Do you often spend your free time lying in bed and watching Netflix, or do you feel that you just have no energy left in you to get up and enjoy life?
If you replied to the above questions in the affirmative, then you might be leading a sedentary lifestyle.
A sedentary lifestyle is one where there is little to no physical activity and exercise. A sedentary lifestyle encourages sedentary behavior. According to the Sedentary Behavior Research Network, sedentary behavior is any activity that involves sitting, reclining, lying down, or simply the activities that require little to no energy expenditure.
A sedentary lifestyle can cause serious health problems down the line. According to the WHO, a sedentary lifestyle increases risks for mortality, doubles the chances for developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, bone illnesses, increases the risk of colon cancer, depression, and anxiety.
Therefore, to avoid these illnesses, doctors advise an average amount of exercise and physical activity on a daily basis. According to Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, adults should do at least 150 minutes of physical activity every week, but only 21 percent of adults meet their physical activity requirements.
If you are willing to get out of the sedentary lifestyle to protect your health, here are some tips to get you started:
Get a clinical assessment:
Are you worried that you might develop complications because of your sedentary life? The wise thing to do in such a case would be to get a clinical assessment.
Any medical facility might help you with it. Nurses with at least an MSN FNP degree can help you get your clinical assessment done and identify for you the potential risks that you could develop if you continue with the sedentary lifestyle.
Follow the health practitioner’s guidelines and get a health check-up to fully assess the risks. The health practitioner will then proceed to draw you a diet and exercise plan, which you should strictly adhere to if you want to live a happy and prolonged life free of disease.
Increase physical activity:
Exercise benefits the human body in various ways. According to the WHO, regular physical activity helps prevent heart diseases, diabetes, stroke, and several cancers.
It improves blood circulation in the body and contributes to good mental health. According to IHRSA, exercise can prevent depression, post-traumatic stress, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.
Another study in the Lancet tells that out of a sample of 1,237,194 people, those that exercised had fewer mental health issues than those who did not.
On the exercise specifics, it is better to incorporate and combine running or cycling exercises with some strength training exercises, like weight lifting. You can go for a 30-minute morning walk and proceed to doing 1-hour of strength training.
Move about throughout the day:
If you have a job that requires you sitting at a desk all day, you need to incorporate some physical activity to help you stay active. Try standing up and pacing after every 20 minutes to help improve blood circulation. You can set a reminder on your phone or laptop to remind you to get up and move.
You can take a quick stretch without interrupting your workflow by taking calls or printing documents. You can move around the office, go to a colleague’s station, or go for a coffee to work in the physical activity into your daily routine.
According to the Harvard business review, regular exercise balanced with work improves concentration, sharpens memory, enhances learning, creativity, and lowers stress.
A little exercise and movement will help you rid of the sedentary lifestyle and also improve your work efficiency.
Do the chores:
If you stay home all day, increase your activity by doing the chores around the house. Instead of sitting and watching TV all day, you can get up and clean your room or house, organize it, and put your DIY plans into action.
A good place to start is at the kitchen, washing dishes. You can also start with the bathroom, vacuuming the rug, etc. This way, you will stay on your feet even when you are at home.
Incorporate walks on the beach, if accessible, with friends and family at least once a week. Use the time when commercial breaks are airing in between your favorite television show to stretch out and move around.
If you really want to push yourself, you can aim for record number of pushups or sit-ups during a single commercial break.
You can start folding laundry while watching TV. Decrease your screen time as much as you can and use it instead to help you move around.
Develop active hobbies:
Take up a hobby that helps you stay active. This is the easiest and a fun of getting rid of the sedentary lifestyle.
You can go for a run in a park near you, or do yoga in the morning to improve your mental health. If running is too hard early on, you can build up to it, either by walking fast or slow jogging.
According to the National Federation of Professional Trainers, a slow distance run strengthens the muscles, decreases physical pain, improves mental health, eliminates toxins from the body, increases endurance, and burns calories.
Another active hobby that you can incorporate is gardening. It is a productive hobby that keeps you mentally, spiritually, and physically active.
According to the American Association of Hearts, gardening is a moderately-intense activity.
Try a fitness tracker:
If you are curious about your activity stats, try using a fitness tracker or app. It is a great way for you to accurately find out the number of daily steps you take, measure your heartrate, and track energy levels throughout the day.
A fitness tracker will motivate you to work out more and give you a sense of accomplishment when you see progress.
There are many spectacular fitness trackers on the market, for example, Apple Watch Series 7 and Fitbit Charge 5. If you do not wish to wear a fitness tracker, you can use a fitness app to monitor your progress, like Future or Freeletics.
To stay healthy, you should always keep your body hydrated. According to the Harvard Health, you should drink at least 8 cups or glasses of water every day. It will help your body get rid of toxins, and you will get up to go to the bathroom more.
Hence, frequent bathroom breaks are going to help you stay on your feet more and move from the couch to the bathroom.
A sedentary lifestyle is harmful to the health and mental well-being of an individual. Therefore, to avoid a sedentary lifestyle, you should adopt healthier habits and activities to stay active. The above-mentioned tips are designed to help you spend the majority of your daytime on your feet, so that you feel physically active and warmed up.