#144 Movement > Exercise

Let’s Not Be Active AND Sedentary

Continuing our exercise-is-good for you theme, let’s step back and broaden our view a bit.

In her great book Move Your DNA, Katy Bowman tells us that we have TRILLIONS of cells in our body. (Think about that for a moment: T R I L L I O N S!!! Estimates range from 15 trillion to 70 TRILLION.)

And, get this: Nearly every one of those TRILLIONS of cells has a little receptor tied to your level of M O V E M E N T. (Or, of course, your lack thereof.)

Know this: Our bodies were designed to MOVE.

All day.

Every day.


Which is why some people call sitting all day the new smoking.

Katy tells us that we can actually be “active AND sedentary.” We can be the type of person who conscientiously gets up early, drives to the gym on the way to work, bangs out an hour workout, then hops back in our car to drive to work where we sit all day before driving home and sitting all night.

That person is “active.” They’re exercising—which is, of course, awesome.


They’re also SEDENTARY because they’re sitting so much.

Active AND sedentary.

The way to deal with this?

Conceptually: Draw a big circle. Then draw a little circle inside of it. The big circle = Movement. The small circle inside of that big Movement circle = Exercise.

Movement transcends and includes exercise. ← That’s a really big idea.

In short: To Optimize our well-being and avoid being active and sedentary, we’ve gotta make sure we’re moving more throughout the day.

Practically-speaking: The #1 thing I changed when I realized that I was dangerously close to being active and sedentary was to set a 15-minute countdown timer and GET UP and move every time it went off. Sometimes that’ll be to bang out a set of 10 burpees, other times I’ll do some pull-ups or just hang from the pull-up bar in my office. Or, maybe I’ll just get up and shake my body out or go for a walk.


Today’s +1: Draw that big circle. And the little one. And move.

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