THE PROBLEMS OF INACTIVITY
Long days spent sitting at the office and lack of outdoor activities for the kids is all leading to lifestyle diseases. A majority of the world is becoming a couch potato spending most of their free time either sitting or lying down. Earlier it was the TV to blame, but increasingly, Internet-based activities on various devices are now keeping people glued in sedentary positions.
And when it’s time to go out, we are still sitting down sedentary in cars, buses and trains! Numerous studies have provided evidence to show that physical inactivity increases the incidences of adverse health conditions including some of the world’s major non-communicable diseases like coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and breast and colon cancers amongst others. It’s even been estimated that 6-10% of non-communicable diseases are due to unhealthy life practices leading to premature deaths. Ancient Chinese physicians around 2600 BC and Hippocrates around 400 BC also advocated the importance of physical activity for good health.
Inactivity affects you in the following ways:
- You gain weight as you are burning fewer calories.
- You end up losing muscle mass and endurance.
- You have poor blood circulation.
- You can develop hormonal imbalances.
- Your immune system doesn’t work optimally.
- Your bones get weaker and become more brittle.
- Your metabolism may become affected.
- Your body may have more inflammation issues.
Health risks associated with inactivity:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease including CAD and heart attacks
- High cholesterol
- Metabolic syndrome
- Type 2 diabetes
- Certain Cancers
- Depression and anxiety
- Premature death
Getting started on solving this glaring problem of inactivity isn’t so difficult; however, you would need to take the precaution of starting in a step-wise manner in keeping with your age and health status. Begin from home-based activities; gardening, yard work and housework are all great ways of getting started on becoming active.
Do some gentle yoga stretches while watching TV or sit on a pedal exercise bike for some moderate activity. Invest in some exercise equipment for your home; while a treadmill might be expensive for some, yoga balls or stretch bands might be more affordable and serve a similar purpose. A stroll through your neighbourhood as you walk the dog or drop off your kids is also a good way of starting to get active.
And when at the office, use every excuse possible to get up and walk around. You should also take the stairs and avoid the lift. Hence will begin your journey back to good health!