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Lanre Olusola

Your Life is a sum total of your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Spiritual Wellbeing. 

Do you know that 4 out of the 7 Leading Causes of Death – Heart Disease; Cancer; Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease; Stroke; Accidents; Alzheimer’s Disease; Diabetes can be attributed to excessive sitting and living a sedentary lifestyle? A sedentary lifestyle is a lifestyle with no or irregular physical activity. A person who lives a sedentary lifestyle may colloquially be known as a couch potato.

Some years back, British medical experts linked prolonged periods of sitting to a greater likelihood of disease. Other studies have also shown that each hour spent watching TV is linked to an 18% increase in the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease – this may be due to the fact that TV time is usually spent sitting down. 

Yes, sitting down is killing you faster than you know! Today, people sit a lot more than they used to sit in the 60s, 70s, 80 and 90s. It is even worse the older you get and the more successful you become. 

80% of the day, we are sitting down (in the car, on the plane, in the office, in meetings, at home and in front of the TV etc.). I can bet that you are sitting down reading this article right now. By age 65, you would have sat in front of the TV, in meetings, computer, in your car, in the office for between 9 to 19 years of your life.

“Our bodies are breaking down daily from obesity, cancer, depression, based on what scientists call sitting disease” – James A. Levone PhD M.D

Do you know that just by continuously sitting down for 2 hours every day you put your metabolic system at risk; drop good cholesterol levels by 20%; reduce blood flow to vital areas of your body and raise your blood sugar? This is not only affecting your body physically but mentally. 

“For people who sit all day, their risk of heart attack is about the same as smoking”

– Martha Grogan – MD Cardiologist, Mayo Clinic. 

Too much sitting can increase the risk of early death. In America alone, over 2 million people die at work each year sitting down. It’s estimated that 45-60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity exercise 3 days a week is required to offset the increased risk of death associated with more than 8 hours of sitting daily. 

I’d love to introduce you to a wellness rule I created, called the “55-5 Rule”. This simply means that for every 60 minutes you have to sit down, take out 5 minutes to do some physical activity.

So, following The Catalyst “55-5 Rule” you can either just stand, walk around, run down the stairs and keep your body mobile or do some flexibility exercises such as stretching and breathing each day for 5 minutes, in-between 55 minutes’ spots of sitting down during the day. 

This can increase your blood flow; metabolism; burn more calories; improve your focus and energy; improve your mental emotional and physical wellbeing; and increase longevity. The Catalyst “55-5 Rule” over an 8-10 hour working day gives you between 40 to 50 minutes work out every day.

This simple 5-minute rule will help you develop your mind power and exercise your body every 55 minutes. If you can’t take out time to go to the gym 3 times a week to spend 1 hour, this innovative “55-5 Rule” just about sorts you out.

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Science now shows that physical exercise is important and essential in promoting the growth of brain cells and healthy nerve connections. Physical exercise is also great for physical strength, fitness and stamina.

Inactivity and Your Mental Health 

Inactivity does not only affect you physically, it affects you mentally. Exercise is one of the most effective ways to improve your mental health. Regular exercise can have a very positive impact on depression, anxiety, ADHD, and more. It helps relieve stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts overall mood.  

Do You know that you have control over your moods, feelings and emotions? Do you know that with the right Dose of DOSE you can regulate your moods, feelings and emotions? In 2018, we started a nationwide campaign tagged Boost Your Dose of DOSE to teach people how to build emotional immunity and resilience against depression, suicidal thoughts and other mental health challenges.

D.O.S.E stands for Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin and Endorphins. In almost 2 decades as a psychotherapist, results have shown that a healthy daily dose of DOSE i.e. the body’s natural “feel good hormones” in good measure consistently, will help us eliminate depressive thoughts, patterns, programs, feelings, reverse symptoms and eventually, if sustained for longer, depression. Exercise is the one consistent activity that boosts all 4 natural feel good hormones associated with improving our mental health. 

When documentary photographer Martin Eberlen was diagnosed with ADHD in his early 30s, he turned to running to help manage his condition. In a story published by the BBC in 2018, Eberlen captured the stories of other runners, detailing how they discovered their passion for running, and how the sport relates to previous experiences and their mental health. Anxiety, Depression, Suicidal thoughts, Postnatal Depression, OCD, etc. are mental health conditions that the runners mentioned they conquered just by running. 

In your brain, exercise stimulates the feel good chemicals that improve your mood and the parts of the brain responsible for memory and learning. Exercise makes you feel good when you are feeling down and it makes you feel better even when you feel good.
According to the WHO, 1 in 4 persons globally will suffer one form of mental health challenge or the other, it is important to do all that you can to protect your mental health. Remember, you need a POWERFUL body to carry a POWERFUL mind and spirit. Get up and get active, your life and general wellbeing depends on it.

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