The research is loud and clear.
Move like your life depends on it
Sitting is the new smoking.
You’ve heard this line before, and it’s not just another passing trend.
If we want to improve health on all levels or increase our chances of aging well and living longer,
we have to move regularly and we need to gain cardio respiratory fitness.
So how do you squish movement into a busy schedule? Katy Bowman, an anatomist and one of
my favourite authors has coined the phrase “stack your life”, to mean double purpose tasks
when you can.
Stand on the streetcar, even if you’re carrying groceries. Do some calf raises while you’re there.
Waiting for your child to go down the slide for the 10th time? Do step ups on the bench. Waiting
for a flight? Listen to your podcast while pacing the terminal, or at the very least, stand to check
It was once thought that you could be sedentary most of the time then make it up with 3 hours of
intensive exercise on the weekend. Now we know that hours of sitting is terrible for us and we
should counter it with movement, load, and postural change whenever possible.
The good news is that every little bit counts.
The other shift in defining good health is the increased importance of cardio respiratory
fitness. What does improving this marker help? In a word….
What is Cardio RespiratoryFitness?
CRF is defined as the peak amount of oxygen one can take in and metabolize. Level one is
when you’re sitting at a resting state but when you do an activity that doubles that oxygen
intake, you move up to level 2. Triple it and you are at level 3 and so on. Around 5 or 6 is when
you find yourself sweating and breathing a bit harder.
Activities that don’t elevate respiration levels beyond level 5 are not considered high enough to
increase CRF. Why do we care? Because improved CRF reduces the risk of dying, not only
from cardio vascular disease but also from cancer, stroke, dementia, and most diabetes related
For every level of CRF gained, there is a risk reduction of morbidity by about 18%.
That seems way to good not be taking advantage of that news.
So how to proceed?
Start by inserting a few minutes of high intensity cardio within a workout as well as throwing in
snippets of cardio into your day. It’s why we add sequences of intensity into our Pilates classes.
Can’t find 30 minutes to exercise. Learn a 5 -10 min high intensity workout to do daily.
Ask your Pilates Process teacher to develop a mini HIIT workout that works for you.
Your knees hate squats? Find a theraband arm alternative.
Your soul hates planks? Find a Pilates series that works for you.
Start relishing the stairs, or carrying too many groceries too far.
Move so much that sitting still becomes the task.
Every opportunity you take to increase CRF is a step towards better health and longevity.
So as you wince in your next Pilates class that the 100s are followed by Obliques, and Leg Pull,
when you do Side Bend with Twist into the Teaser Series, try to revel in the benefits.
And exercise like your life depends on it.
Because it does.
Already in great shape?
Unsure where to start? Ask us. We can work with you to set up a suitable home series.
(link for katy bowman https://www.nutritiousmovement.com/build-your-movement-rich-life/)