Have you ever thought about how much sitting or lying down you do in a day? Sitting at your job desk for eight good hours, sitting on your commute home, sitting during your long lunch break, and lying down on the couch after a long day to unwind with some TV.
With technology and transportation advances, most people are unfortunately sitting around a lot with very little to no physical activity or exercise. Even leisure time is supposed to involve more physical activity, much of it is sedentary today- playing video games, watching television, scrolling through social media, and the like.
While many may find it harmless, a sedentary lifestyle is a dangerous path to follow as it can affect your health in so many ways you may not realize. For instance, it could increase your risk of cardiovascular diseases, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and anxiety. This is according to research conducted by WHO a few years back.
It is therefore very imperative for you to learn how to live a healthy lifestyle and rid yourself of all the sedentary habits you may have developed. This article will guide you through what sedentary living means and practical solutions to help you stop it.
What is a sedentary lifestyle?
A sedentary lifestyle is a lifestyle that involves very little to no physical activity, wherein most of the day is spent lying down, sitting down, and expending very little energy. In other words, if all the hours you spend on your phone, computer, watching TV, and commuting here and there add up to six hours or more, you’re certainly living a sedentary lifestyle.
The good news is, there are various ways you can avoid being inactive and keep yourself away from the risk of a sedentary lifestyle.
How to stop living a sedentary lifestyle
Fixing a sedentary lifestyle often takes some conscious effort at first, but when you think about the health benefits you can gain from it, it becomes worthwhile. Below are a few ideas you can utilize.
1. Walk or bike more often
Try to squeeze in a few minutes of walking into your schedule whenever you can, whether at work or home. For example, if your workplace is just a few steps away from your home, opt to walk instead of taking the bus or driving. Biking to work can also help you stay energized and active to kickstart your day.
The next time you get a phone call, speak while standing or pacing back and forth, stretching your legs in simple motions. You can also reposition your desktop or laptop when working from home to an elevated platform so that you can work while standing up for a short while during your day.
2. Take the stairs
Stair climbing will keep you more physically fit and active during the day. It can also help you maintain a healthy weight and build strong bones, muscles, and joints. Make it a habit when you get to work, as it is a simple yet effective health routine.
3. Do chores at home
Procrastination tends to succumb to a sedentary lifestyle. Stop putting things off or holding them until the next time. List all the household chores you need to execute and take them on one by one. Whether it is mopping floors, polishing furniture, scrubbing pans, taking out the garbage, or vacuuming, these activities will keep you on your feet and, additionally, keep your house shining.
4. Play with your kids
If you have children or are surrounded by kids who are in a playful age group, join them on their adventures. Chase them around the house and build fictional characters to amuse and liven them up while being physical. You can also think of other fun activities to do with them to keep you physically active.
5. Stay healthy and fit by eating and sleeping healthy
Apart from exercising, eating healthy can help keep you active. If you don’t feed your body with the right nutrients, it won’t have anywhere to source its energy. This is why most of the day will leave you feeling sluggish. To avoid this, begin your day with a large, healthy breakfast and end it with a muscle-recovering food option. In other words, maintain a balanced diet.
Also, get a good night’s sleep to revitalize your body and recharge your energy.
These are just some of the simple ways you can adopt an active and healthy lifestyle. You don’t have to beat yourself up by doing intense exercises. There are numerous opportunities in your everyday life to sneak in an extra movement. Just do it!