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Fidgeting to lose weight!
Fidgeting to lose weight!
One study from Mayo clinic showed weight loss of 30 pounds a year from fidgeting! Sex can also work as an exercise program. Any woman want to join my exercise club?
Good article on integrative exercise, turning normal activities into exercise from NY Times:
October 27, 2005
Fitness Can Be a Work in Progress
By ELIZABETH WEIL
FOUR days a week, dressed in the jeans and plaid shirt he calls his "professional clothes," Bernd Heinrich, an emeritus professor of biology at the University of Vermont, runs back and forth from the parking lot to his office in the Life Science building. The trip is about a quarter of a mile each way, depending on where he parks.
"I figured out I do about a hundred miles in a year," said Dr. Heinrich, who is 66 and a former world record holder in the 100-kilometer ultramarathon. In addition to his minijogs, he also builds stone walls and chops wood to stay fit. He incorporates exercise into his day rather than accept the commonplace that you have to change your clothes before working out. "It just kind of reminds the body all the time that here is something you should be doing," he said.
Fitness professionals have a name for the kinds of activities Dr. Heinrich fits into his routine: integrative exercise. And for at least a decade they have been trying to persuade Americans to engage in it, because it might be the easiest way for some people to get exercise, and even people who engage in an occasional high intensity workout at the gym would be better off if they were active throughout the day.
Many have heeded this advice in expected ways: by taking the stairs instead of the elevator and wearing pedometers to encourage themselves to walk as much as possible.
But some enthusiasts have become more creative about integrative exercise. They are combining fitness with daily chores: getting their pulse rate up while cleaning the house, for example, or hoisting the children to build muscle. And they are proving the experts right: 8 minutes here and 15 minutes there do add up to a good day's exercise.
"For all too long we've thought that being active means going to the gym, no pain no gain," said Linda Petlichkoff, a professor of kinesiology at Boise State University and a former president of the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology. "I think that's been the greatest positive change that I've seen, a redefinition of what it means to be active."
Some research suggests that going to the gym isn't the best way to increase your overall activity level. Klaas Westerterp, a biologist at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, has found in his studies of healthy nonobese adults that people who spent more time doing moderate exercise actually burned more calories over all than those who got moving for short intense periods. Why? After a tough workout, people typically limited their activity in any given day, Dr. Westerterp's study found.
The benefits of moving throughout the day were also demonstrated in a study about fidgeting last year. A report by researchers at the Mayo Clinic linked fidgeting to leanness and the lack of it to being overweight. Just being restless - standing, pacing, toe tapping - can burn about 350 calories a day, the study said. That can add up to 30 or 40 pounds per year.
"Plenty of evidence now suggests you can accumulate your physical activity," said Walter Thompson, a professor of kinesiology and health at Georgia State University. Still, he cautioned, "a lot of people don't believe it."
The novel ways that people fit exercise into their lives tend to be convenient as well as slimming.
Matt Warshaw, a writer in San Francisco, not only jogs between errands but does yoga in the shower. The big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton shoveled gravel alongside the workers he paid to build his home in Maui because the hard labor helped increase upper-body strength. Then there are the lusty and fabled few who have sex as a workout.
In what she describes as "a sleepy East Coast university town," a woman in her mid-30's, who wished to remain anonymous lest her private life become the subject of gossip among neighbors and colleagues, had a yearlong affair that involved physical relations two to four hours a day. She continued to take a few yoga classes a week, but during the relationship, she said, "I didn't have to watch what I ate, I lost a bunch of weight, and suddenly I was fit."
The possibilities are nearly endless. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Sports Medicine produced a chart categorizing roughly 200 physical activities into two levels of intensity to help people gauge how much exercise they get.
In the garden shoveling less than 10 pounds of dirt per minute is classified as moderate activity, while shoveling more than 10 pounds a minute is considered vigorous. Playing a guitar or drums in a band is moderate. Hand-sawing hardwoods is vigorous.
Integrative exercise for many people used to mean just showing up to work. Mary Findley, 55, of Eugene, Ore., used to stay fit by cleaning other people's houses. Then, when she started Mary Moppins, a cleaning products manufacturing company, she found herself spending 11 to 12 hours a day on the phone or at a desk. Ms. Findley began to worry that she was not getting enough exercise, but she didn't want to take time out from praying, reading or meditating to work out. So she decided to make cleaning her exercise regimen again.
For three hours each week Ms. Findley now speed-cleans with both hands, using dry sponges to remove pet hair from sofas and chairs or damp tube socks sprayed with beeswax to dust tables and cabinets. Instead of leaning over, she always squats, feet angled out in a Pilates-style V. She lunges while pushing the vacuum cleaner, pausing occasionally to lift furniture to clean underneath. "My husband just kind of laughs," she said, "but he appreciates what I'm trying to do to stay in shape. My legs are as strong as ever."
The vast majority of people used to stay fit on the job, said Catherine Jackson, a professor of kinesiology at California State University, Fresno. "There was no such thing as an exercise physiologist."
Many public health professionals are concerned with how sedentary people have become, and how schedules and habits keep things that way.
"We've become a sit in your car and sit at your desk society," said Sarah Martin, a health scientist with the physical activity and health branch of the C.D.C. "We can't get enough activity if we don't actually try to. So it's important for us to think about weaving bursts of physical activity into the day. Just to move out muscles."
Parents are finding many ways to use the hours they look after their children as an opportunity to build strength. Fathers and mothers alike lie on their backs to bench-press their children. And many mothers have found carrying their babies can be a good way to lose weight gained through pregnancy and to weave workouts into increasingly busy schedules.
"I carried Isabella on my back in a backpack until I was about four months pregnant," said Susan Lavelle, 38, from Boulder, Colo., a former competitive cyclist. Isabella is now 3. Ms. Lavelle lost the 50 pounds she had gained during her first pregnancy in just six months, and she is already back on the trail with 3-week-old Maddy. "Everything is about how can I stay really fit with my kid with me," she said.
In 2003 Ms. Lavelle started Moxie Moms, a company that organizes fitness activities for 1,500 mothers and their children. Participants hike the nearby Flatirons at the foot of the Rockies. The organization also has sister groups in 13 cities across the country, including Santa Cruz, Calif., where mothers hike along the sea cliffs.
Integrative exercise may not be for everybody, not least because it requires calling attention to oneself upon occasion. But, Dr. Heinrich said, "you have to do what works for you, no matter what people say." His colleagues and neighbors have long since grown accustomed to his runs through the parking lot. "Now when I walk to the library, which is 100 yards, people look at me kind of funny."