How To Reverse The Effects of Sitting

Research suggests that long days of sitting are linked to health issues. Here's how to fight back and protect heart, mind, and...

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Today’s Health Upgrade

  • Monday motivation

  • How to reverse the effects of sitting

  • Workout of the week

Arnold’s Podcast

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Arnold’s Corner: Monday Motivation

Most of the time, my motivational style is more of the giving you a pat on the back approach. Today is more of a kick in the ass.

We love how engaged the Arnold’s Pump Club village is. I get many questions every day and love the Q&A’s in the app. Some ask what supplements to take. Some ask about whether this type of training is better than that type of training. Some ask about different popular diets and which one they should follow.

I love seeing these because it helps our team find issues to discuss in our standard, no BS way.

But there have also been times I want to ask: are you training on a regular basis, are you eating protein and vegetables, are you sleeping every night, do you have a routine?

I think there is a tendency to zoom in and look at the tiniest details and research for days. I love research. I think it’s important to be curious, ask questions, and search for science-backed answers. It’s what we do here every day to reduce the confusion.

But I also think that obsessing over every detail leads to analysis paralysis, and what most people need to do is focus on the basics.

You need to zoom out. Look at your life from a 30,000-foot view. 

Are you training?

Are you eating real foods you know are healthy?

Are you going to bed and waking up at the same time, well-rested, so your body can recover from your training?

Are you beating yourself up every time you make a mistake instead of just getting back on track?

Do you just need to kick yourself in the ass and get started?

Let’s be honest.

Researching different training plans never put an ounce of muscle on anyone. Reading about diets never caused anyone to lose any weight. No supplement will be your magic pill.

I’d say 90 percent — and probably more — of being healthy and fit comes from doing the basics. 

If you don’t have the basics down and find yourself reading article after article, trying to learn all the details, your brain might be stalling. It might be saying to you, “You can start next week after you learn everything.” Our minds love to play tricks and get us to procrastinate about doing the things we know we should be doing.

Zoom out. Just start. Tell your brain that it needs to procrastinate about procrastinating because you’re doing your workout today, you’re eating your protein and your vegetables to fuel yourself, and you’re going to bed at a decent hour instead of wasting time reading about another supplement.

We will always share workouts every week for free, so there’s no excuse there (we have another one in today’s newsletter). There’s also The Pump app if you want to invest in yourself and have a more designed training plan, a way to build any helpful habit, and a positive community. 

We will also always share supplement advice, like taking creatine or protein, and we will analyze all the latest nutrition studies so you don’t need to put yourself into analysis paralysis. But if you aren’t doing the work, don’t even worry about the supplements or any of the details.

Just get to work.

If you aren’t training regularly and eating well 80 percent of the time, creatine isn’t going to turn your life around.

Just get to work.

You can learn everything about every diet in the world, but that knowledge isn’t going to cut your body fat.

Just get to work.

Focus on the basics. Don’t get lost in the weeds. Zoom out.

One question I get a lot is, “How do I get started?” Just start.

If you’re honest with yourself, you know what you need to do. Cut down on the fast food. Get rid of the soda. Stop smoking. Do today’s weekly workout. Eat some vegetables. Don’t eat a whole pint of ice cream. 

You know what’s holding you back.

So just do the damn work, and let us worry about the details.

How To Reverse The Effects of Sitting

For the past 15 years, sitting all day has been compared to smoking and has been linked to conditions such as diabetes, poor heart health, weight gain, depression, dementia, and multiple cancers.

That’s the bad news, but here’s the good: Recent research suggests that your weekly workouts can offset the damage done by sitting. 

While earlier research painted a doom-and-gloom picture that exercise doesn’t balance out a sedentary job, a more thorough analysis has found otherwise. 

The scientists analyzed more than 40,000 people across nine studies and found that 30 to 40 minutes of exercise per day can offset up to 10 hours of sitting. 

If you can’t find time for exercise each day, don’t stress. The study also found that standing each day can help undo the effects, as can low-intensity movements like walking, playing with your kids, or doing housework.

The point: if you sit, you need to offset that inaction with action. Try to find 10 to 15 minutes a few times per day to move, and try to schedule workouts at least two to three times per week. This commitment can help improve overall health and protect against the damage of all-day sitting.

Workout of the Week

Need a place to start fighting back against all your sitting? Give this 20-minute workout a try. It’s just three movements, but it will hit all primary movements and challenge all the muscles in your upper and lower body. 

How to do it:

Perform the three exercises as a circuit, doing one exercise after another, resting 30 to 60 seconds between each movement. Once you complete all three exercises (that’s 1 round), rest for 3 minutes, and then repeat. Complete as many rounds as you can within 20 minutes. 

Weighted version

Kettlebell or dumbbell swings: 10-15 reps

Pullup or inverted row: 8-12 reps

Dumbbell, barbell, or kettlebell squat and overhead press: 10-12 reps

Bodyweight version

Hip raise: 10-20 reps

Superman pullup: 8-12 reps

Pushup: 10-20 reps

Give it a try, and let us know how it goes!

Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Editors-in-chief: Adam Bornstein and Daniel Ketchell