We are in the business of keeping people in motion, hence our name nMotion. It is our passion and why we come to work every day. As physical therapists we understand that being active is important and that injury and pain can lead to being sedentary and keep you from an active lifestyle.
The opposite of an active lifestyle is that of a sedentary lifestyle. And it is this type of lifestyle that is becoming more prevalent in today’s society. Think about it. We drive our cars to and from work. Many of us have jobs that require long days of sitting in front of a computer with minimal steps or otherwise being taken. And then, we come home to eat dinner in front of the television or some other device that further inactivates us. Kind of depressing, right? In one mind-boggling estimate, 60 – 85% of people, from both developed and still developing countries, lead a sedentary lifestyle.
Living a sedentary lifestyle is not only bad for you, but it can be outright dangerous for your overall health and well-being. Did you know that a lack of physical activity can lead to a number of side effects? Check out this list:
- Burning fewer calories
- Muscle weakness
- Shortened endurance
- Poor blood circulation
- Slower metabolism
- Weakened immune system
And the hits just keep on coming! Without education and intervention, humans are destined for a plethora of health problems that in turn will lead to decreased productivity, increased hospitalizations and sadly and eventually, premature death rates.
What can be done to combat this epidemic of historic proportions? First things first, we must start from the beginning, and that means helping our children and the future generations be active. It is important to encourage kids to be active for at least an hour a day. This activity helps to strengthen bones and build muscle.
If you are an adult and have been inactive for quite some time, it can feel overwhelming trying to figure out what’s best for you. Word of advice. Start slowly with exercise that your body can handle and build from there. One of the easiest things you can do is simply walk more. Walk around the house. Walk down the street or even at your local shopping mall. The point is just by walking more you can increase your endurance and build to doing more gradually.
There are several things you can do in or around the home that will help you be less sedentary and allow you to gain some traction in returning to being active. Vacuuming can be a great aerobic workout. Yard work can also be highly beneficial in burning calories. And, if your challenge is you work all day at a desk, consider parking your car further from the entrance, standing instead of sitting at your desk, and taking the stairs (if applicable). Lunchtimes can also provide a break in the day for a short walk around the block. Not only do you get steps in, but the fresh air can reinvigorate you for the remainder of the day!
The moral of the story is being active leads to a longer and healthier life. And, if you need a little professional guidance or a tune-up, your physical therapist can be of assistance. Whether he/she provides tips for getting started or assessing mobility, you will find a valuable resource with knowledge to share. So don’t hesitate! Take your life back and give us a call if you need us.