Healthy Habits for Vibrant Living

Seminar 1 - Support Material

"How we spend our days is of course how we spend our lives." ~ Annie Dillard

Posture

"There is no artificial replacement for motion." ~ Pete Egoscue

Why sitting is bad for you, by Murat Dalkilinç

The human body is built to move and you can see evidence of that in the way it's structured. Inside us over 360 joints and about 700 skeletal muscles enable easy, fluid motion. Our blood depends on us to move around to be able to circulate properly, our nerve cells benefit from movement, and our skin is elastic, meaning it molds to our motions.
So with every inch of your body ready and waiting for you to move, what happens when you just don't?

Sitting at Your Computer, by Liz Koch

sitting

"Sitting at your computer for any period of time can be a very exhausting even painful experience. Fixating on a computer screen fatigues by overriding natural reflexes that coordinate and align posture. Besides the logical need to vary movement there are also ways to enhance your sitting time and minimize muscular tension.

Discovering your psoas muscle (pronounced so-as) and understanding its functions will help you make better decisions as to how to position yourself, the height and type of chair to use and the height of your desk, keyboard and monitor."  Read more...

Here are several tips to help you free your psoas:
  • Sit on a flat chair
  • Sit with your weight in front of sits bones
  • Sit with your hip sockets higher than your knees
  • Keep your feet on the floor
  • Keep your jaw loose
  • Position the monitor to be high enough that your eyes look directly at the screen while working
    Read more...

Benefits of Walking

walking during lunch
Why Everyone from Beethoven, Goethe, Dickens, Darwin to Steve Jobs Took Long Walks and Why You Should Too, by Andrew Tate

  • It will help make you more creative
  • It will help you stay healthy
  • It will help you be more productive
  • It's a great way to communicate

"In fact, walking is as close to a magic pill that we have. Just 30 minutes of walking each day is enough to dramatically reduce your risk of heart disease, colon cancer, breast cancer and dementia."  Read more...

Steve Jobs was right about walking, by Craig Dowden

"Sitting in a meeting or in front of a screen does not get your creative juices flowing, according to research out of Stanford University. If you're hoping for inspiration to strike, you may want to try walking away."  Read more...

Taking Breaks - Get up and Move!

The One Habit We Should All Take From Smokers, by Laura Vanderkam

"It is the reality of having temporal bodies that need to rest and recharge. A famous study of Wachovia employees, done a few years ago by Tony Schwartz and Catherine McCarthy, found that when people take regular breaks, they are measurably more productive."  Read more...

It is vital to take regular breaks every hour or so: get up, walk about, rotate your ankles and stretch. The computer is a very potent "consciousness absorbing" device, so you'll need to find a way to remind yourself to take those breaks. See some suggestions in the Prescription section below.

Prescription

Stand up and do one of the following every 20-30 minutes:
  • Take or make a phone call while standing or walking
  • Breath Movement Exercise (see below in Breath section)
  • Take a Water Break
  • Go Outside for a Breath Break
  • Take a Walking Meeting
  • Walk Around the Office
  • Visit a Colleague instead of Emailing Colleague
At Home:
  • Get on the floor and stretch during TV time
  • Stand up and move during TV commercials
  • Take an evening walk around the block

Breath

"Are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?" ~ Mary Oliver

How to Hold Your Breath for 20 Minutes, by Stig Severinsen

Stig Åvall Severinsen was the first person to hold his breath for more than 20 minutes under water, a Guinness World Record.

He believes that controlling our breath means controlling our lives.

In Breatheology Severinsen proposes that through working with the breath, a link can be created between body and mind that enables a person to control stress, increase energy, perform better physically and mentally, alleviate pain and improve health.

Please try Stig Severinsen's Movement and Breath Exercise. This exercise is simple. You can do it in the morning, you can do it at the office, you can even do it before you go to bed... you can do it right now.

Breathwork - The Easiest and Most Cost-Effective Holistic Health Strategy

breathwork

Dr. Andrew Weil tells us that breathing is the only function in the human body that is done either completely unconsciously or completely consciously. It can be a voluntary act or involuntary and thus it is governed by two distinct sets of muscles and nerves depending on which mode is in use - the involuntary nerves and muscles and the voluntary. Each set of muscles and nerves can fully drive and manage the system. Therefore the breath has this phenomenal unique characteristic that enables it to affect the involuntary nervous system. It is the only function in the human body that has this ability.  Read more...

Breathwork: 10 Benefits of Deep Breathing

breathwork
  1. Deep breathing calms the sympathetic nervous system.
  2. Breathing lifts mood. Breathing raises levels of endorphins and lowers stress hormones.
  3. Breathing brings clarity and mindfulness to your mind-body connection.
  4. Breathing boosts energy and stamina.
 Read more...

Prescription

Take 10 deep breaths 5 times a day. When you...
  • Wake Up
  • Driving/getting to work
  • Before lunch breath break
  • Before leaving work/end of work day
  • Driving home
Bonus breath opportunities:
  • During commercials
  • Before bed
  • When you see a meeting reminder on your computer, make it your breath reminder. (You'd be the most calm, centered and creative person at that meeting!)
Suggestion: Use little stones as your breath reminders.

Mind

"The mind is its own place and in itself, can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven" ~ John Milton

The Happiness Advantage: Linking Positive Brains to Performance, by Shawn Achor

"...If I know everything about your external world, I can only predict 10% of your long-term happiness. 90% of your long-term happiness is predicted not by the external world, but by the way your brain processes the world. And if we change it, if we change our formula for happiness and success, what we can do is change the way that we can then affect reality...

...If you can raise somebody's level of positivity in the present, then their brain experiences what we now call a happiness advantage, which is your brain at positive performs significantly better than it does at negative, neutral or stressed. Your intelligence rises, your creativity rises, your energy levels rise. In fact, what we've found is that every single business outcome improves. Your brain at positive is 31% more productive than your brain at negative, neutral or stressed...

...We've done these things in research now in every single company that I've worked with, getting them to write down three new things that they're grateful for 21 days in a row, three new things each day. And at the end of that, their brain starts to retain a pattern of scanning the world not for the negative, but for the positive first."

"It's very different for me to say "I'm a grateful person", and to have a practice in Gratitude. It has a way of changing how we see our lives" ~ Diana Christinson

Prescription

Gratitude Practice
Bonus Gratitudes:
Place a stone or bean on top of alarm clock or next to your toothbrush and be grateful for one thing first thing in the morning and last thing before going to bed.
alarm clock stone reminder