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Get up and age in better health


Has anyone else noticed, as we get older, that there seems to be an ever increasing concerto of “pops and cracks” to herald each morning’s rise and shine? I’ve heard “snap, crackle and pop,” at breakfast more often lately, and it’s not coming from my cereal bowl. Oh, the pain…the pain.

Well, age does that to a person. Aging gracefully is supposed to mean dignified crow’s feet and salt and pepper in the hair. Instead what I’ve ended up with are dark circles and a fresh crop of hair everywhere except where it used to be.

Despite what the infomercials try to convince you of at 3 a.m., there really is very little one can do to slow the aging process. But, that doesn’t mean you have to go willingly. Plus, one of the greatest contributors to pre-mature aging

If you hold down a typical office job, you’re sitting for 5-9 hours a day, with only a few regular reasons to stand and walk around. As they now say, “sitting is the new smoking;” meaning that we are doing nearly as much damage to our bodies just staying in a chair than if we were smoking.

When we sit for too long, we get sleepy, fat begins to accumulate and we gain weight. In recent years, studies have even linked sitting to increased chances for the development of many types of cancer.

One article on Mic.Com reported Dr. David Dunstan’s study, “Sedentary Behaviour and Risk Co-Relation to Cancer and Mental Health,” alleged that sitting increased the risks of colon cancer by 30-percent, lung cancer by 54-percent and uterine cancer by 66-percent, though it’s acknowledged that more research is needed.”

Many experts suggest that we should stand and walk for at least 2 minutes for every 20 we spend seated. Even if you just stand up, walk in place, whatever you can do to keep the blood flowing and the muscles working will help reduce the overall impact of long-term sitting.

Still, most experts say, walking may be the best possible exercise one can get. After a meal, take a 20-minute walk around the neighborhood or stroll around a mall or do some window-shopping. A brisk game of basketball or just tossing a football around or some relaxing tennis can be a great way to get the heart rate up and spend time with family and friends instead of being brain-dead in front of a screen in your off hours.

Additionally, those with office-type jobs are probably hunched over a keyboard blearily squinting at a computer screen for 8 hours a day. The result, dry, red eyes, spines curled over like question marks and constant wrist stiffness and pain.

So much of our health today is affected by technology. “Text neck,” yes, it’s a thing, is becoming a real problem. Constant neck hooking to flip through hundreds of text messages or social media posts then minute by minute updates of what donut you had for breakfast or the shoes you’re looking at in the mall has started taking its toll.

Referring to the pain he was suffering after a long day of battling villains, Indiana Jones said in, “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “It’s not the years, it’s the mileage.” He couldn’t have been more right!

Time alters the body enough by itself with every additional mile but a person’s lifestyle has a major affect on the extent to which our physical position over the years. It’s been suggested often that someone with a sedentary job can have similar health issues to someone whose occupation may be far more physically challenging.

So can the aging process be stopped? No. But, we can improve our final disposition by making every effort to minimize the self-imposed physical damage we do to ourselves.

As it turns out, it doesn’t take much effort to even slightly improve our health and hold back the effects of work and other activities. We can limit processed food intake, especially sugary drinks and heavy deserts, and exercise more – even just walking regularly. Whatever you do, don’t put it off. Get up and get moving now. Oh, and sit up straight!

Deer in Headlines

By Gery L. Deer

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. Deer In Headlines is distributed by GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd. More at www.deerinheadlines.com.