"While a healthy lifestyle includes exercise, exercise alone does not make a healthy lifestyle."

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Bitter Pills and Being Sedentary | StrongFirst


"While a healthy lifestyle includes exercise, exercise alone does not make a healthy lifestyle."

Wise, and honest, words from StrongFirst's Director of Education, @Brett Jones.

My own formula for a healthy lifestyle outside of exercise is something I owe to my wife; allow me to explain.

My wife grew up in the countryside outside of Philadelphia, PA, in an area which, at the time, was so rural that she didn't have a normal street address. Her mailing address included the abbreviation "RD", which means a Rural Delivery route of the US Post Office - you were so far out in the country that your address identified which postal route you lived on and, other than that, the mailman would simply have to know in which house to find you. To say my wife found living in the country isolating would be to understate her feelings greatly - she'd been there, done that, and wanted no parts of it again.

About 25 years ago, while we were living in an apartment in New York City and, having decided we didn't want to raise our children there, we started house hunting outside the city. We'd just had our first child. I worked in New York City. Having grown up in the suburbs, I thought that living in the country would be nice change from city and suburban life, but my wife would have no part of it. We agreed on a compromise - no country for me, no city for her. It would be the suburbs for us both.

This might sound silly now, but my wife insisted on two things - sidewalks, and being able to walk on those sidewalks to buy a cappuccino. My wife said she'd have no part of being stuck in the house while I went to work, so she wanted to be able to walk, with the stroller, to a good coffee shop. We settled on a house just outside the downtown area of a small town, Northern NJ town that did, indeed, have a sidewalk in front of it and was less than a 5-minute walk to a good cup of coffee (or cappuccino).

The upshot of her insistence on sidewalks and good coffee was that we ended up situated to be able to walk to almost everything one needs in day to day life: the bank, the movie theater, several coffee shops, several grocery stores, not to mention a number of restaurants, and including a fair amount of shopping that doesn't require a trip to the mall - clothing and jewelry stores, and even several places to get a haircut.

I walk a couple of miles every day - my favorite grocery store is about a mile each way, and I shop like a city dweller, bringing home what will fit in my backpack and a grocery bag or two almost every day, and walking to my other errands like the bank and the post office. I have everything you could imagine within walking distance: the library, a movie theater, and lots of small shops. I feel fortunate to live where I do - fortunate that it allows me to easily choose a healthy lifestyle that includes a lot of walking. I know it's not as easy for some people.

That's my story - please feel free to share your thoughts on Brett's article and on a healthy lifestyle outside of exercise by posting your own message in this thread.

-S-
 

Al Ciampa

Level 8 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Bitter Pills and Being Sedentary | StrongFirst


"While a healthy lifestyle includes exercise, exercise alone does not make a healthy lifestyle."

Wise, and honest, words from StrongFirst's Director of Education, @Brett Jones.

My own formula for a healthy lifestyle outside of exercise is something I owe to my wife; allow me to explain.

My wife grew up in the countryside outside of Philadelphia, PA, in an area which, at the time, was so rural that she didn't have a normal street address. Her mailing address included the abbreviation "RD", which means a Rural Delivery route of the US Post Office - you were so far out in the country that your address identified which postal route you lived on and, other than that, the mailman would simply have to know in which house to find you. To say my wife found living in the country isolating would be to understate her feelings greatly - she'd been there, done that, and wanted no parts of it again.

About 25 years ago, while we were living in an apartment in New York City and, having decided we didn't want to raise our children there, we started house hunting outside the city. We'd just had our first child. I worked in New York City. Having grown up in the suburbs, I thought that living in the country would be nice change from city and suburban life, but my wife would have no part of it. We agreed on a compromise - no country for me, no city for her. It would be the suburbs for us both.

This might sound silly now, but my wife insisted on two things - sidewalks, and being able to walk on those sidewalks to buy a cappuccino. My wife said she'd have no part of being stuck in the house while I went to work, so she wanted to be able to walk, with the stroller, to a good coffee shop. We settled on a house just outside the downtown area of a small town, Northern NJ town that did, indeed, have a sidewalk in front of it and was less than a 5-minute walk to a good cup of coffee (or cappuccino).

The upshot of her insistence on sidewalks and good coffee was that we ended up situated to be able to walk to almost everything one needs in day to day life: the bank, the movie theater, several coffee shops, several grocery stores, not to mention a number of restaurants, and including a fair amount of shopping that doesn't require a trip to the mall - clothing and jewelry stores, and even several places to get a haircut.

I walk a couple of miles every day - my favorite grocery store is about a mile each way, and I shop like a city dweller, bringing home what will fit in my backpack and a grocery bag or two almost every day, and walking to my other errands like the bank and the post office. I have everything you could imagine within walking distance: the library, a movie theater, and lots of small shops. I feel fortunate to live where I do - fortunate that it allows me to easily choose a healthy lifestyle that includes a lot of walking. I know it's not as easy for some people.

That's my story - please feel free to share your thoughts on Brett's article and on a healthy lifestyle outside of exercise by posting your own message in this thread.

-S-
I’m reading this thinking, “this sounds a lot like Steve’s life”. Then I realized you were inspired to share by Brett and not quoting his experience. Haha.

I wholehearted agree with the idea that 30-60 min of activity, 3x per week does not make one “active”, especially if they have a typical desk job/western life.

It’s not formal physical training that make one active; and, it’s being active much of the day that makes one “non-sedentary”.
 

offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
The converse can be true as well. I know some people that would definitely not be considered sedentary. Some letter carriers I know with walking routes. And people in some of the manufacturing plants I work in who are moving all day long. (Certainly gettin' in their 'steps') Yet because of a lack of 'formal' exercise and often times matched with poor nutrition choices, these folks are pretty unhealthy (and unfit)
 

Glen

Level 7 Valued Member
Coming from the UK, about ten years ago I was always amazed that America had a lot of its towns built in such a way that driving was the default mode of transport. Lately Britain has started to follow suit.

Growing up I walked a lot. Pretty sure my waist size would be significantly down if I could walk more as opposed to driving.

I remember when I was a child I had a six mile round trip walking to return VHS tapes to the video store :D
 

offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
Coming from the UK, about ten years ago I was always amazed that America had a lot of its towns built in such a way that driving was the default mode of transport. Lately Britain has started to follow suit.

Growing up I walked a lot. Pretty sure my waist size would be significantly down if I could walk more as opposed to driving.

I remember when I was a child I had a six mile round trip walking to return VHS tapes to the video store :D
Uphill both ways....
 

wespom9

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Diet, exercise, sleep, stress and all that affects each of those categories. The web of factors related to overall health is vast. Find a weak point and work it improve; repeat.
 

LukeV

Level 5 Valued Member
When I was in primary school we lived about 5km from the beach and some beachfront cliffs with caves and scrubland - perfect playground material. On weekends and school holidays we would commonly walk down after breakfast, play all morning and return home for lunch. Then head back down again, play all afternoon, and walk home for dinner. That was 20km just in walking let alone whatever else in the "exercise" of running, climbing, swimming etc while we were there. We never thought twice about it. And would do it day after day. Even the fat kids were super fit. But just as important we were in the company of our mates, laughing, competing, building stuff, getting up to mischief. Physically and mentally healthy, all day long
 

Oscar

Level 6 Valued Member
My "go to" tool to avoid being sedentary is the bike. In my city distances of 10 km are not uncommon, so walking is not time efficient. However, the bike takes 40 min, just like the car.

In my opinion a major cause for sedentarism is the little tolerance we have for sweat in our daily life. Moving implies sweating, and we only accept sweating in our gym clothes.
 

Tim Randolph

Level 7 Valued Member
Having a step count goal and tracker can make a big difference. If you are trying to hit 10k steps day, all of a sudden the furthest parking spot looks the best and going to a bathroom in another wing of your office building makes a lot of sense. The modern world doesn’t make us move. It’s really up to each of us to figure out tricks every day and even every hour to get up and do a little something.
 

SMalishev

Level 5 Valued Member
My place of work recently moved and due to it I now walk briskly for approximately 50 minutes every work day . I much prefer it to the old soulless car commute. It's so much nicer to be able to observe everything and be able to "stop and smell the roses" rather than piloting a one-tonne plus contraption, as well as the health benefits from doing so.

That, S+S, movement breaks every half an hour and standing at every opportunity is my defence against my sedentary job. Since following flexible steel and S+S i've grown more intolerant of being sedentary at work as it feels like it's undoing all my progress
 

Mirek

Level 7 Valued Member
I’m reading this thinking, “this sounds a lot like Steve’s life”. Then I realized you were inspired to share by Brett and not quoting his experience. Haha.

I wholehearted agree with the idea that 30-60 min of activity, 3x per week does not make one “active”, especially if they have a typical desk job/western life.

It’s not formal physical training that make one active; and, it’s being active much of the day that makes one “non-sedentary”.
Not sure how the "active" is defined but being physically active for half an hour till one hour three days per week would not hurt and is surely better than most are doing, or rather not doing.
 
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