Those who know me know that my favorite time of the day is early morning; I rise at 6:30 a.m. and I head out to the beach, briskly walking the several blocks from my apartment to the Starbucks on Ocean Drive. As I do, I pass by several joggers, as well as a morning yoga class. That’s one of the benefits of living on South Beach – we’re never at a loss for the opportunity to exercise.
But not all of us do this – I know that there is an ample bunch of sitters among us on Miami Beach, and I am too often guilty of that as well. Recently, a study published by an American Cancer Society epidemiologist tracked the health of 123,000 men and women over a period of 12 years, and found that the longer of time each day people spent sitting, the more they shortened their lifespan. In fact, the overall death rate was 20 percent higher for men who spent three hours a day sitting or less, and about 40 percent higher for women who spent six hours a day sitting.
Reading that, I felt quite smug. “I don’t spend a lot of time sitting around,” I thought smugly, upon reading that. But then I reconsidered. “I may not spend a lot of time sitting around,” I thought to myself – “But sitting in front of the computer – that’s another story.”
That’s right—even though I don’t spend my time in front of a TV, I spend at least eight hours a day sitting in front of a computer screen, and probably a lot more than that as well. Factor in surfing the Internet, Facebook and Twitter, and it’s not a pretty story.
Happily, studies also show that the health hazards of inactivity, which include heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and some even some forms of cancer, can be reversed by inactivity. And so, I’ve decided that, based on that eight hours, I will spend two-three hours being active.
Over the years, one thing I’ve learned is that variety is important to staying interested in being active and, thanks to our beautiful environment, I have plenty of opportunity to mix it up. So I’ve rededicated myself not only to being active, but also pausing throughout the day – throughout that sitting – to get up and move.
My plan is that morning beach walk and then back to the computer until about 10:30 a.m., when it’s off to Equinox South Beach for two morning classes, perhaps Zumba, followed by Kettle Bells, for a mix of cardiac and strength-building activities. And then back to the computer, but up again, to head back to the gym for some cardio on the elliptical trainer.
And, after that – well, it’s off to a dance club. This is Miami Beach after all!
More info: Andreas Heuser, Equinox South Beach, 305-673-1172, www.equinox.com.
Charlotte Libov’s writing on Miami Beach appears in many places, including AOL City’s Best Miami and Florida Travel + Life and AOL City’s Best Miami. She is also the author of five books, including “The Woman’s Heart Book,” which was made into the groundbreaking PBS documentary “Women’s Hearts at Risk.” She speaks both nationally and locally on the topic of preventing.