Friday Finds is a regular feature in which I collate and share interesting articles and posts on running/health/fitness which I’ve read recently. Some might be inspiring, some might be scientific, some might provoke debate. All are things I’ve found in some way thought-provoking.
We Scots tend to get a pretty bad reputation when it comes to keeping fit and healthy, with the world liking to believe we live on deep fried confectionary and never so much as look at a vegetable. But of course, that’s far from the truth. Yes, there are plenty of people living an unhealthy lifestyle, just like in any other country, but there are also plenty for whom health is very important. This year there will be 15 Scots in the GB team at the Rio Olympics, and a legacy of sport and activity is filtering down to grass roots, something I see regularly in the Scottish-based bloggers I follow. So it was with a great deal of pleasure that I read earlier in the week that participation in sport is on the rise in Scotland. Hopefully this is the beginning of a long-term trend that will see us becoming increasingly healthy as a nation.
Sadly this news stands in stark contrast with figures released this week by the Department of Transport which reveal that the average Briton walks less than half a mile a day! I’ve been learning more and more about how important walking and being active is to a healthy lifestyle and even those of us who run can be guilty of being “actively sedentary” (i.e. we run for an hour or so in a day, but are largely seated either at a desk or in our cars for our remaining waking hours). I’ve been making a conscious effort to be more active throughout the day over the last few weeks and am really enjoying the extra fresh air and chance to move around. Hopefully more people will begin to follow suit and make better use of those activity trackers and apps they no doubt have!
And stories like this have dominated the media this week. A number of new studies have corroborated previous headlines declaring that “sitting is the new smoking” and the newspapers have been full of frightening statistics about how we are dooming ourselves to a host of preventable conditions. I’m certainly aware that during the school day I don’t move as much as I would like and am having a think about how I can be less sedentary at work when the new school year begins. Making better use of my own activity tracker will no doubt be part of that, especially since I’m on a roll with hitting my step goal this summer!
- Being Unfit May be Almost as Bad for you as Smoking
- One Hour of Activity Needed to Offset Harmful Effects of Sitting at a Desk
Fortunately, the newspapers have also provided us with some advice about how we can be more active in our day to day lives, publishing a host of tips (some more serious than others!) to help combat the scourge of a desk-bound job. While it might not always be easy to be more active (I can’t walk away from a class for 10 minutes just because my tracker tells me I need to move!) but I’m sure there are creative ways I can rack up more movement during the day rather than relying on a run or workout later on, as that would keep me firmly in the “actively sedentary” camp. I suppose if all else fails, there’s always Pokémon!
- How to Get an Hour’s Exercise Every Day – Even When You Work in an Office
- Pokémon Go Could Help Defuse the Health Time Bomb of Office Work
And finally, regardless of how active you are throughout the day, you’re probably here because running is part of your life. So just for fun, why not have a go at this quick quiz from Buzzfeed to find out exactly how much running dominates your existence. It told me I was striking a reasonably healthy balance, but there are times when running is definitely the dominant thought in my head!
The Running Princess