Sedentary Lifestyle = Premature Death
June 30, 2017
What’s So Bad About a Sedentary Lifestyle, Really?
If there’s one thing that’ll land you in the obituaries sooner than you’d like, it’s living a sedentary lifestyle.
Inactivity = rust.
Inactivity = decay, from the inside out in mind, body and soul.
Despite knowing that a physically active lifestyle produces many physical, mental and emotional benefits, seven out of ten people still choose a sedentary lifestyle, and they pay a grave price.
It seems that many people don’t like to move.
Why? It’s painless and requires absolutely no effort. Plus, what’s more comfortable than resting your weary bones in your favorite chair; it’s pure bliss… for a while until time catches up with you.
We all need rest. But too much of a good thing…
People sit for hours and hours each day. They sit at their desks at work then go home and sit in front of their TVs or computers. This lack of activity leads to poor blood circulation and a host of health problems.
How Sedentary is YOUR Lifestyle?
Studies show that we overestimate the amount of physical activity we get. A significant disparity exists between how much physical exercise we think do but actually get.
Such overestimation seems harmless but experts say that it’s a HUGE barrier to behavior change because if you think your lifestyle “isn’t that bad”, you won’t be motivated to change it.
So, how can you tell if you’re living a sedentary lifestyle? Well, consider the following.
The CDC recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week for adults.
Children and adolescents, on the other hand, should do at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily, including aerobic, muscle-strengthening and bone strengthening activities.
The best way to find out if you’re getting enough physical exercise is to keep a journal or use a tracker app. Start logging the amount of time you spend doing physical activity. Within a week you’ll know the truth as to whether you’ve been overestimating your physical activity.
** What Happens to Your Body When You’re Sedentary? **
Inadequate physical activity decreases insulin sensitivity, which in turn encourages accumulation of fat in the liver and other tissues. This puts you at risk for diabetes, heart disease, obesity and cancer.
As if that isn’t bad enough, being sedentary also elevates your cholesterol levels and causes it to build up in your arteries. This increases your risk of high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.
Sitting all day also weakens your bones and muscles. You see, your bones and muscles were made to move so when you stop moving, you lose bone density and muscle. The loss of muscle makes every day living much harder simply because you’re not strong enough! It also makes it more difficult to maintain a healthy body weight.
Being physically inactive also affects your mental health making you more anxious and depressed. You can go from being the most self-assured and confident person to being a nervous wreck.
Even if you manage to avoid anxiety and depression, unhealthy lifestyle habits will catch up with you as you get older. Your risk of dementia will be 50% higher than that of your physically active counterparts.
If the idea of losing your memory and other cognitive abilities, losing bone mass and muscles, and/or having a heart attack scares you, then get moving!
Consider taking an exercise class instead of exercising on your own. It’ll be fun because you won’t be alone AND you’ll know exactly how much exercise you’re getting.
If nothing else, consider taking a 15-20 minute walk after dinner each night to begin enjoying and feeling the wonderful benefits of doing what your body was designed to do: Move!