Wednesday, August 26, 2015

10 reasons to un-sit your life

#1 Re-set metabolism
Un-sitting re-sets our basic metabolisms with blood pressure, glucose, triglycerides, “good” cholesterol, and waistline size responding positively to moving about.

#2 Lessen risk for stroke, heart attack, breast/colon/lung cancers, diabetes, obesity
Un-sitting creates lessened risk for these sedentary “lifestyle” conditions and creates better biomarkers (measurements) for metabolism, indicators of risk for these conditions.

#3 Helps control weight
Un-sitting means re-set are mechanisms important to controlling weight: metabolism, appetite control, and leptin resistance. More calories are expended as well.

#4 Fight big butt/big belly 
Un-sitting re-sets muscles that shape butt and belly, under-used and mis-used as we sit too much.

#5 Lessen neck/back pain
Un-sitting re-sets muscles that work to hold our skeletons in place, muscles that work in unintended ways with too much sitting, creating discomfort and pain.

#6 Sharpens the body and mind
Un-sitting improves mental and physical performance as well as lessening risk for injury and increasing creativity.

#7 Decreases risk for cognitive decline, dementia, Alzheimer’s
Un-sitting increases blood flow to the brain as well as provides physical activity and improves other indicators for cognitive decline, dementia and Alzheimer’s: glucose levels, high blood pressure, obesity and depression.

#8 Improves balance and mobility
Un-sitting improves balance and gait abilities, making less likely falls and mobility problems both for the elderly and all of us as we grow older. 

#9 Improves physical appearance and mental acuity
Un-sitting improves all of the above creating a more energetic, positive you.

#10 Live longer, live better
Un-sitting increases life spans and, as you can see from the above, the quality of that life

Monday, August 24, 2015

Does your back hurt?

I know mine did. Most of my life, all the way back to college years. Reflexology application kept things at bay but it was still there, that nagging, and sometimes more than nagging, pain in my lower back. 
Then I started looking into prolonged sitting. (The pursuit became such a passion it turned into a book, Un-sit Your Life.) And that’s where I discovered sitting too much is linked to back pain. (Hmmm, I thought, so it was those hours of sitting through class that was the beginning of my back problem.)
It seems we are literally bent out of shape by chair living. Muscles used to walk and stand are mis-used or under-used by long time chair sitting. The result is back pain.
Excessive sitting shortens your hip flexors, pulling your hips forward. That hyperextends your back and weakens your core. “Tight hips are the main cause of back pain,” says Mike (Reinold, a Boston based physical therapist and performance specialist). ” as noted by author Michael Easter.*
I discovered there are solutions. Taking breaks in sitting is one. Getting up and taking 2 minute breaks every 20 minutes took care of my neck pain. 
Then I started doing exercises aimed at the hip flexors, basically lunge exercises. My back was helped and my posture’s better too.
If you’d like to try the exercises, I describe them below. If you have knee problems, I suggest you start with hip flexor stretches before attempting lunges. 
Lunge stretch
Kneel on the floor. Extend your right leg forward with knee bent at a 90˚ angle. Hold the lunge for 3 minutes. Change legs and hold for 3 minutes. 
If this is difficult for you, position yourself between an ottoman and chair so you are supported as you move into position. Begin by holding the stretch for one minute and build up.
Pendulum lunge 
Stand holding a chair with your right hand. Step forward with your right foot moving into a lunge position with knee bent at a 90˚ angle. Stand upright. Step back with right foot and extend it so left leg is a a 90˚ angle. Repeat. Build number of repetitions. (I do 8.) Repeat with left leg.
Mobility lunge
This lunge instantly helped my back. It was a challenge to do for reasons of balance and leg strength. Becoming accomplished at the lunge stretch described above helped. The pendulum lunge helped as well. At the beginning I positioned myself by a chair to steady myself if needed. 
… Assume a lunge position with your right leg forward and both knees bent 90 degrees. Place your hands on your right thigh and push down to activate your core. Then place your hands behind your hips. Flex your glutes as you push your hips forward and down, feeling the stretch in your left hip. Hold for 5 seconds, and return to the starting position. That’s 1 rep. Do 5 reps, switch legs and repeat.”*
Easter, Michael, “4 Mobility Exercises To Build Your Strength And Power, Build an athlete's body with these four power moves,” July/August 2014, pp.100-103

Saturday, August 22, 2015

FitBit / VivoFit Tips

How do you get more steps out of your FitBit or VivoFit? Until we shared our tips with a friend we didn’t realize others were looking too.
A friend works for a company that gives a health insurance discount to those who wear wearable fitness device and participate in group competitions for steps taken. She shared our tips and soon her work mates from around the world were asking for more. Here’re our tips to make your every step count.
First realize the wearable fitness device is an accelerometer. It measures the swing of the arm on which you wear it. Note how much of an arm swing is needed to give you credit for a step.
  • Going up or down stairs use your non-FitBit wearing arm to grasp the hand rail.
  • When using a shopping cart, pull the cart with your non-FitBit wearing arm instead of pushing it. 
  • When using a treadmill, move your FitBit wearing arm with each step.
  • Park farther out in the parking lot.
  • Use stairs instead of elevator
  • Take breaks in sitting. Five minutes every hour over a 12 hour time period adds up. 
  • Use the rest room furthest from you at work.
  • Consider taking commercial breaks. When a commercial appears on the television, step in place or walk around the house.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Reflexologists Sit too Much

Let’s face it. Reflexologists sit too much. It is after all a seated occupation. Does it take a toll? Consider how your body feels at the end of a day in the chair? Aching muscles? Then there is all the research on the impact of sitting too much on what’s going on with the “inner” us, our metabolisms.
Here are some ideas to add more activity to a busy reflexologist’s day. 
  • Take 5 min. breaks between clients- Get up and walk about. 
  • Take 15 min. breaks after meals. This normalizes blood sugar levels thrown off by sitting too much 
  • Be up and about during your time off. 
  • Try stretching on your breaks to counteract the effects of uninterrupted sitting
A walk down the hall or a trip to the water fountain can break up that pattern of stress that forms from uninterrupted sitting. 

Un-Sit Your Life, The Reflex Diet Solution

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Un-sit with FitBit

Un-sit with FitBit
If the idea of un-sitting your life and moving about more through your day seems uninviting, consider motivating yourself by counting your footsteps. An easy way to do this is using a FitBit or VivoFit. Suddenly a chore can become a challenge.
I didn’t realize I was addicted until I lost my VivoFit at LAX. Suddenly I wasn’t getting credit for each footstep I took as counted by the band on my wrist. I wandered through the day without that rush of satisfaction knowing how much I was contributing to my own health. Lacking that  dopamine release I immediately ordered another one.
FitBit and VivoFit are wearable fitness trackers, basically an accelerometer on a wrist band that measures and reports foot steps. The band on your wrist can display instant feedback or your Smartphone can receive reports. They can do more but I’ll focus on the simple here.
Count your steps/build your health. Here’s what taking steps can do for you.
• Every 1,000 steps = 16% smaller waistline, 12% better HDL (good cholesterol), 15% better triglycerides
• Every 1,000 steps = 65 calories expended  if you weigh 120-pounds/100 calories for a 180-pound person
  • Add 2,000 steps/day and you’ll maintain your weight. Add more, you’ll lose weight
  • Taking 6,000 total steps per day significantly reduces risk of death
  • 7,500 steps/day = better self esteem, confidence, productivity; experience improvement in quality of life; lose weight, feel better / more satisfied about their physical appearance
  • 10,000 steps a day for 8 months = decrease in waistline circumference by 2 inches, weight loss of 10 pounds, reduction in high blood pressure by 34%, decrease by 69% the odds for men of having cardiovascular disease
For a hilarious take on wearing a FitBit see David Sedaris’s article in New Yorker magazine (

Un-Sit Your Life

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Reflexologists need to pay attention to prolonged sitting

Reflexologists need to pay attention to prolonged sitting

For one thing we are selling a book on prolonged sitting and you need to buy it so we can purchase  that beach house we have always dreamed of owning.

Seriously though think about the people you are seeing in your reflexology practice. Reflexology is amazing in what it can accomplish. But what caused their problem in the first place. And what could make it more difficult to get results with their particular problem.

I am reminded of a client who said the worst mistake he made was putting his beermeister ( a contraption that dispenses beer like a bar tap) next to his recliner. The first evil is obvious- beer at your fingertips. 

The second evil is not as obvious. The recliner was truly made by the devil. It makes movement a thing of the past. And it sets off a whole chain of events that can turn truly catastrophic. 

We were built to move. Your ancestors metabolism still dwells with in us. Our paleolithic ancestors didn't go to the gym- their gym was the environment around them. Survival depended on them continually moving.

When we become sedentary our metabolism runs amuck. Blood sugar gets out of control, fats accumulate and other nasty things occur. Yet the solution is simple we need to un-sit and get moving. 

We need to activate our postural muscles by standing up. This applies pressure to the feet- a whole orchestra of muscular activity takes place. Sound familiar? The very same action pressure to the bottom of the feet helps reset the metabolism with both reflexology and un-sitting. 

So getting educated about prolonged sitting is:

1. Helpful in understanding why people get ill. Prolonged sitting is connected to about 80% of illness such as diabetes, cardiac problems, cancer and Alzheimers just to name a few. 

2. Understanding musclo-skeletal problems like low back and neck and shoulder problems. 

3. Helpful in making the connection to stress related problems like high blood pressure.

4. Helps your client regain control over their body. You can help with your reflexology work but to get true control educating them about prolonged sitting enhances your work. 

Look this is personal for me (Kevin). I lost initially 40 pounds and 4 inches off waist. I was in the danger zone at 267 lbs. and a 44 inch waist. That was nice enough but I gained something else that was equally important. It was a sense of control.

I felt empowered to continue on and I am far from done. Yet I know how this works and I can get to where I want to go. It is beyond hope it is hope with certainty.  

Now go buy a book so we can buy that beach house!!!