Some choices are quite obvious like choosing where we live or where we work.  But less obvious choices are also often the result of the impact of the people we are around .

     Choices like whether we stay married or divorce, whether we exercise and eat well or become obese, whether we have professional success or failure are often highly influenced by those around us. In fact, research indicates that behavior and emotions are extremely contagious.  This might help to explain why before the Great Recession millions of people bought houses they could not afford.

    Nicholas A, Christakis, MD, PhD, was named one of one hundred most influential people in the world by TIME magazine in 2009 for his work on social contagion.    With his colleague, political scientist, James Fowler, PhD, he researched the issue of overeating and obesity which has been identified at epidemic levels in the United States.  He found that nine states in the USA report that more than 30 percent of their residents are obese.  Christakis and Fowler used a study that had been done in Framingham, Massachusetts over thirty years.  This tracked the details of thousands of people and their connections and how they interacted.  The researchers found that the spread of obesity followed a pattern similar to the way the flu spread.  The Framingham study indicated that if you had a family member or friend who was obese, your risk of becoming obese was 45% higher.  Even if a friend of a friend was obese, it increased your risk of obesity by 25%.  So the health of your extended social network is a key factor in determining your health.

     The researchers went on to study other issues moving through human networks like suicide, sexual practices, back pain and suicide.  They found that there were "Three Degrees of Influence"  That choices and actions could be influenced clear out to friends' friends' friends. Issues like divorce are considered so personal but the ripple effect of social contagion found that if you have a friend divorcing, that increases the likelihood that you will divorce by around 147%.  

     Christakis and Fowler found that behaviors such as smoking and overeating, can be influenced by friends who live hundreds of miles away.  Obviously individual thinking, cultural upbringing and genetics all contribute to our behavior, but this research found that social contagion is also a power influence.  If you socialize with family and friends who are obese, it can change your idea of what is acceptable body size.  If you are around heavy smokers or drinkers, you may allow yourself those options as well.

    So what can you do with this information?  Do NOT abandon friends and family.  Know that the benefits of being connected are far more important than the costs.  The researchers found that the most consistently happy group of people were those who had lots of friends.  But  remember your actions and choices can influence others as well.  So ask what you can do for those in your group of family and friends.  When you quit smoking, start exercising or lose weight,  your influence will benefit not only you, but your friends and family as well.

      If you need help to make those changes, hypnosis can help you quit smoking, lose weight or get motivated to make some other positive change.  Use hypnosis and BE WELL.

 

THE RISKS OF SITTING

   If you are like me, you may spend many hours each day just sitting.  As a hypnotherapist, I  spend hours in session while sitting.  In the time I am not with clients, I am sitting at my desk checking email or posting on this blog.  I am not alone.  New statistics report that Americans spend more than half their waking hours sitting.  Besides working, watching TV and driving add more hours to our couch potato lifestyle.

    Often when people hear the term "couch potato", they think of someone sitting in front of a television set.  Australian researchers tracked 8,800 men and women whose average age was 53 for over six year.  They reported that the risk for death due to cardiovascular disease increased by 18% for every hour of daily TV viewing.  Those who watched TV four or more hours a day, had a risk of dying from cardiovascular disease that was 80% higher than those who reported watching less than two hours a day.

     Even those who are physically fit with a normal body weight have increased health risks due to sitting.  A Canadian study of around 17,000 adults found that sitting for long periods of time may cancel out some of the health benefits of a normal weight and regular exercise.

     There are a number of health problems with extended periods of time sitting,  There is increased heart risk because prolonged sitting periods can have negative effects on blood sugar and blood fat levels which could cause diabetes and heart disease.  Prolonged sitting can also affect the central nervous system which will slow down and can lead to fatigue.  Sitting often and for long periods of time causes poor fat burning.  Lipoprotein lipase, an enzyme that lines  the walls of your capillaries, breaks down fats in the bloodstream.  When we sit for a few hours, these enzymes, start shutting down and if you sit all day, their activity can drop by fifty percent.

     So what can we do to counteract the sitting habit at work?  Some people now stand at their desks or have added a treadmill for a "walking desk".  Perhaps you are not ready to go that far, but some small changes in habits can be productive .  Follow the "ten minute" rule and get up to stretch your legs for ten minutes every hour when you are on the computer.  You can stretch, make a phone call or any other task that you can do standing up.  Instead of emailing a co-worker, walk down the hall and have a real conversation.  Avoid the elevator and take the stairs,  park at the end of the parking lot instead of in front of the door   Remember, we burn five calories an hour while sitting and 15 while standing.  Change habits - when the phone rings, stand up for the conversation.  And rather than eating lunch at your desk, take a mid-day walk. In other words, find ways to cut back on all the hours you sit at work.

    The big traps to sitting at home are the television and the computer.  You may just want to cut back on those long television or computer binges. Or if you are not ready to give up your shows,  play a game with yourself, just stand up and walk around any time an ad comes on the TV.  There are twenty minutes of ads in every hour of programming. That is plenty of time to get up and move. Or keep exercise equipment such as a treadmill, elliptical trainer or stationary bike where you can exercise instead of sitting.  Instead of slouching on your favorite chair, use a stability  ball which engages muscles in your abdomen and back.  

    Action-oriented video games like the Wii can be good for entertainment without sitting.  If you've been on a computer all day, don't sit at it all night.  And by putting your computer on a shelf or stand that is elevated you can stand while using your electronics.  Better yet, take a stroll with your family around the neighborhood.

   If you need help motivating yourself to quit sitting and start moving, hypnotherapy can be a valuable tool.  Avoid those risks of sitting and BE WELL.