Along with writers, desk dwellers, and gamers, avid readers have a hard time balancing their sitting life and their moving life. If you’ve ever engrossed yourself in a page turner, you know how hard it is to stop and put the book down. Reading is such a wonderful escape from the routine of our own lives, the temptation to slip into another world and someone else’s head for a few hours is simply too great to resist.
There are also those people who must read for a living—the involuntary rabid readers. Agents, editors, proofreaders and data entry folks spend hours a day pouring over digital material. Hobbyists may have more flexibility with their time, but some are prone to devour five to ten books per week, ignoring their screaming necks and their ever widening backsides.
Don’t worry. I wouldn’t think of taking away your right to read to your heart’s content, but consider these suggestions, straight from Overcome Your Sedentary Lifestyle (A Practical Guide to Improving Health, Fitness, and Well-being for Desk Dwellers and Couch Potatoes), my recent debut non-fiction book. I’m happy to bring relief to my reading warrior pals who live for the next “happily ever after.” #OYSL, as I’m calling it for my twitter community, is a holistic living, self-help book, written to get you motivated and moving toward a more balanced and active lifestyle.
PJ’s Top Five Tips for Readers:
1) Find a comfortable, ergonomically supported place to read. Don’t get sucked in by the couch monster where you’ll find yourself sitting folded into a ball in the corner, your neck and back in agony at the end of an hour. Use pillow supports to keep you upright and rest your arms over a few pillows in your lap to support the book so it’s at eye level.
2) Read in sprints. As I suggested for your computer/screen time, set a limit on your reading time. Commit to moving for at least ten minutes every few chapters or every thirty minutes—whichever comes first.
3) Switch to audiobooks. Or at least alternate between print, digital, and audio. The variety will broaden your experience as well as giving you the flexibility to get your brain candy while you’re doing your housework, exercising, or even walking on the treadmill. Most treadmills have a shelf for your e-reader these days, so you can even read yourself to good health.
4) Drink plenty of water (always have a water bottle nearby and refill as needed). This will force you to take bathroom breaks and discourage snacking.
5) Snack healthy. Many readers love to snack as part of their “escape” mentality. The problem—beyond the unhealthy choices we make—is that we are so into our stories that we aren’t mindful about the quantity or quality of the foods we are putting into our bodies. Choose low calorie, nutrient dense snacks such as almonds, carrots, or apple slices rather than chips, chocolate, or ice cream. Pay attention to serving sizes and only have that amount on hand as you read.
Make these conscious choices ahead of time so you don’t fall prey to mindless eating or get sucked in by the couch monster.
Do you have any tricks for overcoming a sedentary lifestyle?
Is a sedentary lifestyle killing you? Are you gaining weight, developing neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, back problems, or other health issues that are interfering with your ability to achieve your goals or live life to the fullest?
Sedentary Lifestyle Syndrome (SLS) ™ is one of the fastest growing health care crises of our time. In this digital age of techno-overload, where most of our waking hours are spent sitting, or otherwise “connected” to some device, we are quickly realizing the negative effects. If you can answer yes to the following questions, you may be suffering from SLS.
- Do you sit for at least 6-8 hours per day without adequate breaks?
- Have you gained significant weight from lack of exercise and poor nutrition?
- Do you suffer from headaches, fatigue, listlessness, and lack of motivation?
- Have you been diagnosed with one or more health issues aggravated by prolonged sitting and lack of movement? (i.e.: Obesity, depression, heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome)
Overcome Your Sedentary Lifestyle is the practical guide you need. Author and Holistic Health Care professional, PJ Sharon, includes tips to keep you healthy—even if sitting is in your job description. Ms. Sharon offers easy to implement solutions for proper work station set-up, exercises for injury prevention and treatment, and a practical plan for self-care success—whether you’re perched on the couch, or on the way to fulfilling your dreams.
Isn’t it time for you to stand up for your life?
PJ Sharon, PTA, LMT, CPFT