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Why exercise alone won’t keep you healthy

By Marcus Santer

I ended yesterdays ZEN+ Daily (Z+D) by saying that the Government sanctioned 2.5 hours of exercise a week wasn’t enough to keep you in good health.

If you didn’t read it, you’ll find it here.

And I hinted there was something likely to be more important for your long term physical fitness and health.

Before I reveal what ‘It’ is, I need to do a little math =)

2.5 hours of regular exercise a week works out at just over 21 minutes per day.

There are 24 hours in a day, but you’re asleep for approximately 8 of them. Which means you’re up and about for 16 hours.

16 hours = 960 minutes of being out of bed a day.

Now let’s say you’re getting your average 21 minutes of exercise a day, you’re still left with 939 minutes of up and at them time.

My personal belief, based on the research I’ve done, is that it’s what you’re dong for this 939 minutes a day that decides whether you’re going to be strong, fit and healthy.

Not what you do for 21 minutes.

Clearly you wouldn’t want to exercise for hundreds of minutes a day.

Like anything good for you, too much is bad for you.

Nope.

The key is how active you are throughout the whole day.

Jim Levine – Professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in the USA – refers to this as NEAT or Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis.

NEAT is all about the energy you burn through doing everyday ordinary activities like:

And so on.

Jim recommends you need to be moving every half hour or so. And yet, most people spend 12 hours a day sat down.

Can you see the problem?

There’s a really good book on this subject you should read called: Sitting Kills, Moving Heals by Dr Vernikos. Here’s a good quote:

“…it’s uninterrupted sitting that’s bad for us… It’s my belief that non-exercise activities are the foundation of your body tuning and your health and more important than regular exercise. Regular exercise is the next step.”

So there you have it.

Moving more during your waking day is the foundation upon which you need to build.

Now brace yourself… Because here comes the Big Fat Stinky Butt.

Because it’s not quite as simple as that.

I was in bed last night reading the fantastic Christmas present Ollie bought me: Why We Get Fat And What To Do About It by Gary Taubes.

Oh it’s good.

As I started reading, it became clear that the whole calories in VS calories out theory of why people get obese is seriously flawed. To the point of being plain wrong.

He proves his point by citing many studies done on highly obese populations of people around the world.

Time travelling between 1908 and 1983 he presents 17 studies showing how it’s possible to become fat even when:

As I continued my reading, I started to become a little uncomfortable.

I found myself wondering how is it possible to become obese when you’re not overeating and your job involves lots of constant physical labour? I.E NEAT and everything I’ve written above?

Was everything I poured into the 196 pages of the new ZEN+ book wrong?

I’ll let you know in tomorrows Z+D!

Bye for now

Marcus

P.S. When I was known as ‘The Qigong Guy’ I used to say Qigong was the Martini of the Energy Arts world.

Now that I’ve graduated to become: ‘The ZEN Beast’ I say ZEN+ is the Martini of the Life Extension, Ageing Well world.

How come?

Well it all goes back to a TV advert I remember as a kid.

You can watch it here.

Be warned though, it involves a scantily clad woman and comes from the decadent 80’s