You hear a lot about living a sedentary lifestyle these days but what exactly is it and how do you know if you are living one? This term ‘sedentary lifestyle’ is a medical term used to describe a type of lifestyle with a lack of physical exercise. It is typified by sitting or doing light activities only for much of the day, watching television and computer use with little or no vigorous physical exercise.
A lot of health experts agree on the following guidelines that will help tell you if your lifestyle is indeed sedentary or inactive.
• You are not doing any muscle strengthening activity 2-3 times each week
• Do not get regularly your blood pumping and some ‘huff and puff’ happening
• Your day is spent mostly sitting
• You have a job which requires no physical activity
• Your leisure time is not spent being active but involves more sedentary activities
It has been estimated by the World Health Organization that up to 85 percent of people lead lives that can be defined as sedentary. A caution has been issued by them that living this type of life is becoming one of the most principal causes of death and disability. A sedentary lifestyle has become so common that the experts are now calling it a disease as it is causing so many preventable health problems and shortening people’s lives.
Not only does a sedentary lifestyle increase the susceptibility of age related diseases that cause premature death, being inactive influences and speeds up the aging process itself. This is confirmed with the incidents of people that we know (maybe in our own family) that have been taken long before their time leaving us shaking our heads in disbelief wondering what how this could have happened.
This trait is accelerating as our modern world becomes less and less active. One of the main reasons is the loss of muscle tissue that accompanies a sedentary lifestyle. Muscle atrophy (shrinking and weakening) downgrades the entire body and its systems and we become more susceptible to disease and physical injury.
Physical strength and fitness is correlated with a strong immune system function, our amour and defense system protecting us from disease and illness. A reduction in strength and general fitness weakens the efficiency of the immune system increasing our risk of what they call ‘chronic lifestyle diseases’. Heart disease, cancer, diabetes and dozens of others are all health issues we inflict on ourselves.
The human body functions best when it is active, strong, vital and dynamic. Hormones are balanced; blood is circulating around the body efficiently taking nutrients and oxygen to all tissues and cells maintaining their health. Body weight is maintained at a healthy level, mental and emotional health is stable and sleep is of a better quality so the renewal and rejuvenation of the cells is at a maximum to maintain health and wellness.
If you want to protect something as precious as your own life you need to take action get yourself started on a proper exercise program that contains mostly strength training exercise and never stop. It is this simple. Lead a physically active life and reap the benefits as opposed living a sedentary life and risk a lower quality of life or even worse a shortened life. We each have a choice what will yours be?