If we take a look at our routine life, it appears to follow a similar pattern. We wake up, get ready and drive or commute to work. Sit at the desk for 8-9 hours, check emails and delegate tasks. The day ends as we sit again in our car or subway and head back home.
If you get stuck in the traffic during your long drive, there is an additional 30-45 minute sitting period. You get home and have little energy left to do anything else. You crash to bed after binging on fast food or watching re-runs on TV.
Does that sound like the best way to live your life? Most people in the U.S. yawn their way through meetings, conferences or the entire workday since they feel tired, without doing any physical activity. But that’s usually where the problem lies.
If you are guilty of eating at your desk or ordering lunch from your computer, only to browse through Netflix during your lunch break, you are missing an entire hour that you can use for having a quick drive or walk to a nearby gym for stretching your muscles.
But you are not alone. It is shocking to know that Americans are estimated to spend 93% of their entire life indoors and 70% of each day merely sitting. Although squeezing in a quick gym workout sounds like a lot of trouble, the rewards are endless.
Not only do you begin to feel fit, but you also have enough energy to be more productive at work and get back home in just time to make a healthy snack or quick dinner to catch up on your favourite TV show. Take a warm shower or bath in the night, and you are ready to retire to bed, feeling rejuvenated and calm.
The truth is living a sedentary life doesn’t have any benefits. It is just your brain’s way of tricking you into being confined to your comfort zone. The effect is unexplainable lethargy, obesity and lack of motivation to accomplish personal and professional goals.
Centuries ago, being physically active was not a choice but a crucial part of survival. Hunting and preparing food was inevitable. Researchers estimate that roughly 2.5 million Americans are likely to die prematurely in the next decade owing to the effects of leading a sedentary life. The syndrome has now become the second most significant threat to public health.
What Happens When You Follow A Sedentary Lifestyle?
Individuals who live an inactive lifestyle have the highest rate of succumbing to heart attacks. Roughly 730,000 people get a stroke every year. Facts and figures reveal that physically active people have a lower risk of experiencing strokes and heart attacks.
Loss of lean muscle tissue also makes it difficult to maintain the right body weight. Regular exercise and physical activity help you lessen the impact of bone loss and repair the wear and tear of muscles. You may also be at risk of gaining unhealthy weight when you are physically active. A one hour walk every day can significantly reduce your risk of obesity.
Another outcome of living a sedentary lifestyle is that you feel depressed. If you experience mood swings and can’t control your emotions, make sure you walk for at least 30 minutes every day to beat stress. People who exercise have an efficient immune system to ward off infections and illnesses to be more productive.
How To Be More Active
When you don’t exercise, you lose lean muscle tissue and have trouble performing other daily activities. If you dread the idea of showering and dressing early morning before leaving for work, you may be a victim of this lifestyle. You must take control of your life to perform all critical activities with ease and energy.
Get Moving At Work
The key is to keep your brain and body both moving. Many managers like to hold a small walking meeting if the weather is pleasant. Walking alone is also a great way to brainstorm different ideas for flexing your brain and leg muscles. You can also achieve your weight loss goal by hitting the gym during your lunch break.
Set An Alarm
Try switching off the alarm on a conventional alarm clock every morning instead of hitting the snooze button on your smartphone. You will be surprised to see the difference it makes. You can use your device to set reminders or alarms for reminding you to walk around the office or go for a quick stroll throughout your work shift.
Take The Stairs
Research reveals that stair climbing has a dramatic effect on boosting your physical and mental activity. Not only it burns more calories, but it also relieves stress levels and makes you ready for an important business meeting. Don’t wait for an elevator malfunction to try out the staircase. It is also an easy way to keep moving without even leaving your work building.
Get Up During Commercial Breaks
When you are at home, make it a point to get up and move around the house during commercial breaks, unless you watch an entire season online. Again, set reminders to stand up or stretch your arms or legs when you don’t get a commercial break. You can use this time to do a few push-ups or fold laundry and blend a smoothie for a power snack.
Once you start reaping the many benefits of living a physically active life, you will never go back to being a couch potato again. You can also invest in some proper exercise equipment that does not take up too much space so you can exercise even when you are watching TV or listening to music.