These words of wisdom don’t just apply to children.
We all know that exercise is important and that most of us should be doing more of it. But how and when are we supposed to? With advances in technology extending 9-to-5 work days and the countless items filling our daily to-do lists, there often doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day.
The research continues to mount up, telling us it’s time to stop leading a sedentary lifestyle and get off the couch. Here’s why and how to make it happen.
What Is a Sedentary Lifestyle?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 60 to 85 percent of the population worldwide does not engage in enough activity. This makes physical inactivity the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality.
Many people think that a healthy diet and 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day is enough to offset the time spent being sedentary. Unfortunately, it may not be enough for most.
“Daily physical activity is paramount in maintaining a healthy lifestyle,” says sports medicine physician Michael C. Schettino, MD. It should be as great a priority as eating, sleeping and working. A simple way to ensure adequate physical activity is to walk 10,000 steps (approximately five miles) each day.”
What Are Some of the Health Risks?An ever-increasing amount of research has shown that physical inactivity increases a person’s risk level for cardiovascular disease and other conditions. Less active, less fit individuals are more at risk for:
- High blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels
- Certain cancers
- Anxiety and depression
- Becoming overweight or obese
- A decrease in skeletal muscle mass
- Better utilize your commute. If you take public transportation, stand while riding. If you drive to work, park a bit further from the office so that you can walk for a few minutes before and after work.
- Workout at work. Having an office job is no excuse. There are many ways to keep active and Get Fit While at Work.
- Clean up after dinner. Don’t let the dishes sit until tomorrow. After you eat a meal, clean the dishes and countertops. This forces you to stand and be engaged in physical activity, which will help to lower blood sugar levels.
- Get up and go. Mix in walks throughout your day. If you have a dog, bring him or her along as Your Pup May Be the Best Workout Buddy.
- Skip the DVR. We all dislike commercials – which makes them an excellent time to get up and get things done. While waiting for your favorite show to come back on, do some push-ups or sit-ups. Even if you fold clothes during the breaks, you’re keeping your body moving.