‘Kay, Tita Kay?

A veteran shares the tips to spare you her headaches and heartaches.

Say No to The Sedentary Lifestyle

A large part of the legacy we leave our children is all about attitude: how we think about wellness and health, and how we adopt the appropriate lifestyle that reflects that attitude. For members of my generation it was always about efficiency and maximizing comfort, and building an entire industrial/financial complex around this concept.

We worked hard and lived well, but mostly it was done sitting or lying down at home and at the office. In fact if you look at most advertising espousing “the good life”, it featured families happily supine in brand new cars, furniture, or in front of brand new TVs complete with TV dinners and drinks. And here was the problem.

Two generations into the sedentary lifestyle we noticed alarming increases in interlinked results of obesity, cancers, mental issues, and others. Only with a 180-degree turn into a more active global lifestyle, did we make the comparison and connection between exercise and longer life, between excessive sitting and early death. But as my millennial nieces would say, the “struggle is still real” because to date, 1 in 4 adults still are NOT moving enough according to the WHO.

So let me share with you the top 7 Benefits for a more active lifestyle as opposed to staying on our butts not just for ourselves, but for the entire family:

 

1. Mood Improvement

If you’re sitting for more than 6hrs a day, you are 90% more likely to develop some psychological distress. This means feeling nervous, restless, hopeless or just plain exhausted. Honestly, I can remember far too many days feeling absolutely wiped out just sitting at the office, at meetings, in my car. On the other hand, I’ve always felt amped and energetic after a workout. I’m sure you’ve made the same observations. In my opinion, exercise is better than any pharmaceutical antidepressant.

TV and video games can increase anxiety.

Exercise counters depression through endorphins. Cardio as good as antidepressants

 

2. Avoiding Cancer

When you adopt a healthy and active lifestyle for the family you are vastly decreasing your likelihood for colon, endometrial and lung cancers. These are the cancers that afflict people who just don’t move enough. This may be because they also sit long hours in front of the TV eating junk food and guzzling sugary drinks.

 

3. Memory Improvement

If you don’t remember to move, soon you won’t remember anything. That’s the finding of most experts who conclude that sedentary adults are just as prone to dementia as those born with the gene for this degenerative condition. A simple activity such as long brisk walks 3 times a week staves off this threat exponentially.

4. Blood sugar stabilization

If you’re proud of the fact that you’re close to or at about your ideal weight, you may still be in trouble if you’re sitting too much at home or at work. Not moving can spike up your blood sugar numbers to levels that are considered prediabetic.  For parents, the goal is to choose a workout regimen to reach below 25% body fat. This should be a sane combination of cardio and resistance (weights) training.

 

5. Sleep

Just 150 minutes a week of exercise leads to better sleep. And you probably know this too even if you are an intermittent exerciser. The differences in sleep quality can be dramatic. 50% of gym avoiders report insomnia. And if you don’t get a good night’s sleep, the next day can be like a slow-motion catastrophe. Yep, sleep is absolutely more essential for every family member.

 

6. Get Your Back In It  

You absolutely MUST move while working at your office chair, at least every 15 minutes. This prevents excessive pressure on your lower discs that can lead to degeneration. I remember being attacked by unbearable sciatica pain while driving home from another sitting-at -the-office-for-hours day. It was like an electric shock up and down my entire left side. The orthopedic expert said the solution lay in “just getting you mobile again”. I never realized till then that I had just about moved as much as a rock.

Later on I discovered that walking or swimming 3 times a week also helped. And even while sitting and working, all I had to do was get up and stretch or walk every 15 minutes.

 

7. Bonding Value

I started this article by mentioning legacy and future generations. With an ingrained healthy attitude for increased activity and less sedentary moments, your children will have a lifetime of the health benefits listed above and probably even more we have yet to discover. They also build treasured memories of spending real quality time together with you, time spent actively engaging and experiencing the world.

 

The simple fact is that humans were made to move. The industrial revolution in many ways made us forget what it meant to be human, both mentally and physicallly. It is only with the continuance of a new global active healthy lifestyle that we can reverse that and return to the healthy and happy beings we all deserve to be. And by our example,  our kids can only pass that on to the generations that follow.

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