A couple of weeks ago, we launched our very own podcast, ‘Get Up’, where every week, our host India Pearson is joined by world-renowned health expert Dr James Levine. In this podcast, India and Dr Levine explore the ways we can build an active, healthy and happy lifestyle without radically altering our daily routines and without emptying our bank accounts into state-of-the-art exercise equipment.
In this blog, we’ll catch you up to speed on the latest episodes of the ‘Get Up’ podcast. If you’d like to tune in yourself, then subscribe and listen here. We’d be thrilled to have you!
‘Get Up’ Podcast: What’s been going on?
Episode 1: ‘Evolution, Sitting & Standing’
‘The human body never evolved to sit all day long. The human body evolved to move’ – Dr Levine
In Episode 1, we investigate the ways in which we try to maximise convenience in our lives in order to save time and free us to do the things we love. Whether it’s cleaning your laundry or dishes at the touch of a button, ordering the weekly food shop to your front door from your laptop, or treating yourself to a new wardrobe from an app on your phone, we all experience the captivating lure of convenience. We can have anything and everything we want right here, right now, at the tap of a screen, without having to move an inch from the couch.
And the result? From cradle to the grave, we are stuck still to our chairs.
But this chair-bound lifestyle is not natural. As we trace the human race back in time, all the way to our hunter-gatherer ancestors, the less central the chair becomes in the everyday life of a human. The human being was not created to sit on a chair all day long, it was created to move. And so, the notion that convenience brings happiness and freedom is nothing more than a mirage. An enchanting myth. In reality, it only draws us deeper into a desert of discontentment, as our society faces more chronic back pain, obesity, depression, loneliness and anxiety than ever before.
Episode 2: ‘NEAT’
‘NEAT is available to us all’ – Dr Levine
In Episode 2, we begin to unwrap some of the tools we can adopt to avoid excessive sitting and its destructive effects. Focussing on the issue of obesity, Dr Levine reveals the ‘secret sauce’ to maintaining a healthy weight: NEAT.
NEAT is simply another term for any movement we do apart from sporting exercise, such as standing, walking, washing the dishes by hand, shopping in the supermarket, climbing the stairs or hanging out the washing.
In order to assess the impact of NEAT in our everyday lives, the Mayo Clinic carried out an experiment on a number of people who worked the same desk-based job. Among those involved, some suffered from obesity, others were a healthy weight, and not one of them attended a gym. During the experiment, these volunteers wore ‘magic underwear’ containing multiple sensors that traced their every movement throughout the day. The results were fascinating: those of a healthy weight were found to be up and moving for an extra 2 hours and 15 minutes more than those who were obese. By simply activating their NEAT, these individuals were able to burn excess body fat and maintain a healthy weight.
Living an active and healthy lifestyle does not require a strenuous gym session or a 10k run every day (although these things are great!). By simply spending less time glued to our chairs and more time up and moving, we can activate our NEAT and radically improve our well-being, both physical and mental.
For more expert tips on how to build a healthy lifestyle, subscribe to our podcast and stay tuned.