Sitting is the new smoking 🪑🙅🏽‍♂️

Zerodha recently rolled out a new incentive program to encourage team members to be more attentive towards their health

Agreed that BMI might be a relatively simple proxy for fitness (though it’s better than nothing). Also, keeping aside the fact that different people might have different fitness levels – one size doesn’t fit all. Still, this is a very nice initiative to draw our attention to how sedate our lifestyles are 🥔

We don’t move anymore

WFH came in and all of us instantly became extremely comfortable with being a plant. Initial days of the lockdown, it’d take a powercut for me to leave the screen. Contrast this with pre-lockdown when we used to be more out and about – walking, climbing stairs, putting in effort for dressing up, those chat sessions in the office cafe – we subconsciously move around more than we realise. And that’s how we’re supposed to function as a species

When we walk, use our limbs, our core – we undertake a series of micro-activities that activate our muscles, tendons, ligaments, use up energy stored in our cells and keep our blood pumping. These micro-activities add up significantly over time. So does a lack of them

So pretty. Not.

Matter come, matter go

A dam works by creating a reservoir. More water is coming in, less is being let go. Water is fed to the dam through the source – river/stream. The amount of water that is released is controlled by these gates that you see in the picture above. The difference in the rate of accumulation and the rate of release will determine the catchment area of the dam

Food -> source
Activities -> dam gates
Body -> catchment area

The relationship that we have between food and activities determines how our body is impacted:

Eat more, spend less ->

Large catchment area in the body. This doesn’t just lead to a bigger belly / body, but also, more importantly, it leads to increased stress on multiple systems

  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular issues
  • Stressed pancreas -> insulin overproduction -> diabetes
  • Muscle deterioration
  • Joint pains

Eat less, spend more ->

A short-term strategy to quickly use up the extra stored energy. But not sustainable, no? How’re you going to spend what you don’t have? What do you think your body is? A credit card?

Many crash-diet programs focus on creating this deficiency at an exaggerated level to quickly lose weight. While you might lose weight in the short run, you’re also extinguishing the fuel source of your body. A lack of a balanced diet will lead to nutrient-deficiencies. You’ll probably be thinner, but most probably not fitter. Yes, there’s a difference 🙆🏽‍♀️

Eat what you need to spend ->

This is where we need to be. The body is in perfect harmony from the POV of what’s coming in and what’s going out. There’s sufficient buffer to ensure we can stretch ourselves while ensuring the energy demands that we have from the body are being aptly fulfilled

Flipping the argument

Spend what you eat

Let’s face it, in the long run, we’re always going to eat more than what we need to 🍔 🍔 🤦🏽‍♂️

But by increasing how much we move, we can still strike that balance. And again, every micro-activity counts. So, the next time you’ve been sitting for a while, think of that dam and think of balancing by opening those gates

Let me know your thoughts:

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