Movement & Exercise Advise for Desk Workers – Paul Levitin – Episode 62

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You probably sit at your desk a lot, right? Health & happiness coach, Paul Levitin, shares movement advice for busy desk workers. How to maximize the time you have to feel your best each day. 

Links mentioned in epsiode

THIS EPISODE AT-A-GLANCE

  • Sitting all day – Why is it bad for us?
  • Tips to avoid being sedentary
  • Maximize your workspace
  • Exercises from your desk
  • What should you prioritize?
  • Paul’s 3 B Solution

Full Podcast Transcription

Paul Levitin:
It’s much less what you do and much more that you do. Meaning people get so bogged down in the, well, what should I be doing this workout or that workout? Should I be, if I’m going to the gym, should I be doing CrossFitter or should I be doing cardio? Should I be doing yoga? Should I be doing this? It’s like, I don’t care what you choose, as long as you move.

Sarah Panus:
Hi, my name is Sarah Panus. I have spent the last two decades driving digital content for billion dollar brands. Now I help content marketers build winning brand storytelling strategies and reduce feelings of overwhelm and confusion. Join me as we discuss strategy, creativity, confidence, and building a better connection with your audience. Think of this as a creative content marketing jam session mixed with chicken soup for the soul. This is the Marketing With Empathy podcast. 

Sarah Panus:
Hey, Hey, Kindred Speakers! From a health perspective, they say sitting is the new smoking. Sitting all day is really bad for our health. And I know everyone listening right now is really good at sitting at your desk and working all day, right? But if you’re like me, you may not get up and move around often enough. So today we’re speaking with an expert about how to maximize our workspace, to allow us to be able to squeeze in more daily movement and exercise. Joining me to shares expertise is wellbeing expert, Paul Leviton. Paul is a health and happiness coach podcaster and public speaker. His education and coaching company, The Healthy Happy Human Academy helps busy parents eliminate self sabotage so they can have unlimited energy, lose weight and love the person they see in the mirror every day. He’s also the host of The Healthy, Happy, Human podcast, which aims to educate, inspire, and help a million people live healthier, happier lives. Welcome to the show, Paul!

Paul Levitin:
Well, thank you so much for having me, Sarah.

Sarah Panus:
Absolutely. I’m excited to have you on. Paul when you and I first met in a Facebook podcasting group, I reached out to invite you here onto this show to talk with my audience about a home exercises for desk workers, since everyone listening works at their desk. Because while the focus of marketing with empathy is around brand storytelling advice for marketers, we also talk about the personal advice for professionals to help us thrive in our careers and in our life. I describe like what we’re gonna talk about today as the “chicken for the soul aspect” of this show, topics we all need to feel and do our best. So, Paul first, just tell us a little bit more about how you help people be healthier and happier.

Paul Levitin:
Yeah. Awesome. One, I think that this is a super important topic, so I’m very excited to be here today and talking to your audience and a little bit about me, my background. So as you so graciously stated in the intro, I’m a health and happiness coach, but I started my career as a personal trainer, a strength coach, a corrective exercise specialist, a nutrition coach, basically working in gyms with what we in the industry would call general pop clients, gen pop. You know, regular, not athletes, just Sally from soccer practice and Steve from accounting and helping them lose weight, feel better, move better. And I worked for almost 10 years in the gym setting, you know, learning a lot about the body, learning a lot about the human organism. And then I got very interested in behavior change and the why behind the what, because as most people know, and anyone who knows marketing knows that marketing is just behavior change.

Paul Levitin:
And how do we get someone to take an action? Why is that? Everyone wants to be healthier and yet the world is not healthy, right? Why is it that everyone wants, wants a, something that we have an answer for? And yet we don’t use the answer. We don’t use the resources available to us. So that, that took me down the road, the road of becoming a board, licensed wellness coach, which has a lot more to do with psychology and behavior change, and how to help people make the decisions and take the actions that they need to take beyond just giving someone a workout. And I combine those two things, my expertise in actual the fitness realm and the nutrition realm, and actually knowing the X’s and O’s of how to help people change their body with the psychology of behavior change and human motivation and psychology and, and how to actually get people to do the work that they need to do.

Paul Levitin:
And that’s why I created the Healthy, Happy, Human Academy, because to me it’s all about healthy and happy, right? I, I stepped away from the, the fitness world full time because I, to me, there’s too much emphasis on specifically things like aesthetics and looking a way, you know, losing weight to fit a certain size dress or having abs or a certain arms that look a certain way. When, to me, there’s a, there’s a very good reason to exercise and to eat right, and to be healthy. And it’s because you get a better quality of life when you do that, it has nothing to do with looking a certain way. It has to do with being better, having a better life, living better for your kids, for your nieces and nephews, for your, your significant others, for everyone that you’re, that you affect in your life. So, yeah, my mission is to just help people live a healthy, happy life through whatever means that I need to help them with.

Sarah Panus:
It’s so important and a really good delineation, cuz you’re right there. So many options and things available to us to live healthier, happier lives, but we don’t always do them, which is a great segue into what we’re talking about today, which is even just, you know, daily movement and how, as you know, professionals who may feel like we’re chained to our desk, how do we like shift, you know, that mindset and actually think about things that are achievable and attainable for us. So as I mentioned in the intro, you know, health experts, we’re all hearing it say, you know, sitting is the new smoking yet. We’re sitting a lot still. So why is it that sitting all day is so bad for us?

sitting all day – Why is it bad for us?

Paul Levitin:
Right? So there’s two different reasons that we can talk about now that I’ll just highlight really quickly. The first thing is simply because sitting is not moving and it’s really that simple. It’s not that sitting is bad. It’s that moving is good. And when we’re sitting, we’re not moving right. And the human body, the human organism was made to move. We have evolved over hundreds of thousands, if not millions of years, to be elite movers and hunters and gatherers. And you know, the everything up until maybe a couple hundred years of human evolution has been, you had to work and move. And even just maybe say a hundred years ago, really it was the, the invention of the, the factory. And eventually the off is building that took that away from us, right? Even your great, great grandparents probably moved a lot. They might have been a traveling salesperson.

Paul Levitin:
They might have been a farmer. They might have been something where they had to move daily. The ability to sit still for eight hours a day is a largely modern invention that came along with again, the, the office building that the factory, the corpor, and these things that are in the grand scheme of human existence, a spec of dirt in the ocean, you know, it’s, it’s nothing and, and nothingness, you know, so the human body was created to move and we became elite movers. And now we just took that away. And there’s, it’s a very simple binary of when we move more, we get healthy. When we move less, we get sick, right? When you move more, you lose weight, you get strong, you lose diseases. You, you have healthy lungs, you breathe better. Your heart works better. When people who don’t move, they gain weight, they lose muscle, their heart stops working.

Paul Levitin:
Their breathing gets worse and a million other things happen. So it’s just a very simple correlation between the, the less we move, the less healthy we are. And the more we move, the more healthy we are. And if you’re sitting at a desk for six, 12, maybe 6, 8, 12 hours a day, you’re probably not moving in that time. So that’s part, one of why it’s so bad. And then part two is because one people sit they’re largely sitting in not good positions, meaning again, just like how the human body was created to move. It was also created to maintain certain positions, right? Our spine has a certain shape. Our muscles are made to hold us in certain ways and human chairs that are an invention that, you know, by someone’s brain are not made to hold us the correct way, or they try to, but they don’t actually do the job that they, they set out to.

Paul Levitin:
So like ergonomic chairs are made to feel comfortable, but often what feels comfortable and what is best for our body are not the best thing. Right? Perfect example is exercise. Exercise does not feel comfortable, but it’s good for our body eating a salad instead of an Oreo does not all comfortable, but it’s, what’s best for our body. So in the same vein, a lot of the chairs that we’re sitting in and the way that we’re positioning our body is not actually what’s best for our body. Now, again, you’re sitting for eight hours a day in an, in an ideal position, and this can lead to, this is, you know, this is the rabbit hole of like, why we suffer from so much back pain and neck pain and shoulder pain and aches and things like that. So that’s, that’s a big part of it. But in reality, the main 90% of the issue is just that when you’re sitting, you’re not moving.

Paul Levitin:
Got it. That’s so interesting when you say that even about ergonomic chairs. Cause I, I was like, oh, I would’ve thought like that those work good. And they are better than other ones that aren’t, but your whole point is just that we need to move. It’s just a facet of how we’re built and how we’re made. It reminds me too. So I grew up on a farm. Actually, my parents are farmers and were their whole life. And so every day they were very like always using their body, always going outside. And so my dad is in his eighties now and still relatively healthy. And he, and I think it, I attributed a lot to him just moving so much throughout his whole life. 

Sarah Panus:
Right. Well, okay. So then we know it’s bad. We know why we know we need to move. So then obviously with your, your behavior mentioned in the beginning on understanding, like the behaviors of what we do, I’d love to talk about tips then, like what can we do to like, not be sedentary all day? Like what, what tips do you have to help us avoid being sedentary?

Tips to avoid being sedentary

Paul Levitin:
Yeah. So, I mean, this is this stuff that people don’t want to hear because I’m not going to tell you, well, just grab this one secret thing and then you’ll do it. It’s the, you know, the non-stuff that works. It’s things like setting alarms throughout the day to get up and move, walk around your desk. It’s things like taking the stairs instead of the elevator parking farther away. All of these things are things that I would have five or six years ago told you, oh, that’s crazy. You know, everyone talks about that. Just park their way, just, you know, just take this the stairs instead of the elevator. And yet those things, they seem so tiny that just like, how could that even make a difference? But if you do that every day, right? If you go to work five days a week, 52 weeks a year, and it’s like those little steps add up, meaning people always think about like, like I just said, set an alarm. Set an alarm says, walk around the office.

Paul Levitin:
Right? And you take a two minute lap around the office. If you did that five times per day, that’s 10 minutes of walking. Now people will look at that and be like, well, what difference could two minutes of walking make? But it’s the cumulative effect, right? Compound interest of small things will add up much quicker. Cause what, where people go and this, you, you, you kind of alluded to this before what you said about the mindset. This is the real thing. And this is why I, I created my company because I can give you the blueprint, right? People are like, oh, well just tell me what workout to do. There’s no one workout. Even if you go to the gym three days a week for an hour, that’s three hours out of your week. If you’re sitting eight hours a day, five days a week, that’s 40 hours.

Paul Levitin:
You’re not combating that with three with three hour long workouts, right? So we need to inject small amounts of movement whenever we can, whenever we can. So taking the stairs when we can parking farther away, when we can going for a walk, if you’re on a call, if you’re, in an office. Or if you’re, especially, if people have home offices get one of those walking desks with the treadmill, right. And not standing desk, because standing desk is only like a millimeter above a sitting desk, because again, you’re standing, but you’re still not moving. Right? So a lot of people like standing desks are all the rage right now. And they’re better than sitting, but you’re still not moving. The walking desks on the treadmill are amazing. Again, take your phone calls, right? You’re doing, you’re doing a sales call. You’re doing a whatever call.

Paul Levitin:
You’re doing a conference call, take it on the road, walk around while, while you’re doing it. Like these things seem silly and they seem so easy. But the thing about easy stuff is that they’re just as easy. It is. It is to do, it’s easy to not do. Right. So it’s like, yeah, it’s so easy to take two minutes to walk around. Who’s doing that. Right. It’s so easy to replace your, your standing desk with a, with a treadmill desk, if you work from home. But how many people have actually made that investment in themselves and you know, and also, you know, you could talk about things like stretching. We can talk about things like, but, but the point is, it’s much less what you do and much more that you do. Meaning people get so bogged down in the, well, what should I be doing this workout or that workout?

Paul Levitin:
Should I be, if I’m going to the gym, should I be doing CrossFit? Should I be doing cardio? Should I be doing yoga? Should I be doing this? It’s like, I don’t care what you choose as long as you move. Right. So it’s, again, if, if you’re in marketing, you I’m sure if, if you’re, if people who have this experience where people want the, the, just tell me how to get the, you know, the, the big land, the big account, or tell me the trick to, to hack the algorithm. When we know in truth, it’s probably just posting consistently showing up as your brand and just, you know, doing the right things over and over. And eventually that will cascade. So it’s the same thing here, right? It’s, it’s the boring standard principles, but just done consistently over time.

Paul Levitin:
And then it’s the mindset shift to understand that this stuff does not happen overnight if you’ve been sitting and not moving and gaining weight and dealing with low back issues for accumulation of 5, 10, 15, 20 years that, yes, just walking five minutes a day, doesn’t seem like a lot, and it’s not going to change everything overnight. But if you did that for the next two or three years, I guarantee you’d be in a different spot. So it’s the little things that add up over time. And I know, again, it’s not sexy and it’s not fun and it’s not quick, and it’s not all the things that we want at a solution to be, but it’s the truth.

Sarah Panus:
That is great. And it reminded me, as you were talking, I had read an article recently. I don’t remember where it was from, but it was the same thing of what you’re talking about, which is small movements is better than even, you know, just like a few longer workouts at the gym. Like if we do small movements consistently every day, it adds up to be more so, just like you just said, and that actually for me was a, a big kind of like, oh, like a light bulb moment, because I’ve always thought, oh, you gotta, you know, put in right board of minutes to an hour and like to do the workout. Which for me personally has always turned me off lately, has turned me off from working out because I just didn’t have that big chunks of time where I’m like, oh, I don’t have that much time.

Sarah Panus:
Like, I’m gonna squeeze something shorter in. But like I think it’s a much more manageable way of looking at it, you know, in, in, on the day to day, which is, we don’t need to do that. If you, like, you’re saying, if you have a couple minutes, if you have five minutes walking or around and getting that movement. So a follow up question then for you on something you said to make this really tactical for people as well is so one that mindset of just like any movement throughout the day is great. And you just wanna have consistent movement. So you mentioned setting an alarm to like remind yourself to get away from your computer and get up and move. How often do you recommend, like, should that alarm be off throughout the day?

Sarah Panus:
Yeah. So the more, the better right? Understand that you’re right. Exactly what you just said is right, right. Okay. We don’t need to have these structured 45 minute workouts hour, long workouts. It can just be these little things, but we also have to be realistic. Right. And you get out what you put in. So understand that if you want results, like changing shape of your body and looking like an Instagram magazine model, that’s not going to come from two minute workouts, but if you just wanna be healthier, it will. Right. So we have to, we have to be realistic with what we’re asking for here. And the, the result is completely dependent. So that completely has to do with your personal situation. If you can get up every, on the hour and do a five minute walk, you know, if you’ve ever heard of the Pomodoro technique, right.

Paul Levitin:
Which is a, a, technique to focus where they say that your, your brain can only focus for so long at a time. So they recommend, you know, doing 40 minutes of, of concentrated work and then 15 to 20 minutes of rest to, to let your mind wander. Right? So it’s like do a Pomodoro work for 40 minutes, work hard, get up, walk for 15 minutes. If you did that every hour for eight hours. Now, again, I don’t know where, where you worked, does your boss allow these type of things? So I can’t say that that’s, you know what everyone should do, but the more, the better, if you could, if you, if you are on the phone all day and you did your entire day, just walking on the phone on, on zoom, I’m sure you would be healthier for it, you know, but again, it it’s, you do what you can do when you can do it.

Paul Levitin:
So the that’s the whole thing about the workouts. I’m not saying that an hour structured workout is bad. If you have the time and the inclination and the opportunity to do it, then by all means have at it. But my point is that don’t paint yourself into a corner thinking that that’s the only way to be healthier, right? The more flexible we can be, the more to hands we have of adhering to this in the long term. So that’s why with my clients, I don’t give them a workout. The first question I ask is what can you realistically, reasonably commit to? And what feels like you would still be doing it six months from now? Because if I just came in two guns, blazing going, all right, we’re gonna get you on a five day, a week workout plan. And you’re gonna do this leg day, one day and this one day.

Paul Levitin:
And it’s like, now I’m talking to a mom of three who works full time. And she’s just like, what the hell are you even talking about? But if I say, Hey, what feels good to you? What is something that you can commit to with a reasonable amount of assuredness that you know, that you can do? And she says, well, I have always loved yoga. And I know I feel better when I do yoga. So maybe if I did a yoga workout two or three times a week, and that only takes me 20 minutes, cause I can do it on YouTube. I go, boom, beautiful. That’s where we’re starting then. And that’s a great place to be for you because you’re going to do it. So rather than trying to force, feed ourselves, this specific thing of like, oh, my friend lost a hundred pounds doing CrossFit five days a week.

Paul Levitin:
So now I think I have to do CrossFit five days a week, but I don’t have five days. I hate CrossFit and I don’t wanna do it. It’s like, I’m trying to force a round peg into a square hole. And that is a recipe for disaster and a recipe for quitting. The, the name of the game is just again, long term consistency. So whatever I can do that gives me that long term. Consistency helps now going back. Sorry, I went on a little tangent there, but going back to your original question, the more, the better, especially when it’s something little like that, because you think about, most people think about exercising like, oh, I need a rest day or something like that. Right. I work out three days a week and I rest four days a week or I work out four days a week and I rest three days a week, but that’s are doing higher intensity workout where your muscles need to recover.

Paul Levitin:
When we’re just talking about movement, general movement, you should be moving every day. Right? I don’t take a rest day from movement. I might take a rest day from exercise, but we have to discern between exercise and movement. Movement is just moving your body, getting off, up off the couch, going for a walk, getting outside. There’s no days where that shouldn’t be happening in my life. If I wanna live a healthy life. Because again, going back to my point in the beginning, the human body was made to move. It wants to move. It will tell me right? What happens when you sit for too long? It doesn’t feel good. What happens after you get off, get off of a plane for six hours and you’ve been sitting in the same spot. What do you wanna do? Right? Yeah. It’s just, it feels yucky. Your, your body is like, I do not like this.

Paul Levitin:
Even halfway through the flight, you probably wanna stand up and walk around your body will tell you what it wants to do. And it’s not sit still for eight hours and watch Netflix. I can guarantee you that. So just whenever you can do. And you know, if again, whatever you, whatever that looks like in your world, if that’s twice a day for five minutes and that’s twice a day for five minutes, you start there, right? Don’t, don’t listen to this and be like, oh my God, Paul, I, I need to work out every hour on the hour. Like, that’s not what I’m saying, but I am saying, if you can, you can go for a walk. You know, after breakfast, after lunch, after dinner, it’s probably a great thing.

Sarah Panus:
Or even, you know, so many listening are still working from home. I know all the marketers that I work with, all my clients on the corporate side, they’re all still home. So they’re, that’s not an excuse because we can still walk around our houses. We can still go up and down the stairs in our house. We can go outside for a walk. Like you said, too. Are there any other ways to like maximize our workspaces to like help us get more daily movement and exercise in that you haven’t mentioned already?

MAximize your workspace

Paul Levitin:
Well, I mean, no, I, like I said, I’m a huge fan of the treadmill desks. I’ve seen those literally change people’s lives. Because again, I had a client who was doing eight hours a day at his desk and he just went to four hours of that walking on a treadmill. And he lost like 50 pounds just from that and made no other changes. Because again, he went from not moving eight hours a day to not moving four hours a day and moving four more. And that, that he’s not running. He’s just walking at a pace where he can be on his calls and do his emails. So you can literally change your life like that. There’s all types of things. I mean, think about what can you do in a small area of space. If you’re working from home, grab a yoga mat and YouTube, you know, YouTube university will teach you everything that you need to, you can literally break it down.

Paul Levitin:
By how much time you have, you wanna take a 15 minute break type in 15 minute yoga on YouTube and we’ll give you something again, going back to, I, I keep coming back to this point because I can’t be overstated. It is not what you do it is that you do it is. It does do not. If you don’t like yoga, if I’m sitting here talking about yoga and you’re like, oh, I hate yoga. Then do not listen to me about yoga. Go find something else. You said, ears are a great one. If you walk, if you set a timer and walked up and down the stairs for 10 minutes, I guarantee you, if you haven’t done that in a long time, you wouldn’t even make it to 10 minutes. You’d probably make it to like three minutes and you’d be like, whoa, this is way harder than I thought it was gonna be.

Paul Levitin:
And then you go and then you do that for a week. And then the next week you go to four minutes and then you do that for a week. And then next week you go to four and a half minutes and you keep doing that. And then after a year, you’re at 10 minutes and you’ve lost 15 pounds and your legs are strong and your heart is healthier just from doing that. Something that is honestly so simple that you want to just sweep it under the rug you go, there’s no way just walking up the stairs at my house could be that it could be that much of a benefit. And yet the things that are the simplest are the things that we don’t do. Right. And it’s so easy to do. It’s so easy not to do as well.

Sarah Panus:
Okay. So then what if, you know, we’re at our desks and you, I know you mentioned the treadmill desk better than a standing desk, so that, so that’s noted, but what if, like I have a standing desk as an example, and I know a lot of people do. So if we have a standing desk, are there any like movements or things that we can do right. From our desk? So like as we’re on calls and maybe we’re standing like, is there anything we can do stretch wise or anything else that helps us that kind of think of like a two for one benefit?

Exercises from your desk

Paul Levitin:
Yeah, for sure. For sure. Well, one, the first thing I would practice with, and this is what I did practice when I was working at the gym with every single client and something, I do practice myself every day and do still encourage anyone who is listening or just anyone who is alive to practice, which is breathwork right. Again, going back to two. So, so simple people are like, whoa, what’s breathwork I breathe all the time. Our diaphragms, you know, I made the point earlier about why people sit wrong and how that leads to low back pain. A lot of that has to do with the fact that when we sit in certain positions, it changes the position of us. It changes the position of our diaphragm. Our diaphragm is the muscle of inhalation and inhalation, right? It controls our breathing to an extent.

Paul Levitin:
And for most people, our diaphragm is chronically weak. A lot of it comes to, from sitting in the wrong positions for so long. Not, not right now. I’m talking about since childhood, right? We’ve been sitting in desks to, as we were in kindergarten, you know, and now our diaphragm is weak and we can’t really breathe. And you can also think about the fact that we’re, you know, still in the midst of a global pandemic that affects breathing. And we can maybe think that breathing is very important. So DIAP formatic breathing and learning how to control your breath is a huge, huge place that we can start because in general, that will strengthen our core. It’ll make your core feel stronger, which will take pressure off of your low back. And it will just all around help you. So a, a good test that people can do of anyone listening this you can just, when you’re done or pause this, if you want, but go to a mirror and you can imagine yourself, Sarah doing this, if you can’t see yourself right now and just take the biggest deepest breath that you can in through your nose, right.

Paul Levitin:
Just inhale all the air that you can, right? And then exhale. Now, next time you inhale for those watching yourselves in a mirror. I want you to look at what happens at your shoulders and neck, because most people, when they take that next big inhale, take as much air as you can. In what they’re gonna see is their, their shoulders come up towards their ears. Like they’re doing a shrug, right? And that’s how most people breathe. And you’ll see some people it’s more, it’s more than others, but for people, especially if you’re sitting at a desk that you’re gonna see your, your shoulders shoot up towards your ears. And what that tells me, if that’s you, if you’re, if you just tried this experiment and that did that, that means that your diaphragm is not helping when you breathe. And because your diaphragm isn’t helping your shoulders have to help you breathe.

Paul Levitin:
So that tells me two things. It tells me that your diaphragm can’t do what it’s supposed to do. And it tells me that since your diaphragm, isn’t doing what it’s supposed to do, you have other what they call secondary muscles helping. So all that is the long-winded way of saying that your diaphragm is weak. And because your diaphragm is weak, your shoulders are doing a lot more. And now we go into, well, why do people have neck pain? Why do people have back pain? Because their diaphragm can’t do what it wants to do. And then their shoulders and their back have to do it instead. So all of that is to say, simply working on your breathing and learning, DIAP formatic breathing, which is breathing into your belly, breathing into your sides, breathing into your ribs and using forceful long exhales. Right? So this sour you can do as well.

Paul Levitin:
Right? If you just put your hand on your belly right now on your bottom belly, like right where your belly button is. Okay. And just cough. Right. And you felt how that tightened up. Yep. Right. So that is your diaphragm causing a contraction in your core, right. So you can just, and you’ll feel a contraction right there. So that’s what happens when you breathe correctly, your core activates. So now if you take a big breath in, through your nose as much air as you can, and then imagine that wherever you’re looking at, imagine there’s a thousand birthday candles and try to blow out as, and as long as you can blow out all the birthday candles and keep blowing till there’s no air left and keep blowing, even when there’s no air left at the end. And you’ll feel when there’s no air left, you’ll feel your belly start to tie it up.

Paul Levitin:
Just like when you coughed. Yeah. Right. So that again is your core being controlled by your diaphragm. So we can do DIAP formatic, breathing drills like that. And that is a great way to do that sitting. I can do that standing. And you’ll see if you did that for five minutes, your back would feel better. Your hips would feel better because your diaphragm and your core would be more aligned and there’s a whole science to it. But yeah, that’s a great place to start, right. That I, I wanna, again, on a little bit of a tangent, but I think it’s, it’s very important. Cuz people overlook this stuff. They go, well, I wanna train my, I wanna strengthen my low back. Right. Or strengthen my core. Right. People hear that, say that a lot because their backs hurt from sitting.

Paul Levitin:
But it’s like, it’s not that the sitting it’s that they’re, the sitting is causing them to breathe them properly. And if they simply fix how they were breathing, that would alleviate a lot of the discomfort that people are having. So I do that, that breathing that I just told you to do inhale through your nose and exhale hard. Like you’re blowing out up birthday candles. If I’m like sitting on a plane or on a long car ride. And my back starts to feel funky. That’s exactly what I do. I just, so my core activates and it takes away some of that pressure from my low back and I’ll do that for like five or 10 breaths. And all of a sudden, my back doesn’t hurt so much anymore. Whoa.

Sarah Panus:
This is amazing. I have never thought of, breathwork like to help alleviate back pain or, and that connection, but it makes sense as you’re describing it. That is fascinating. What a wonderful tip. Thank you.

Paul Levitin:
I actually have, I’m just thinking about this right now. I actually have a like guided follow along with this type of breathing for anyone who wants that just kind of goes through an assessment to see how your breathing is and like a follow along. It’s like a 10 minute little video that I can send to any of your listeners. I’ll send you a link for that.

Sarah Panus:
Oh yeah, definitely. And I’ll put that into the show notes for people. Thank you. That sounds amazing. Okay. Well I think that’s a good spot for a quick commercial break. So stick around Paul is gonna share more tips with us after the break.

COMmercial Break

Sarah Panus:
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What should you prioritize?

Sarah Panus:
Okay, Paul, so question for you. Something that I personally struggle with is peeling myself away from my computer. I just get so engrossed in my work and what I’m doing. And I know people listening. I know a lot of them are in the same boat. Maybe they have back to back meetings and things like that. And I feel like this is kind of that self-sabotage that you talk about what you work with your clients on. So I just wanted to roleplay a scenario for you to help us think us through. And you’ve given us so many great tips on this already, but let say it’s a day or a week where you have a lot of meetings and a lot of big projects and you’re change your computer for one reason or another, but you do have like a 15 minute break, you know, you’ve talked about like, whatever break, whatever movement you can have, like just to focus on getting that movement, but what should we do? Like, what would you recommend prioritizing to that person? Or me who is really busy, but you’re like, okay, I have this like breaker time. Like what should I prioritize?

Paul Levitin:
Yeah. I mean, if you’re legitimately, like I have 15 minutes in between like back to back to back meeting and then 15 minutes and then back to back to back meeting. Yeah, I would say breathing the breathing that I just did, I would say I would lay you on your back and do deep breathing like that for like 10 minutes. And then, because again, if you’re talking also, especially sitting you’re, if you’re sitting, sitting, sitting, and then you have a little break and then you’re sitting, so that, that would be it. I would go like really do some deep breathing drills to activate the core and the diaphragm, or again, just walking specifically if I can get outside, because there’s something to be said about getting sunlight and getting fresh fresh air as well. That is very healthy for our body. So I would love if, you know, in a 15 minute break you could go walk around the block or something like that. Okay. Or just do some deep breathing. Right. And you know, again, the simplest thing in the world walk and breathe.

Paul Levitin:
Like that’s like, literally that literally is the answer, right? It’s like, people want to hear like, oh, should I do this 15 minute? Like high intensity pop pop. It’s like, Nope, just lay down and breathe. And, and you know, if, and obviously the, the great thing is you can have both of those in your toolbox and you can see what kind, what kind of mood am I in, in, in today? Am I really, am I really like tuned up and like stress wise and like running, running on a, running on high anxiety right now, maybe the breathing is gonna bring me back down to earth. Right? Maybe again, I’ve just been inside. I got to work. Maybe it’s, you know, here in the Northeast, at least, you know, I get to work sometimes and the sun hasn’t even come out yet. And then my first break might be, you know, at noon or something like that, maybe it would be good for me to go get some sunlight and maybe get some fresh air because I’ve been sitting inside all day.

Paul Levitin:
So it’s not like one or the other, it’s not a right or wrong thing. I look at everything as just tools in your toolbox. And that’s what I wanna equip people with is the most tool so that they can make the conscious decision for themselves. This is not about, there is no one right answer. There’s no one size fits all. If there was, then I would have just said, do this, everyone do this, everyone listening to do this, do this. And then I would’ve solved the problem of obesity in one, you know, quick sound bite and of back pain and of everything else and of health. Right. But that’s not how the human body works. That’s not how the human brain works. What you enjoy, what you like, what feels good for you, what your body needs is different than everyone else listening. So, you know, just to think of it as there’s not one right thing, but to think of it as, okay, there’s a lot of different options that I have.

Paul Levitin:
And again, I think that that’s good because that’s freeing, right? It’s not okay. What should I do in 50 minutes? It’s okay. In 50 minutes, I can go for a walk. I could do some breathing. I could do a five minute yoga flow. I could do a minute Zumba. And like now I have options. And now my brain, the human brain, which likes, you know, it doesn’t like to be told what to do. It’s like, I don’t. Right. Like going back to the example I used before of like, you have to do CrossFit, or you have to only work out three times a week for 45 minutes. Like you said, you’re like, well, I don’t have the time and I don’t wanna do that. So it’s like, now I’m, I’m gonna buck that. But if I have all the is different options that I can find what works for me in that exact moment, there’s a much higher chance of me actually doing that thing.

Sarah Panus:
Mm, great. Okay. So Paul, this is, this is great tips. And I know you have a program as well called the 3 B program. Like, what is that program cover?

Paul’s “3 B Solution”

Paul Levitin:
Right. So it’s actually called the 3 B Solution, which is brain, body, and being. Because this is everything that I help my clients with, so brain being the mindset because everything that we’re talking about starts within, right. I, I, as I keep going back to, I can give you all the answers and yet most people won’t do it. Most people are gonna hear like, oh yeah, breathing stuff. Sounds good. And never think about it again. Most people are gonna say like, oh yes, set an alarm on my phone to go for a walk. Sounds smart. And they’re never gonna do it again. Right. So how can we get around these common roadblocks things like self, self sabotage, things like perfectionism things like you know, all or nothing, black or white thinking, right? Those are the types of people who go like, well, I know I’m supposed to work out five days a week for an hour.

Paul Levitin:
And then I can only work out this week, four weeks, four days a week for an hour. So I’m not gonna work out at all. Right. And like, these are the common human things that hold people back. So that’s, that’s one part. And then the body is the actual tactical. What are we eating? What are we doing? What’s our movement. How are we actually getting the most out of this small amount of time? Because let’s be real. If someone has five days a week to go to the gym for an hour, they’re probably doing all right. They’re probably, even if they’re there doing the worst workout ever, they’re probably healthier than most people who are not going at all. So how do we get you to be the person who’s actually moving five days a week and not just trying to, again, fit you into the box. And then being is what I call community and the soul and just the whole picture of being a human and kind of putting this all together into one package. And that’s what I help my clients with.

Sarah Panus:
Oh, that’s amazing. And how, like how long does that package last? Like if someone listening is like, I’m really interested in the 3 B Solution with you, what is, how long does the program like that take?

Paul Levitin:
Right. It’s a 12, it’s a 12 week program because as I just said, you know, there’s a, there’s a lot in there. And even that, you know, don’t get me wrong. This is not, you know, we’re, we’re dealing with deeply held beliefs and we’re, we’re, we’re restructuring your, your entire life at times. So for some people, it’s just a jumping off point for some people, it is it’s everything that they need, but it’s a great, the way I look at it is if nothing else, if you do go through this these 12 weeks, you will be better equipped as a human to go through the rest of your life. Both physically and mentally, you’ll be equipped with the tools to feel better, live better, and just be happier and healthier for the rest of your life.

Sarah Panus:
Oh, interesting. Where, where does somebody go and look online or contact you if they want to talk about that for program further?

Paul Levitin:
I mean the best place to find me is on Facebook and Instagram. It’s just at my name, Paul Leviton. And I also have a free Facebook community called the healthy, happy human academy where I do live trainings and I share free information every week. I do at least one free live training a week on there. And it’s just great community of people, all looking to learn more about this stuff. So anyone who joins that community I’ll accept you and you can just get free trainings there. And then you can just reach out to me directly, if this is something that you wanna learn more about the actual programs that I have.

Sarah Panus:
Okay. Perfect. All right. Well, we’re almost ready to wrap up here, but before we wrap up, what would you say is like one thing you’ve covered so many amazing things you, but one thing you want my listeners to do after listening to this episode?

Paul Levitin:
Just get up and move. That’s it. Get up. This is it. This is, if you’re waiting for a sign, this is your sign. Get up and go for a walk.

Sarah Panus:
That’s beautiful. It’s, it’s, it’s simple but complex, you know, right. In a way, like what we do has talked about, so thank you so much for coming on. This was really eye opening and I hope for everyone listening, it’s a great reminder. You don’t have to boil the ocean. Like little, little drips of water are gonna fill it eventually. Right? And so this daily movement practice like you’re talking about Paul, I think is incredibly insightful for, for, for us. And just to think how we get more daily movement, how we feel our best, because you know, like I talk about on this show, everyone listening is, if you feel your best, you’re gonna do your best. You’re gonna be more creative. You’re gonna be happier, healthier in your work and with your families and, and just in your life. So this was fantastic. You definitely made me think differently about some things, Paul.

Paul Levitin:
That’s all awesome. And I just wanna say that exactly. Like you just said, this is why I’m so passionate about this stuff, because, and this is why, as I said in the beginning, when I introduced myself, why I went away from purely being about fitness, because this is not about again, losing weight to look in like some societal standard of what beauty is or to have arms so that I can like, look cool on the, this is about what you just said. That fact that, you know, a rising tide raises all ships. And if you are a better version of you, you will be able to show up more powerfully for your family and your children. You will be able to have more energy. You will close more sales. You will create better products for your customers. Everything a about your life will be better when you are a better version of you, right?

Paul Levitin:
It’s the whole analogy of secure your mask, right? You can’t pour from an empty cup. You can’t perform for others when you won’t perform for yourself. So a lot of people think of this like selfish, right? Oh, well, I, I, I can’t possibly schedule even five minutes to get up from my desk because I need to get my, my thing done, but you will be better if you take the time for yourself to focus on your health, your energy, your wellness, you, that will come back around full circle and you will get more work done. You’ll have more energy. You’ll be able to have more focus. You’ll be able to pay more attention from doing that. So don’t think of it as like taking away, think of it as investing in yourself and becoming a better version of you who then gets to be better in every other area of your life.

Sarah Panus:
Hmm. All right. Well, I think that’s a great place to end it. So thanks Paul so much for coming on the show today. It’s been very insightful.

Paul Levitin:
Thank you so much for having me.

Sarah Panus:
Okay, folks. Thanks for tuning in. Until next time, Kindred Speakers.

Closing Remarks

Sarah Panus:
Hi fives for finishing another episode. When faced with an obstacle, you’re the type of person who gets better instead of bitter. I hope you feel creatively inspired and invite you to check back often for more goodness from me and my guest. If you want more actionable advice and inspiration head over to kindredspeak.com for show notes, all discount codes from today’s episode, and to sign up for my newsletter. Subscribe now to the Marketing With Empathy podcast on Apple podcast, Spotify and wherever else you get your podcast. And if you’d be so kind, will you please leave me a review. This helps my podcast get noticed by others. Keep smiling.

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ABOUT SARAH PANUS

Sarah Panus is a brand storytelling marketing strategist, Minnesota mom, and owner of Kindred Speak, LLC, a remote consultancy that helps corporations attract upper-funnel leads that drive bottom-funnel results through storytelling.  Her mission is to add value to the world by humanizing brand+consumer connections. Her online courses teach content professionals inside corporations think like Editorial Directors for their brand to drive stronger results while enjoying their jobs more.  She’s spent the last 20 years helping brands including Sleep Number, Starbucks, Nestle Waters, Christos Bridal, Game Crazy, Cone Inc, and others, speak a kindred language with their audiences, driving brand advocacy and millions in revenue and brand engagements. Learn more at www.kindredspeak.com. Follow Sarah on Instagram and LinkedIn.