Alongside poor nutrition, excessive alcohol use, and tobacco use, lack of physical activity is one of the main risk factors contributing to the development of chronic diseases. According to the American Heart Association, physical inactivity can cause life-long concerns to a person’s overall health.
To help you understand more, read this article as we discuss the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle and the benefits of regular physical activity.
With the rise of smart devices, online platforms, and digital gaming systems, most people tend to take their physical health for granted. In a study made by the American Heart Association, life expectancy has significantly lowered because of technology and innovative practices. Today’s generation has a higher risk of developing chronic diseases and other health problems, and the decline of regular physical activity is to blame.
The Harmful Effects of Sedentary Lifestyle
Statistics show that only one out of four people is getting their recommended regular physical activity. Aside from concerns on growth and development, here are some harmful effects that we can correlate following those with a sedentary lifestyle.
Lack of regular physical activity can lead to chronic diseases, particularly heart disease. Even for those without an existing risk factor, an individual with a sedentary lifestyle has an increased likelihood of developing health concerns. These include obesity, elevated blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels.
Type II Diabetes
A sedentary lifestyle heightens the risk of developing type II diabetes. Without regular exercise, the body will have difficulty controlling blood sugar levels and maintaining good cholesterol. It may also cause concerns in the prevention of weight gain and getting rid of bad cholesterol. Additionally, adequate physical activity helps reduce nerve damage and heart disease that comes with people who have existing diabetes.
Cancerous cells thrive in people who live a sedentary lifestyle. Lack of physical exercise can cause your body to deteriorate, lowering your immune response. Not having enough physical activity weakens your body allowing cancer cells to take over.
Health Benefits Related to Physical Activity
In the previous years, recreational activities include running, jumping, and moving their bodies. The American Heart Association says that these activities are practically similar to exercising, improving your overall health. Aside from keeping the heart healthy and boosting mental health, here are some ways that physical activity can bring you benefits.
- Increases your endurance
Aerobic exercises and other cardiovascular activities increase your heart rate and breathing capacity. These factors are essential for maintaining a healthy heart, respiratory, and circulatory functions. Some endurance exercises include brisk walking, running, cycling, and swimming.
- Improves sleep quality
Moderate exercises can significantly affect your night rest. Aside from sleeping better, it helps extend your sleep duration and decrease sleep onset. Regular physical activity also prevents sleep disorders and lowers the possibility of waking episodes.
- Enhances cognitive ability
Regular exercise affects your brain health and memory. It prevents the possibility of developing mild cognitive impairments by improving your blood flow. Physical activity also helps in the stimulation of growth hormones that are essential in creating new brain cells.
- Helps in weight management
Frequent exercising allows you to burn excess calories and fats that your body gains. Depending on your physical status, the right amount of exercise can help you manage your weight and body mass index. However, the American Heart Association recommends thirty minutes of mild to moderate aerobic activity. Performing this routine five times per week can improve your weight while gaining benefits for your heart health.
Physical Activity Recommendations
In coordination with the United States Department of Health, the American Heart Association has created recommendations that will help everyone identify how much physical activity is necessary to be healthy. Some information included in the list comes from the second edition of Physical Guidelines for Americans. The guidelines contain science-based evidence that explains the link between physical activity and overall health and well-being.
Recommendations for Adults
- It is essential to get moderate-intensity aerobic activities of at least one hundred and fifty minutes per week. You may accomplish seventy-five minutes of vigorous exercise per week if you prefer more intensive training. Interval exercises are also possible by shifting between moderate and high-intensity aerobics.
- Add muscle and strength training activities at least twice a week. This activity should range from moderate to high-intensity to achieve better results.
- Avoid spending the day sitting. Standing up and performing light movements can offset some risks of a sedentary lifestyle.
- Try to remain active at least five hours per week. By doing so, you are conditioning your body to adapt to an active lifestyle.
- If time permits, you should enhance the amount of your physical activity. It would be best if you also increased the intensity gradually.
Recommendation for Kids and Teens
- Children between the ages of three to five years should perform have several opportunities to perform physical activities throughout the day.
- Kids between six to seventeen must get at least one hour of mild to moderate-intensity aerobic exercises.
- Experts also recommend adding vigorous exercises at least three days per week.
- You should also include bone-strengthening and muscle-boosting activities. These exercises are weight-bearing and should be a part of their weekly routine.
- As the child grows, the amount and intensity of the routine should increase gradually.
There is an essential link between physical activity and health. People who enjoy regular physical activity have fewer chances of developing risk factors that can affect their overall health. What’s more, those who perform routine exercises have a lower death rate than others who are not physically active.
Suppose you want to live a longer and healthier life, it is essential to practice moving more and increase its intensity over time. Sitting too much and staying inactive can increase the risk of health concerns.
So, what are you waiting for? Stand up and let go of your sedentary lifestyle. Get your body moving for a more active and healthy life.