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I Can’t Stand My Stand Up Desk!

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*UPDATE* January 9, 2011 – I no longer use a stand up desk, because I’ve found a set up that I’ve been using for over a year now and can’t imagine anything more comfortable or more ergonomic… From a Stand Up Desk to the Perfect Chair – How and Why?

Actually, that’s not completely true — it just makes for a clever and catchy title. In fact, I don’t know how I feel about my stand up desk just yet. Right now, it’s nothing more than my laptop stacked on top of two cardboard boxes that my whey protein was shipped in, all teetering nervously on top of my regular old “sit down” desk. This is my debut post as a Standing Desk Guy.

Why Would You Want to Stand Up at Your Desk?

Well, depending on the results of this test run, I may be joining you right back in Chairsville, at which point, I’ll be asking the same question. But, there are a few reasons I’m seeing if I have what it takes to master the art of prolonged standing:

  1. Posture – Improving my posture is my primary reason for this little experiment. I’m certainly not the Hunchback of Notre Dame, but if there’s a way to improve any aspect of my “total mind and body fitness,” then I’m all for giving it a try. In fact, a few months ago, studies challenged an age-old idea, saying sitting up straight is actually bad for your back. Standing will ensure that I never slouch in a chair and will keep my core active throughout the day.
  2. Productivity – Another added benefit of standing is increasing your focus and concentration. It doesn’t matter if you are studying for MBA programs at a college library or at a work desk from 9 to 5 everyday. Standing doesn’t allow you to slump over at your desk and mindlessly wander the web, when you should be doing some real work. There’s something about standing up that makes you want to get more done. Of course, it’s entirely possible, as standing at your desk becomes second nature, you could revert right back to spending one or…60 minutes watching the latest YouTube videos instead of studying for your online masters degree programs or making pie graphs for your job.
  3. Calories – This is actually last on my list of reasons, because I’m an active person who gets a lot of exercise, but it’s still nice to know that standing burns one more calorie per minute than sitting. That doesn’t sound like much, but consider this: If you sit at a desk for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, that’s 2,400 minutes, which means you could be burning 2,400 extra calories every week or nearly 10,000 calories per month just by using a stand-up desk. It doesn’t compare to getting up to a mountain and doing a ski rental, but it’s still something that can keep you healthy and burn some calories daily that you weren’t burning before.

Tips for Prolonged Standing

If you’re not used to it, adjusting to long periods of standing can be tough at first. Here are some tips I’ve learned while researching the wonderful world of Stand Up Desks:

  1. Knees Bent – Many people lock their knees and completely straighten their lower legs while standing. This puts a lot of strain on your bones, ligaments, and hamstrings. The key is to keep your knees just slightly bent to relieve most of that pressure. You don’t need to get down into a full squat here, just barely short of locked.
  2. Move – Even if you aren’t willing to go the full fledged standing route, this is important when sitting or standing at your desk. Every hour or so, you should stand up and move a little bit. It doesn’t have to be much, and you can multi-task, such as pacing around your office while talking on the phone (standing adds bass to your voice for added presence also). It’s even easier if you’re already standing, just shift your weight back and forth and move your feet a little while you work.
  3. Hang In There – Most admit that the first week of standing up at your desk isn’t pleasant. Your body needs time to adjust, and you may feel your back and core muscles begging you to stop the madness. But, I’ve been promised that your body will adjust, and in fact, become stronger and better stabilize your core as a result.

If I can hang in there, then I will convert to a more professional arrangement, but if you are willing to take the plunge, I would suggest starting with a makeshift setup first to make sure it’s for you. All it takes is a few well positioned boxes and/or shelves, and you’re good to go. Just make sure the top of the monitor is at your eye level and that your arms are bent about 90 degrees when typing on the keyboard.

I’ll keep you updated, and let me know if any of you have used, are currently using, or are going to use a stand up desk. So, pull up a chair, then put it right back where you found it!

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Getting Your Health Under Control In 2019

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For many, having control over their health is a constant battle with a number of vitamin deficiencies as well as illnesses that are sometimes unavoidable it is crucial to ensure that your health is under control. Whether this is a visit to Finchley dentist to prioritise your oral health or a visit to the doctors for a checkup there are a number of ways that you can prioritise your health within a busy lifestyle.

Moving More And Sitting Less

During the course of the day, it is important to keep moving, with a lot of people sitting down throughout the day it is important to remember to move around. By adding a 10-minute walk to your daily routine this can help to improve mental health as well as your physical health. This small addition to your daily routine can help you to lose weight and maintain a suitable cholesterol level. This could help your health in the long term as this helps you to maintain a healthy weight.

The Power Of A Smile

Have you ever thought about how a smile can help you and those around you to feel better? The simple act of smiling releases chemicals into the brain helping you to channel positive emotions as a result. This act of smiling can also make you appear endearing and approachable to others allowing you to spread joy to those around you. This is something that can take practice to do but can have major health benefits. By making time to laugh and smile during the course of the day you can reduce stress and anxiety whilst helping to improve overall happiness.

Sleep

Having enough sleep is something that can be very difficult with a busy lifestyle. However, it is important to make the time. With the recommended sleep time aimed between 7-9 hours per day, it is important to look at how much sleep you are getting and how much this can affect your overall health.

If you are feeling like you cannot concentrate or are having trouble being able to focus on simple tasks, this may be a consequence of lack of sleep. In order to sleep accordingly make sure that your day is filled with exercise and activities. By filling your day with exercises and activities you will wear yourself out. This will allow you to stick to a simple sleeping schedule throughout the week.

If you struggle to fall asleep at night try relaxing before bed, whether this is through having a bath or shower or even reading a book to help you unwind, this can help you to fall asleep almost instantly.

Relaxation

Another important aspect of your health is relaxation. It is not good for your heart or your mind to be stressed 24/7 therefore, it is important to practice self-care wherever possible. With a number of meditation apps available to you both free and paid you can have a completely customisable experience based around your specific needs.

By adding ten minutes of meditation into your daily routine you can help to reduce stress and anxiety whilst helping to lower blood pressure. So with all this in mind, there are a number of considerations when thinking about your health in 2019 that are well worth considering.

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Intermittent Fasting – Introduction and How-To

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Intermittent fasting is becoming increasingly popular. It appears that apart from marketing, losing weight is the most popular topic to be discussed online. People want to get rid of all those pounds, whether extra or seemingly extra to attain the ideal body shape. A multitude of diet plans have been devised; from cabbage soups to high protein diet to eight losing herbs and supplements, everyone is trying everything that might have the slightest notion of producing likable results. But in most of these diet plans, one has to give up eating their favorite foods. No more pizzas and pastas, some happily adopt an herbivorous lifestyle, just to lose weight.

But what if you do not have to give up eating your favorite dishes? What if you don’t have to try any experiments with artificial supplements on your body? What if weight loss could happen with you eating what you generally eat, and in the quantity you eat but still losing weight? Sounds elusive, right?

The truth is that it is possible. And this is not a new found theory, but it has been around for quite a while. Surprised?? Wondering what exactly is this magic diet plan? It is called, “Intermittent Fasting”.

Intermittent fasting is the trick to adopt. It requires a person to go on a fast for 24 hours, once or twice every week depending on the individual capability, and having a large intake of water/green tea during this time span. With the lifestyle we all lead, packed with work, food, more work and a truckload of responsibilities, it is not only difficult to take out time for gym and aerobic classes but truly impossible. Similarly, even following a diet plan can become monotonous, and everyone is aware of how diet plans quit working after some time since the body becomes immune to them. So you might just lose weight during the first month of your diet plan routine, it is assured that the results will start to wear off once the body becomes accustomed to the routine. On the opposite end, Intermittent Fasting will help you consistently lose weight and also maintain it. The routine is not difficult to adopt.

Steele Williams a leading celebrity PT and personal training course expert from TRAIN says that studies dating back to 1945 proved that Intermittent Fasting (IF) extended the life of mice. More recent studies on humans show that alternate day fasting increases SIRT3 proteins, which scientists believe are responsible for longer lifespans.

Also, IF has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity, therefore reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. It’s also been shown to reduce inflammation, blood pressure, and “bad” cholesterol.

All you have to do is pick a day or two in the time frame of a week when all you are going to be consuming is water, or better still, green tea. That one day where the intake of liquids is going to be on the rise; it will allow the metabolism to flush up and work off all those stored fats in the body. Take it more like a body cleansing day. Just like a shower is vital to rid the exterior of all the germs, a day on water is pivotal to rid the body of the harmful fats that are stored up.

In the remaining days of the week, keep on going with your normal diet. You do not have to give up food at all during that time. Sounds great? Well you will feel great once you try out this truly genius form of putting off those extra pounds!

Have you tried intermittent fasting? What are your thoughts?

 

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5 Tips for Choosing the Best Location for Your Fitness Center

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A lot goes into building a fitness center and making it a successful business, and your initial instincts are right: One of the things that matters the most is location, location, location. Here are some tips to help you find the one that will work best for you.

1. Figure out what kind of building you need for your fitness center. Do you want your own, stand-alone property, or will you be best served in a building that houses many businesses (like a strip mall or office park)? If you want your own building, make sure you plan to budget for things like making sure the foundation is stable and solid, that all of the wiring is up to code, etc. It’s sort of like buying a house, but for your business. Of course, utilizing space in a shared building has its own set of issues you’ll have to deal with, too. Thinking about limiting the noise and vibrations created when you crank up the speakers, and the big lifters start dropping their deadlifts is important. Choosing the right gym flooring can have a massive impact on limiting and absorbing noise, and it’s worth taking some time talking to an expert. 

2. What kind of clientele do you most want to serve? Are you after the wealthy, nobody-seems-to-have-a-day-job types? Are you primarily interested in helping kids? Do you want to limit your clientele to one gender? All of these things factor in when it comes to where you should put your business. For example: If you want to serve business executives, your gym will work far better in your city’s business or financial district than it will if it’s all the way on the outskirts of town.

3. What kind of fitness center do you want to have? Are you going for the “standard” treadmills, elliptical, lots-of-equipment-type of fitness center? Are you going to be building a yoga studio or a center that focuses on fitness through martial arts training? Are you going to be offering Cross Fit or boot-camp-style programs? Each of these different types of fitness has different physical requirements.

4. How easy is it for people to get to your business? If you live in a larger city, make sure you take things like public transportation into account as well as easy freeway access. The harder it is for people to get to you, the less likely you are to build a business that becomes successful. Yes, people do actually take the bus or the train to go to the gym, especially if they believe that your fitness center is worth the trip!

5. Make sure you have enough parking. Why would somebody visit a fitness center whose parking situation forces them to have to walk half a mile from where they parked to your front door? That’s a quick workout right there! There are lots of different factors that go into figuring out how many parking spots you need. A good rule of thumb is to have a parking spot available for each piece of equipment you have (or each mat space, etc.) plus a few extra.

These tips are just the beginning. Try not to worry too much, though—your business will be up, running, and successful before you know it!

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