Wednesday musings, 10/14/15
It is not a secret that being sedentary isn’t necessarily good for us. In fact, media outlets report sitting might be detrimental to our health. (My favorite headline comes from CNN earlier this year. “Sitting will kill you, even if you exercise.” How’s that for making the benefits of exercise seem futile if you are an office worker?). More and more, it seems reframing our perspective and focusing on moving regularly throughout the day might be one of the best things we can do for our health.
It turns out, even hibernating bears understand it is important to not sleep the winter away. A camera that was hidden in a bear den revealed every day, around noon, bears would get up and do 20-40 minutes of gentle movement, including yawning, pacing, and “gently yoga-like stretches”* before settling back down to rest. Researchers speculate this might be one of the reasons hibernating bears aren’t afflicted with diseases of disuse, such as sarcopenia and osteoporosis. What we can learn from the bears is a little movement after resting is good. It stimulates blood flow to the musculoskeletal system, improves energy, and makes a person feel a little bit better. I always tell my clients that work in an office to set a timer every hour. When it goes off, walk around, change position, maybe even pandiculate, before returning to the office chair. A little bit of movement can go a long way to better health.
https://www.grousemountain.com/press_releases/grinder-and-coola-awake-from-hibernation#.Vh5z8bQ-D6Y Though this isn’t footage of them during hibernation, it is taken right after they emerge from hibernation and, well, giant bears frolicking qualifies as cute.
*Taken from “Yoga Fascia Anatomy and Movement” by Joanne Sarah Avison