I like to periodically talk about the importance of extreme self-care. Servant leaders are serious about taking care of themselves so that they can effectively and consistently serve others. I recently read some information that speaks to self-care. Last time I wrote about this I used lessons from my granddaughter Sylvia to illustrate a few points.
She continues to teach me in this area. She is now 11 months old. Unless she is eating, she no longer sits in one spot for more than 5 seconds. She is on the move constantly. This is a great model for us to look to follow.
It’s no secret that inactivity leads to diabetes, heart disease, obesity and even pain syndromes. In the Los Angeles Times, physician and researcher at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center Anup Kanodia, said, “Sitting is the new smoking.” He cited an Australian study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine that compared sitting and smoking.
According to the study, every hour sitting watching TV cuts about 22 minutes from lifespan, while it’s estimated that cigarettes shorten lifespan by about 11 minutes per cigarette. This is presumed to be related to the sedentary nature of sitting and the correlation with heart disease. The correlation of sitting and obesity has led to the U.S. guideline of a 2-hour screen time maximum/day for any type of screen time, not just TV.
In this digital age, it seems pretty easy to be behind a screen in a sitting position more than 2 hours per day. Whether you’re behind your computer screen, your iPad, or your TV, these hours can accumulate. Add to that our time at our desk doing other things, time in the car, time reading, etc. our hours in a seated position are probably excessive and reducing our lifespan.
It becomes imperative that we build habits into our daily routines that keep us up and moving more than not. Possible actions you may take:
- Walk everyday a minimum of 30-45 minutes
- Do plyometric exercises while you are watching TV or sitting at your desk
- Get up and take a walk around the office for 5-10 minutes each hour
- Develop a weekly exercise routine and stick to it!
- Get your reading in while you are on a treadmill or a stationary bike
- Do some walking or stand while you are watching your children’s events
- Take the stairs over the elevator
Developing these habits will not only increase the probability of a longer life, but will also provide you more energy on a daily basis to do the things you want to do. You will be a better servant leader if you are healthier and feel better.
What are you willing to commit to, to decrease your sedentary time and increase your energy and the quality of your health?
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20