Most of our work happens through a computer screen, which means we are sitting all day. In the long run, this is not good for our mental or physical health. Around two million deaths each year are a result of physical inactivity.
Because of this, WHO has issued a warning that a sedentary lifestyle can easily be one of the top ten leading causes of death. If you are looking to lead a more active lifestyle, you are in the right place.
Here is what you need to know about a sedentary lifestyle and how to become more active.
The Dangers Of A Sedentary Lifestyle
A sedentary lifestyle is one that involves a lot of sitting or lying down with little or no exercise at all. More and more people are spending time sedentary due to the demands of work and other factors. Here are some dangers of leading such a lifestyle:
1. Worse Health Outcomes
A few studies published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2015 found that a sedentary lifestyle means worse health outcomes. These include cancer, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and much more. Even if you go to the gym for an hour, it is still important not to be sedentary throughout the day.
In the long run, such behaviors can increase your risk of dying early. So, make sure that you are moving throughout the day.
2. Gaining Weight
When you are sitting all day, you are more likely to gain weight because you are not burning calories. Obesity is a major problem, and a sedentary lifestyle is a big contributor to this. You have to remain active if you want to maintain a healthy weight.
Besides that, obesity is linked to a myriad of health problems. These include heart problems and many other illnesses. If you don’t want to gain weight, then you must remain more active.
3. Stress, Depression, And Anxiety
When you are moving your body, your brain releases serotonin, which can boost your mood. On the other hand, when there is no movement, there is no release of serotonin. Because of this, you will feel less motivated and have fewer positive feelings.
In the long run, managing your mental health will become a challenge as you might face stress, depression, and anxiety. A sedentary lifestyle also affects mental health, which is why it is important to move.
The Triggers Of A Sedentary Lifestyle And How To Change Them
There are many factors that can contribute to a sedentary lifestyle. Some of these triggers include:
- An office job
- Shortage of parks and pedestrian walkways
- Lack of sports facilities
- Lack of resources to access various facilities
- Air pollution
- Traffic congestion
- And much more
All of these factors can reduce your motivation to move and make you stay glued to your desk or bed. You can change this lifestyle by changing your habits. Make sure that you start small and then make big changes to your life.
For example, you can start by taking breaks during work to walk for five minutes. Even such a small change can help you get started.
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How To Lead A More Active Lifestyle
The best way to stop being sedentary is to lead a more active lifestyle. Here are some top ways you can become more active:
1. Invest In A Bicycle
One of the best ways to lead a more active lifestyle is to invest in a bicycle. You can use it to commute and go short distances instead of taking the bus or your car. It will enable you to get some cardio in as you make your way to where you want to go.
Even cities are becoming bike-friendly, as they are friendlier to the environment. So, this is a small change you can make to include more activity in your day.
2. Stretch First Thing In The Morning
How you spend your morning determines what you will do for the rest of the day. That is why you must stretch your body as soon as you get out of bed. Just ten minutes of stretching can help kickstart your body and mind as you become fresher.
Besides that, it will ensure that you don’t have any aches or pains throughout the day. So, make it a habit to stretch your body when you wake up.
3. Get Your 10,000 Steps
Make a commitment to yourself to get in your 10,000 steps each day. It will take you an hour or so, and you will feel much better. There are many benefits to walking and getting your step counts.
These include better energy levels, less fatigue, reduced bloating, and much more. If you want to reap these benefits, make sure you are getting your steps.
4. Find Someone To Stay Active With
Finally, you will stay on track when you have someone to stay active with. You and your friend can motivate each other and keep one another accountable. Such a solution is sustainable because you will not get bored while you indulge in your active activities.
You can set goals with them and ensure that you keep each other accountable throughout this journey. Once you do, being active will become a habit that you can also sustain on your own. So, you can start with someone and then stay active without needing anyone else to be present.
A sedentary lifestyle is not good for our mental and physical health, which is why you must become more active. Staying in front of a screen can seem tempting, but it can impact our health in the long run. If you want to maintain your health, you must incorporate movement into your life.
We recommend that you start by making small changes to get used to it. Once you do, you can make drastic changes to your lifestyle that will enable you to remain consistent with such a lifestyle. You will notice the benefits of an active lifestyle in no time.