Sitting on your chair at your desk can kill you, so get up and walk around to lose weight

We assume that exercising for 45 minutes a few times a week is good for us, and it is, but exercise does not entirely compensate for the health risks associated with sitting on our butts for nine hours a day. New evidence suggests that the more hours a day you sit, the greater your likelihood of dying an earlier death regardless of how much you exercise or how lean you are.

It’s not just your heart that’s at risk from too much sitting; your hips, spine, and shoulders could also suffer.

Regularly exercising is not the same as being active. There’s a difference between  “official” exercise activity, like running, biking, or lifting weights, and “non-exercise” activity, like walking to your car, mowing the lawn, or simply standing. You may run every day, but if you are sitting a good deal of the rest of the time, you may not be leading an overall active life.

What’s the solution? Stand up. Apparently a sales clerk in a store, who stands all day long, will burn 1,500 calories in a day, while an office worker sitting at a desk burns 1,000 calories per day. That’s why people gain 16 pounds, on average, within 8 months of starting sedentary office work.

Apparently we have an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase (LPL). LPL’s main responsibility is to break down fat in the bloodstream to use as energy. If LPL doesn’t work in our leg muscles, fat is stored instead of burned as fuel. The simple act of standing can amplify the activity of the primary fat burning enzyme in your body by 10 times, meaning you burn ten times more fat standing than sitting.

Even better, standing helps reduce muscle soreness and stiffness, and boosts the immune system.

So we need to use our legs. How? Standing and walking.

In a perfect world, we would stand all day long. Unfortunately that’s not easy for us, since we have desk jobs. So, the solution is to stand up as much as possible. Here are some suggestions:

When you are talking on the phone, stand up. This is probably impossible if you work in an open office; it will be disruptive if you are standing up in the middle of the room. However, if you aren’t around other people, and you have a head set, stand up.

Move around the office. Use the printer farther away from your desk, and walk to it. Stand up at least once an hour. Go for a walk at lunch. Keep moving.

Exercise is important, but standing up is an important part of weight loss.

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P90X for Weight Loss

You have probably seen the infomercials for the P90X exercise program.  It’s an intense exercise program designed to increase your overall level of fitness.  Is it good as a weight loss program?

Yes and no.

P90X is designed for overall fitness, but it is not specifically a weight loss program.  If your primary goal is weight loss, P90X is probably not for you.

However, if your goal is to lose weight and improve your fitness, P90X can help.  One version of the program is the “Lean” version, and it is more geared toward weight loss.

Weight loss in P90X is accomplished by numerous cardio workouts, including Cardio X, Kenpo X (which is a boxing and kicking workout designed to burn calories), and Plyometrics (which emphasizes jumping and moving around, also designed to burn calories).

In addition to the Cardio workouts, there is also resistance training, including Chest & Back, legs & back, and shoulders & arms.  Again, building muscle mass helps burn calories, which leads to weight loss.

Is P90X right for you?  It depends.  There is no doubt that it is an intensive, six day per week, one to one and a half hour per day workout, so if you can’t commit the time and effort, don’t bother.  But, if you are willing to kick it up a notch and work hard, P90X may be a great weight loss solution.

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Weight Loss: The First Step to Lose Weight

You can read all the diet books that exist, and you can try every fad diet and exercise program.  You can join a gym, or a weight loss club, or you can hire a personal trainer.  Those steps are fine, but that’s not the first step.

The first step to weight loss is critical: you must decide that you want to lose weight.

To repeat: you must decide to lose weight.  No-one else can make that decision for you.

Your spouse may want you to lose weight.  Your doctor may want you to start a weight loss program.  Perhaps your friends and family are telling you to lose weight.  That’s great, but except for the calories you may burn by arguing with them, they can’t help you lose weight.

Only you can change what you eat.  Only you can decide not to eat four pieces of cake when you are hungry at midnight.  Only you can decide to get up early in the morning to go to the gym, or to go for a run.  Only you can have the inner motivation to make changes to your life.

So ask yourself this simple question: “Why do I want to lose weight?”  Then write down your answer.  You may want to lose weight due to simple vanity (I want to look better).  It may be a health issue (I don’t want to get diabetes, or have a heart attack).  It may be personal (I want to be able to go for a swim and a bike ride with my children).  Whatever the reason, the reason must come from within.  You must make that decision.

Once you know why you want to lose weight, you can decide to do it.  For yourself.  Not for anyone else.

That’s why the first step to losing weight is to decide you want to lose weight.  It’s up to you to make that decision today.

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Lose Weight By Eating at Home

The average fast food meal contains many hundreds of calories more than a comparable meal that you prepare at home.  In short, fast food meals are generally not healthy.

After a busy day at work, it’s difficult to rush to the store to buy healthy, fresh ingredients, and then rush home and spend 45 minutes in the kitchen preparing a healthy meal.  So we often take the easy way out and buy hamburgers or fried chicken or pizza that may not be the healthiest alternative.

To lose weight, you should avoid fast food and eat at home.  But where do you find the time?  Here’s how:

First, start by planning your meals in advance.  Every weekend pull out your calendar and look at your schedule: what days will you be home early, and on what days will you be working late.  It’s the late days that take the most planning.

Then, on the weekend, when you have time, do your shopping and then pre-prepare as many meals as possible for the week.  You can make a double batch of lasagna (with healthy ingredients) and freeze it or refrigerate it for use later in the week.

Focus on quick and healthy meals.  It’s not hard to barbecue a chicken breast and make a salad.  Pasta can be prepared quickly if you have the ingredients ready.  Plan ahead.

For fresh vegetables, stop by your local grocer on the way home.  If you have your meal plan, you know that today all you need to buy is fresh broccoli, or beans, or lettuce, or whatever you are cooking tonight.  If you know exactly what you want to purchase, it’s a quick trip.

As an added bonus, planning ahead and cooking at home can save you a lot of money, while you reach your weight loss goals.

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