Idle lifestyle becomes a habit as we age. As we get older and settle down
in life with comfortable jobs, we also get used to how we change
physically. But it is not a pleasant feeling when you are no longer
fits into your shirts or dresses or when you can't bend over to tie yours
shoe laces. Not having a regular physical activity in our daily routine affects
both physically and mentally. According to Digit Insurance, 61% of hospital admissions
caused by one
According to WHO, 60 to 85% of people in the world – from both developed and developing countries – lead sedentary lifestyles, making it one of the more serious but insufficiently addressed public health problems of our time. (Source)
Lack of exercise or any kind of physical activity not only causes high blood pressure, cardiac arrest and diabetes but also leads to elevated levels of stress, anxiety, insomnia and depression and in some cases even early death. It also leads to loss of focus, lack of attention and concentration along with decreased levels of energy and feeling of lethargy. By the way, women and older adults are more likely to lead an inactive lifestyle compared to men.
3 Ways Your Inactive Lifestyle Makes You Sick
Well, sitting or being a couch potato makes you gain weight and it's no secret. Obesity is a leading disease among inactive people. And it can lead to worse health problems including heart disease, knee problems, diabetes etc.
Having good health insurance is not the only solution. Take regular breaks when you have to sit for long periods of time whether you work or while traveling. Choose a standing desk preferably. The activity of stopping burns about 50 calories per hour, which is noticeably added over weeks and months.
Muscles and bones are affected
Did you know that our body is constantly rebuilding bones and muscles. When we do not exercise daily, bone density decreases and the legs become weaker and more prone to breaking.
Similarly, the body believes that we do not need the muscles that we do not use regularly and therefore they break down to save energy (this process if it is called muscular atrophy). Usually muscular atrophy is caused by age and poor nutrition, but inactive lifestyle is a leading cause of it now.
Sitting for longer periods also affects the neck and spine by stressing the muscles and discs of the spinal cord. This intrusion affects the hip muscles and reduces the blood flow to the buttocks which support the spine.
Even when sitting, you may not be able to maintain the correct posture, which in turn causes the discs and muscles to bulge and extend beyond their limit. Lack of exercise reduces synovial fluid that lubricates joints to provide flexibility and helps them move smoothly.
Mental health is drastically affected
Some studies done in rats have shown changes in their brain cells and structure due to lack of physical activity. Although I do not resemble rats with humans, we can easily agree that lack of training causes loss of focus and lack of ability to concentrate for extended periods.
The increased blood circulation due to exercise stimulates the hypothalamus and improves our mood and physiological response to stress by producing endorphins, the happy hormones, which reduces emotional stress.
Overall, as we see,
Leading an inactive lifestyle degrades the quality of life. It is
recommended for an average healthy adult to walk 10,000 steps a day and include
at least 150 minutes of physical activity in one week. Sedentary lifestyle is one
illness that is considered worse than smoking and major lifestyle changes
is necessary to beat this disease. The sooner we start stimulating these
changes in our lives, the better our quality of life.
Until then, Swathy.