Why Fitness is Important in Your Sedentary Setting

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Why Fitness is Important in Your Sedentary Setting

Author: Ben Libby, Creative Director, Bear Notch Studio
Contributing Author: Erica Sideri, Fitness Enthusiast, Las Vegas CrossFit

The weekend is usually filled with get-togethers with family, friends and colleagues. Sometimes, you’ll be out at bar, restaurant, a cookout, or even just heading home so you can watch Planet Earth II on the 4K. Summer is here, and it's incredibly warm, while we all know the routine of humidity, which makes us tired so we tend to do less.

As a graphic designer, you’re mostly sitting at your desk for 8 hours a day, which means you’re also a sedentary designer. If you aren’t physically active it can host a number of problems. Especially for your lower back and wrists.

[Bear Notch Studio]: Can you tell us about yourself?

[Erica Sideri]: Hey there everyone!  My name is Erica Sideri and I have been involved in the fitness industry for, well, my whole life! I was a gymnast for my entire childhood / adolescence and my pursuit for health and wellness continued throughout my twenties after that. It hit its peak around the age of 28 when I discovered CrossFit – and I haven’t come down from that high yet, haha! To me, fitness isn’t just about looking good, it’s about FEELING good and being healthy on both the inside and out. Of course everyone wants rock hard abs and toned arms/legs, but it’s extremely important to stay healthy and active so you can live a long and happy life while maintaining your independence - I know I want to be up and about, able to take trips, and try new activities well into my 70’s, 80’s, and beyond!

[BNS]: Most important aspect about health and wellness for a graphic designer?

[ES]: One of the most important aspects of health and wellness is NUTRITION – “You can’t out train a bad diet.”  This is 100% true in the fitness world.  CrossFit explains that the base for all of your fitness goals is your diet – try to follow an 80/20 rule, meaning: 80% of the time you are on point with your nutrition, and 20% of the time you live your life and enjoy a cheat meal, some drinks on the weekend, etc.  Just don’t let one bad meal turn into a bad day, and then let that bad day turn into a week…a month...etc!  People get easily frustrated with changing up their diet because they think it’s an “all or nothing” 180 degree change – if only it were *that* easy.  If you change too many things at once, nothing will stick and you will resort to bad habits.  Set weekly/bi-weekly goals and start small. We all know we shouldn’t eat fast food 5 days a week, so start by cutting down to 2-3 days a week and learn how to meal prep! Not only will you be healthier, your wallet will thank you.

[BNS]: When our art director isn’t looking, we usually go to the break room and perform our stretches, when no one is around, we go full-on keyboard warrior pose. Could you tell us some elite stretches to do?

[ES]: For those of you who sit down all day for work, you are especially at risk for injury and illness.  The human body isn’t meant to be stagnant for long periods of time. Paired with proper nutrition, making a point to stand up, stretch, go for short walks throughout the day will help you out in the long run.  Here is a small 5 minute routine with some basic calisthenics and stretches to help keep you mobile and break up your day a bit:

  • 10 opposite toe touches per leg (20 total)

  • 3x samson stretch per leg (alternate and hold each for 5-10 seconds)

  • 5 “around the world stretches” per side (nice and slow)

  • 3x standing quad stretch (alternate and hold each for 5-10 seconds)

  • 10 arm circles forwards

  • 10 arm circles backwards

I know some of you ladies out there may be wearing skirts and dresses to work…so modify the movements accordingly. And yes, your co-workers may look at you funny but that’s when you tell them WHY you are doing what you are doing, and then invite them to join – spread the wellness!

[BNS]: Everyone has goals in life and some of those are becoming more fit and healthy, what made you decide to participate in CrossFit?

[ES]:  I was bored with my workout routine at the time and I was looking for something new.  My sister had started CrossFit almost a year before me and she wouldn’t shut up about it, so to make her stop bugging me I finally took a class… and the joke was on me because I ended up falling in love with it!

[BNS]: Before moving to Las Vegas, did you think about other places? Why Las Vegas?

[ES]: I was living in Atlanta after I graduated from college, in my early 20’s, ready for new adventures.  I honestly didn’t think of anywhere else at the time – I had visited Vegas the year before I moved and I was in the hospitality industry at the time.  It seemed like a no brainer to come out here. Ten years later and I am still loving it!

[BNS]: Have you ever thought about nationally competing in lifting contests? Or what about those fit swimsuit completions? (I’d totally vote for you.)

[ES]: I have competed on larger stages in the CrossFit world, and nationally as a gymnast, but right now I am happy working on my fitness for me – it would be cool to train and do an Olympic Weightlifting competition one of these days though!  And no – I get mistaken for a figure competitor/bodybuilder ALL OF THE TIME but that’s not for me.  I struggled with an eating disorder as a gymnast and while I am very healthy and I have a great relationship with food now, I have no desire to be that strict with my diet!  It is impressive what those people do for sure – but I’d rather lift heavy weights, eat carbohydrates, and still look good 😉

[BNS]: Depression and Anxiety are common in young adults, do you think it’s a good excuse to not hit the gym?

[ES]: I believe depression and anxiety are real things that can be absolutely detrimental to a human being – I have been there with depression and believe me, it is a nightmare.  I do, however, believe that being physically active can help with these issues.  They may not be the solution to the problem at hand but focusing on your body can in turn help you focus on your mind.

[BNS]: Ever since getting in great shape, have you personally felt more amazing both in your confidence and appearance?

[ES]: I’m not going to lie – I love being fit, I love the way I look, and it does make you feel amazing and confident!  But what has made me the happiest is finally understanding that YOU are in charge of YOUR happiness – not sweating the small stuff and trying to be present and live in the moment is the key to true happiness.

[BNS]: What’s your daily meal plan like? Can you give us a “Day in The Life of Erica Sideri”? Do you also use pre/post protein shakes?


  • Breakfast: Eggs (usually 4 whites, 2 yolks), sautéed peppers and onions, avocado, oatmeal with honey and cinnamon. I typically train after breakfast, so I do have a protein shake mixed with water and a supergreen supplement afterwards (a GREAT way to get another serving of veggies for the day – I know that’s a tough one for some people).  I use “Syntha-6” whey protein and “Amazing Grass” chocolate flavored supergreens.

  • I may add a protein bar, yogurt, and/or piece of fruit somewhere in between for a snack – especially when I am at work!

  • Lunch: shredded chicken or pork (or some other type of protein I have prepared in my crockpot), a green veggie serving (asparagus, spinach, broccoli, brussels sprouts, etc.) rice (I actually eat white rice mostly!)

  • Dinner: same as lunch typically but I switch out the protein and I try to have another form of starch (sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, corn tortillas, etc.)

  • Bedtime Snack: casein protein shake and a bowl of cereal.

Thanks so much for co-writing this article with me Erica, I'm sure we'll be able to inspire those who are commanding a chair force one at their desks to realize that health and fitness is incredibly important while designing and developing visuals for the consumer and commercial world. 

Erica Sideri is a Bayhost at Top Golf and a coach/personal trainer at CrossFit West Vegas.  She is a people person who truly loves helping others achieve their fitness and wellness goals.  Erica was a gymnast for many years before becoming a highly certified trainer.  She really enjoys lifting heavy things and being upside down! Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, Erica has also lived in Atlanta and has resided in Vegas since 2008. 

If you dig this article, you should follow and tap to love some IG photos on her Insta; Erica Sideri