Picture this: Millions of people each day, stopping their work for 10-15 minutes, going outside to get some fresh air, sunshine, stretch their legs, do a set of spinal hygiene or life extension exercises and enjoy a carrot. That’s right folks a carrot; the “Carrot Break” is a perfect health promoting replacement for the health demoting “cigarette or even coffee breaks,” or it is a perfect addition to a sedentary workday for those of you without those previously listed vices. Those of you who have studied habit understand it is much harder to get rid of a bad habit than it is to create a new good one. This is because our nervous system (brain, spinal cord, nerves) is always working to get better at what we do. Think of your brain as a dense overgrown jungle, and a habit like a path that you carved out over time. If you decide you want to drop a habit (you no longer wish to go down the path you created), that doesn’t change the fact that the path is still there, does it? No, in fact, that is why it can be so hard to start a new habit, because you are literally saying “I’m not going to go down that path right there in front of me that I worked so long and hard to make super easy to travel down, but instead, I am going to take out my machete and start a new path.” I love that analogy because it makes it so clear as to why you must replace habits rather than just dropping them. Also, it allows you to see why it takes time to get over a bad habit; not only do you have to stop using the old path and let it become overgrown again, but you have to carefully carve a new one, and use it enough that it becomes as traveled as the old one.
This “Carrot Break” is a healthy habit that anyone could carve very quickly because it doesn’t require much skill (just a carrot and some teeth), and with support from teammates (co-workers, families, friends, bosses..etc), it could be a community building activity that would give our mind and body that needed break and boost to be even more productive post break.
I think we’re on to something, and with enough support, this could easily happen. Lets visulize to make this happen: we’re outside of offices, machine shops, dept. stores, restaurants…etc for a 15 minute Carrot Break, chatting it up, taking our mind off work, stretching and getting some nutrients along the way. If you are on board with this, please share this blog on facebook and email in hopes that when our kids are running this place, the carrot break isn’t just a silly (brilliant, amazing, wonderful) idea, but a reality.
Crunch 4 Health,
-Dr. Nicholas Araza DC CCWP CSCS