What is an inactive lifestyle?
It can be difficult to accept that a modern human lifestyle is very inactive. A publication written in Scientific American, Dr Herman Pontzer, an evolutionary anthropologist at Duke University, highlights that “unlike our ape cousins, humans require high levels of physical activity to be healthy.”
Most basic human tasks have become automated. Navigating daily life has never been easier! Although, with all this automation, we are faced with more decisions than ever and It can be challenging to chose with health in mind.
Daily activity breakdown
- Wake up – Humans generally sleep for around 7-9 hours. No movement has been made during this time although, sleep is extremely important for regenerative purposes.
- Travel to work – We are generally most energised in the morning. A choice is made here… Do we travel the whole/part of the way by foot or use a vehicle?
- Work – For generally 8 hours per day. Is the majority of this time sedentary at a desk?
- Travel home – Another choice is made here, after a long day at work, many chose the easiest form of transport.
- Leisure time – Why do we associate leisurely activities with sitting down and using a computer, watching TV or playing video games?
- The cycle begins again.
With such busy lifestyles, we completely overlook the necessity of keeping active.
The problem with this lifestyle is it becomes habit and habits are extremely difficult to change.
Below is a segment of the 2018 National travel survey of England. It is evident that the main form of transport in 2018 is a car and that less than half of 17-60 year old people have access to a bike. Is it fair to say that we are pretty lazy?
Often, a change of job, personal situation or stress can create the perfect environment for an inactive lifestyle. But are we doing more harm long-term by staying inactive?
How does an inactive lifestyle affect the BODY?
- Lack of movement affects blood circulation
- Bones become more fragile and lose some mineral content (such as calcium)
- Metabolism affects the bodies ability to successfully break down sugars and fats
- Less calories are burning resulting in weight gain
- Muscles become weaker and can’t carry you as far
- Immune system can not fight off illness as easily
- Parts of the body may become inflamed
- Higher risk of developing a hormone imbalance
What health problems do I become at risk of developing?
- Hear diseases for example coronary artery disease (where the tubes to the heart are narrowed because of cholesterol) and heart attack
- High blood pressure (The force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries)
- High cholesterol (Waxy, fat-like substance found in cells in the body)
- Stroke (Loss of blood flow to the brain because of clogged arteries)
- Metabolic syndrome (A group of conditions that put you at risk of heart disease or diabetes)
- Diabeties type 2 (Glucose/blood sugar levels are too high)
- Certain cancers for example colon, breast, uterine
- Osterporosis (disease that thins and weakens the bones)
- Depression and anxiety – Working out the body leads to both muscle tissue and cell growth. Scientists have now proven that brain cells (particularly linked to memory) are more likely to grow and sharpen the mind in the same way muscle grows and in turn increases fitness of the body.
- Increased risk of premature death
How can we overcome this lifestyle?
Changing routine is difficult but very achievable. It is often more of a mental struggle than a physical one. Suddenly increasing your motion can shock the body. To avoid being overwhelmed, it is important to gradually introduce movement into your lifestyle.
Changing up things in your basic routine such as walking to work can make a huge difference! Your end goal should be to get the recommended amount of exercise for your age. Tackling the gym and maintaining a weekly routine is your best course of action. Many people prefer guided exercise! There are lots of options such as personal training, taking up as sport such as kickboxing, home or outdoor personal training, 1:1 training with a friend, group training or corporate training . After a long day of decision making, sometimes we just need to be told what to do in order to make the most of our time and guarantee the best results!
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