Health Risks of a Sedentary Lifestyle
A basic law of physics states, “A body in motion tends to stay in motion, a body at rest tends to stay at rest.” Our modern conveniences have altered human behavior in more ways than anyone could have predicted.
While convenience and comfort have certainly increased, the toll on human health is far worse than many realize.
A sedentary lifestyle is crippling. As our lives become more convenient, they also become dangerously sedentary. Obesity is not the only problem that might occur from inactivity. A multitude of health complications also occur when our muscles are not used.
Muscle Mass: Use it or Lose It
If you do not use a muscle, it will atrophy, or waste away. If you exercise, you develop muscle tissues and maintain your weight. If you stop exercising and continue to indulge in a fast food diet, the muscles will atrophy and your body will begin to store the excess calories as fat.
Put Your Heart into Your Efforts toward Good Health
As a muscle, your heart also requires activity in the form of increased demand for blood. If you run around the block or use vibration equipment, your circulation will increase. Failing to take care of your heart, by living a sedentary life, can lead to coronary artery disease, stroke, and hypertension.
Again, movement and activity are the keys. Sitting still can literally kill you if you do it too much or for too long. Inactivity increases your body mass, or the ratio of fat to muscle within your body. Even simple, regular movement and muscle stimulation can provide your heart and other muscles with much needed activity.
Other Health Risks of a Sedentary Life
Inactivity can lead to breast cancer, colon cancer, osteoporosis, and Type 2 diabetes, among many other illnesses. World Health Organization (WHO) statistics claim sedentary living will cause 17 million deaths due to cardiovascular disease and that diabetes deaths will increase 50% in 10 years unless changes are made.
This can be avoided with whole body vibration and a healthy diet.
Current WHO projections tell us that one out of every three human beings is overweight and that one out of every ten is obese. These conditions can lead to serious health risks and death.
Luckily, being obese or overweight is preventable and treatable, as are atrophied muscles.
Regular exercise will help to restore your good health. Basic changes in eating habits, such as drinking more water and eliminating fats, sugars, and highly processed foods will bring measurable results.
In addition to dietary changes, individuals must participate in some kind of moderately intense physical activity for at least 30 minutes on most days.
3 Best Types of Exercise for Sedentary People
Most sedentary people are either overweight or obese; two-thirds of Americans fall into these two categories. To lose weight, two things must happen. One, eat a healthy low-calorie diet; two exercise.
But the exercises must be at a moderate level and a mix of cardio (to burn calories and reduce bodyfat) and strength building (to build muscle and keep an increased burn of calories in the future).
Overweight people generally have bad knees so high-impact exercises like running, tennis, etc. are usually not good choices. Instead focus on low impact sports like cycling, elliptical trainer and swimming.
Set a goal of 150 minutes per week of cardio training at a moderate level; however when first starting out, do what you can until you are tired. Increase the number of minutes of activity each week as you grow stronger until at goal.
If you exercise five days per week, that is 30 minutes each day.
This is the minimum amount recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Even three 10-minutes sessions per day count the same as one 30-minute session, so work it into your day the best way that fits your schedule.
2) Strength building
While cardio burns calories, strength building builds muscle. Not only will it help prevent osteoporosis, but also help rebuild joint stability by strengthening the stabilizing supporting muscles.
Start out with two sessions per week targeting the larger muscle groups both in the upper and lower body, such as the shoulders, arms, abs, back and legs. By working the large muscle groups, you get more “bang for your buck” for the time you invest.
As you get stronger, add in more sets and repetitions per set until you are doing three sets of 12 to 15 reps per exercise. Just make sure not to exercise the same muscle groups two days in a row.
3) Interval training
Interval training is a workout on steroids. Called HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), it is something that must be worked up to do.
The way it works is you do an exercise at an intensity that is as fast as you can manage for 30 seconds. Then lower the intensity down to moderate or less for twice that time … so for 1 minute. Then go as fast as you can again for 30 seconds. Continue this exercise cycle for as you can.
Don’t be surprised if you are totally spent in less than 10 minutes. Try to work up to longer times both at the high and low intensity phases, keeping the same 1:2 ratio.
Interval training can be applied to both cardio and strength training workout routines and is one of the best ways to get the maximum calorie burn in the shortest amount of time.
By doing cardio and strength building at a normal intensity level, and working up to interval training as you get stronger, you can continue working off the weight and firming up muscles.
Just be sure to eat a healthy diet that supports your workout schedule – complex carbs, lean protein and healthy fats.