The gym is the place to go to if you want to be healthy, right? Right. And if you go to gym regularly, then you’ve put in your necessary activity, right? No, this time – wrong. I often field questions from individuals who go to the gym regularly but then encounter metabolic abnormalities, such as pre-diabetes, metabolic sluggishness, and unexplained weight gain. Initially this seems strange, because exercise is one of the best ways to fight against metabolic pathologies. But the modern culprit, as it turns out, is long continuous sitting on a daily basis. Long sitting is killing you even if you visit your gym regularly.
The 21st century American can go to the gym for an hour and exercise vigorously but then come back, sit and not move all day long. Doing this is definitely not doing yourself any favors. The fact of the matter is you are designed to move. Walk here, do this, rush there, do that. These natural body movements are going to keep you healthy. Such movements keep you metabolically active, engage your biological processes, and wake up your circulatory and lymphatic systems. The lymphatic system is a vital part of both the circulatory and immune systems in your body. The lymphatic system employs its lymph fluid in eliminating toxins from your tissues. And the lymphatic system loves it when you have natural body movements all day long.
The lymphatic system wakes up and works hard when you move your body. This is because muscular exertion builds up lactic acid, which is a metabolite that the body is acutely aware of. In the process of cleaning up the lactic acid, the body handles a variety of other toxins as well. Faster blood flow means faster toxin cleaning. And faster toxin cleaning means better health, clearer skin, sharper mind, and more energy – all the benefits you want.
So what happens when the lymphatic system isn’t working hard? Well, it’s saving energy. But on top of that, the body’s filtering processes are running slower – and toxins are building up. Sit still for enough time and you’re stewing in your own toxins. It doesn’t sound healthy and it is not healthy.
The good news is all you have to do is avoid stagnation, like long continuous sitting. The solution involves simple natural movements. These are all the times that you move your body without actually ‘doing exercise’. A walk to the supermarket, climbing a flight of stairs, or even standing – it all counts! So if your job involves lots of sitting (like for most of us nowadays) – just stand up often. If you drove somewhere, try and not take the nearest parking spot so you will be forced to walk to your car. Maybe even place your phone a few of steps away from you, just so you have to walk to answer a call or text message. If you make enough of these natural body movements, the results materialize. Greater energy, lower weight, lower risk of many health conditions – these are all attainable if you just move naturally.
It’s been said that sitting is the new smoking, and I agree with that. You can no longer deceive yourself into believing that sitting still for hours on end is healthy. It just isn’t. Natural body movements can keep you healthy. But I’m aware that it’s not easy to break old habits and get into a move-more mindset. If you need help figuring out how to incorporate movement into your lifestyle, don’t hesitate to use my experience and expertise. Don’t do it alone. Do it with Dr. Inna. Because when you replace “i” with “we” – illness becomes wellness.