Hey, so remember a few months ago when I wrote about how I was starting P90X – that hardcore fitness regimen?
Well true to my nature, I’m terrible at updating, but I’m here!!! I’m updating!!
So what happened?
Well, I wanted to try out this fitness program in order to get way in shape and feel better with more energy. For some reason I decided to go for the most hardcore regimen I could find – but then I discovered that working out hardcore 7 days a week actually isn’t that good for you, your stress levels, or your hormones.
So I decided to cut the workouts in half, and modify it by doing more yoga instead of cardio. And I also felt super lucky because I convinced Luke to do it with me.
Anyway, we did sooo well for about a month and we were actually kind of enjoying it. But then Luke’s parents came over from Australia to visit us, and we went on a little holiday, and, well… we, uh…. fell straight off the wagon. And never got back on.
Oh well. I don’t hate myself for it.
Two Things I Discovered From This Experiment:
- I love yoga. Even though I fell off the P90X wagon, I have continued with a fairly regular yoga practice, because my body and back practically screams at me if I don’t do it for a while. I naturally feel drawn to it as a form of exercise, so maybe I should just listen to that and accept that I will always be more of a Shiva Rea than a Tony Horton.
- Standing desk. I think my biggest problem was having a computer job like me means that I sit a LOT. I sat so much throughout the day, which I think is mostly why I didn’t feel like I had as much energy as I wanted. Because sitting so long just makes me feel bad.
So in an attempt to get more fitness in my day, I decided to try P90X. But then I realized that, well, even though I was working out more now, I was still spending a lot of the rest of the day sitting. What could I do?
Well I had been thinking about implementing this whole standing desk thing for a while, but this experiment gave me the kick to really do it.
What’s a Standing Desk and Why Might You Want One?
So, bad news. I don’t like to be alarmist here at the Love Vitamin, but I know in my heart that there is probably some truth in this: according to a lot of recent studies and research, even if you work out, if you spend the majority of your day sitting without much movement, your risk of death goes up a lot. You are literally taking years off your life.
So what do you do if you have a desk job?
You can try setting up a desk in which you can stand. You could either buy an adjustable desk (expensive), or you could jury rig it up like me (cheap or free, although I think this works better with a laptop than a desktop).
Now I know that because I work from home I have such luxury to do as I please, but many of you work in an office in which you don’t. However, you never know what you would be allowed to try unless you just ask, or pose it to your boss that it would be better for him or her to allow it, or even purchase a desk for you.
After all, evidence shows that using a standing desk has tons of benefits: makes you much more productive, focused, and less prone to sickness, injury, and taking time off work! He’d be crazy not to let you!
Seriously though – the idea is not crazy – standing desks are getting very popular and well known, so he or she may have even heard about it already.
Anyway, there’s lots of different creative ways to set up a standing desk. Ideally you would want one that is convertible easily from standing to sitting since you are not going to want to stand up ALL day (plus, I don’t think standing all day is healthier than sitting all day – you definitely need a balance). Just get on Google or Youtube to find plenty of videos and ideas about how to set one up if you are interested.
What Benefits Have I Found from Using the Standing Desk?
- It just feels way better than sitting all day. I feel like I have more energy throughout the day when I stand for some of it.
- I automatically move more while using the standing desk. I shift around, dance around, stretch, and even take breaks to do pull ups and yoga moves. That doesn’t happen when I’m computing on the couch.
- I feel more focused and ready to work hard when I stand. I think this is mainly because if I feel my focus trying to drift off and distract me from work, I’m more likely to use that drift to stretch or move around, and then come back to it, instead of start clicking around the internet and getting lost for hours on something else. I also think it’s because when the body is more active, so is the mind, so you’re more likely to want to do active work rather than passive clicking.
- While I don’t always use the standing desk (yes, sometimes I still give into sitting most of the day), I just love, love, LOVE that there is now the option of standing. Sometimes I get in workaholic mode, and before, if I wanted to keep working, there was no other option except to keep sitting. And sometimes that sucked.
Anyway, if you have a sitting job or is just someone who tends to spend a lot of the day sitting uninterrupted, give this a think and see what you can do. Even jobs aside, you might want to set a standing desk up so that you can make your after work or school hours more active as you browse the internet or watch TV shows online.
Even if you can’t get a standing desk going, at least make an effort to ensure you are getting up and moving around every 20 minutes or so – you might find it really improves your health, and maybe even your skin.
Do you spend most of your day sitting? How do you feel about that?
Hey, a standing desk sounds like a great idea! I loved standing at the lab benches in one of the classrooms at college while everyone else sat in tall chairs; also, I often kick out the chair to stretch my legs in silly looking positions whenever I am able to. I know a woman who sits on one of those big workout balls instead of a chair and I think it is a wonderful idea! You can keep your hips, legs, back and abs engaged (and bounce a little if the mood strikes you) 🙂
Also, yoga and light stretching come much more natural to me than the intense desire to workout that I once yet, when I was a teenager. I think with my hormones changing as I age, it takes more motivation to want to exert myself. Especially with all the selflove and acceptance I have been practicing, I have less desire to change my physical appearance. I just want to maintain health and keep my flexibility, digestion, endocrine system, chakras, nervous system, circulation, etc working well rather than burn fat and sculpt muscle. It would be great if I had “fantastic legs” but who would I be trying to impress with a “perfect” bod anyway? I care more about function than appearance these days <3 and I love myself more than ever!
Wishing you well from Ontario
Thanks for the words Alexa 🙂
I know what you mean about less desire to change my physical appearance… when I was getting into P90X, the majority of it was because of the desire to be strong and have energy, but I admit to being a little wooed by the images of super crazy toned bodies and all that….. but then I realized how much the pressure on women to achieve a certain unattainable body ideal has changed from the desire to being super skinny to instead being super ripped and toned (and veiling it under the guise of being healthy)…. but in the end, it’s just another way for women to feel bad about themselves when they can’t get ripped or toned enough …. because the truth is that there are so many women who are super healthy, strong, and fit, yet no matter how fit they are, they will never EVER look like those “ideal fitness bodies”… toned, ripped, washboard abs, etc.
yes when I’m working at my part time job in a health food shop i feel a lot better when i stand up at the till and serve customers than when i sit down. it also keeps me awake and alert to whats going on. also good practice for your posture. and when you DO sit down it feels great, like you really earnt it.
Totally, it makes a huge difference!!
I can see how this is a good idea… but I’m on my feet at my job everyday the whole 8 hours and it’s not fun. Towards the end, I want to die. My legs and feet hurt and become tired, even when standing on a mat. But I think this would be great for people who have a flexible job where they can sit when they want, walk around in place a little and stretch.
I can totally relate to that! I just remember the last time my flight was cancelled… No fun, I swear! It‘s important to find the right balance between sitting and standing during the day, but that‘s not easy…
hi tracy! I LOVE the standing desk suggestion because I feel like it would allow me to resist the temptation of spending hours and hours on the computer. willl definitely try this. on another note, I HAVE A REQUEST TO ASK OF YOU!!!!: through the help of your website I had managed to completely clear my skin!!! however, ever since summer started, I started getting clusters of little white heads on my nose. I generally have about 4 little ones at a time, and the heal really fast, but are quickly replaced my new ones. I think it must be due to the increased sweat/oil production because of the heat. anyway, I would love it if you wrote an article about fighting summer-time breakouts. I’m not sure weather to increase cleansing in order to remove the extra oil, or if that would cause my skin to freak out and overproduce even more?? I just need help :/ have no idea how to fight summer acne.
Tracy asked me to reply to her comments because she is away without internet access until Monday night. But I‘m sure she‘ll read about your suggestion as soon as she‘s back from her trip!!!
I don‘t know if you‘re doing the caveman regimen… If not, I think oils with a high amount of linoleic acid could be a great topical treatment for you (apply just 1-2 drops of it on damp skin). Linoleic acid seems to have the ability to reduce comedones, i.e. whiteheads and blackheads. The only downside is that many of these oils are not very sun stable. However, there are a few exceptions like cranberry seed oil (very light), rice germ oil (light-medium), argan oil (medium), sesame oil (medium), baobab oil (medium-heavy).
Or – if you‘d like to have a vaster choice – simply look at this article
and apply those oils containing a high amount of linoleic acid at night only!!!
Also, where you get acne on your face, might give you some clues about what the root cause of it may be. Make sure to read this article:
I heard that several famous writers (Ernest Hemingway, Victor Hugo, Lewis Carroll) always wrote on standing desks… That must be good for creativity as well! 🙂
I would like to try but don’t your legs hurt after a while?
I like to use an exercise ball to sit on instead of a conventional chair. It‘s a great alternative. It helps build core stability muscles, increases alertness and might also reduce lower back pain. 😉
They ache more in the beginning and then you get used to it… and you can slowly work your way up to standing more… also, the yoga mat on the floor is super important, it really can’t be skipped!
Kind of related to this, at least in terms of *how* we sit and stand, I have a recommendation. Not only did it change the way I do those things, but it eliminated my back pain and leg and knee problems. You might find it interesting: http://gokhalemethod.com.
Nice, I will check it out. Thanks Mike!
I set up a standing desk in the open-plan office at work and stand for two days a week. It acts as a good contrast to the sitting I do at home. If you don’t have a laptop I think the best setup is a raised desk/shelves, then just use a bar stool when you want to sit. Much simpler than raising and lowering something all the time.
I enjoy it, and it led to lots of interesting questions and discussion from other people in the office.
I really have to give a standing desk a shot. Thinking about it, I spend most of my day sitting down at a desk at work, then do more work sitting down at home. Or maybe I should consider a treadmill desk to burn a few calories?! 🙂
this makes so much sense, thank you Tracy.