Physical Inactivity Is Bad For Your Health
You may not be a smoker or on the obese side, but don’t pat yourself on the back just yet until you’ve assessed your levels of physical activity.
Do you feel energetic, are your moods balanced, do you feel relaxed and are you sleeping well? If you are battling with any of these and have other poor health conditions, the chances are that it may all be a result of physical inactivity.
Physical inactivity has consistently been shown to be one of the most powerful risk factors for all causes of death and accelerated biological ageing. It can also be a primary cause of many chronic diseases.
Less fit and inactive people have a greater risk of developing high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, hypertension, osteoporosis, deep vein thrombosis, cancer, erectile dysfunction, polycystic ovary syndrome, constipation as well as anxiety and depression, to name a few rather frightening consequences of remaining sedentary.
Not being active causes your body to rapidly maladapt to this insufficient physical activity and if continued, results in substantial decreases in both total and quality years of life.
Banish Physical Inactivity
Any physical activity is better than none, so stop with the excuses and get your body moving, even if you start off slowly and gradually build up to a recommended amount – which is a minimum of 30 minutes of activity a day.
If you’re not an exercise fanatic by nature, that’s okay because with a little careful thought you can easily build some healthy physical activity into your daily routine without it feeling like hard work.
For starters minimise the amount of time you spend in a prolonged sitting state. Break up long periods of sitting by getting up and moving around regularly. Set an alarm if you have to remind yourself until you get into a natural habit of it. If you really have nowhere to go or can’t leave your desk, simply stand up and sit down a few times or march on the spot.
Try and get more steps into your day. Take the stairs instead of the lift. Window shopping at the mall is another pleasant way to get yourself moving. Choose to walk or cycle instead of using the car for short trips. Try also to walk with purpose, even when you’re just grocery shopping, as the more energy and effort you put into it, the more effective the activity will be.
Aim to do muscle-strengthening activities on at least two days a week. Walk up and down a flight of stairs several times, do some on the spot step training, join a yoga or swimming class, get some small weights and work your arms (cans of tinned food work just as well) and a few sit-ups when you’re watching TV won’t go amiss either.
When it comes to physical inactivity, it’s never too late to start working on your health because engaging in any form of physical activity and exercise can have immediate and long-term health benefits as well as improving your quality of life.
Dr Alain Sanua is a qualified doctor with additional qualifications in Naturopathy and is passionate about finding solutions to boost your overall health. Talk to him today about how your physical inactivity can best be addressed.