Each year, our society has less and less need to leave our homes, move our bodies, and get out into the world. We used to go out for groceries, shopping, or entertainment. But why bother with that anymore? After all, comes to your doorstep, your streaming service, or your phone.
The world we live in allows you to not move much unless you physically choose to do so. Sadly, it’s gotten to the point that about 25% of US adults are completely sedentary, with the prevalence being higher amongst women than men.
So, what’s the big deal? People work hard all day, and they deserve to relax when they’re not at work. But the truth is, this societal slow down is deadly, and there are six dangers that may be alarming enough to get you moving.
Check out the dangers of being sedentary on youtube.
1. Weight Gain
The first and most obvious danger of being sedentary is weight gain. Everyone needs to eat, and when you move, you’re helping your body burn the fuel you consume. When you don’t move as much, the food you eat has more chance to turn to fat, and you can start to pack on pounds. That weight gain causes damage to your body, whether it’s from the extra pressure on joints, your heart, or your vascular system.
2. A Lagging Metabolism
As you sit for prolonged periods, your metabolism slows. That means you’re burning fewer calories in a resting state, making you more susceptible to weight gain. Inactivity also makes it more difficult for your body to handle the food you eat, meaning you could also experience issues with breaking down fat and regulating blood sugar.
3. Flexibility Decreases
Have you ever gotten up in the morning and felt stiff? But you notice as you get up and move, you start to feel better? This is because when you move your body, whether you’re stretching, walking, or taking an exercise class, your blood is pumping, which increases the flexibility of your muscles and tendons.
When you’re sedentary, it’s harder for your body to get blood flow to certain areas like tissues and joints. As a result, you may notice pain, higher levels of inflammation, and injury down the road when you do get active again.
4. Chances of Osteoporosis Increase
Our bodies are meant to be weight-bearing, and our bones get stronger when we do physical activities. That might look like lifting up your kids, taking a workout class, or going for a walk. However, failure to use your body for weight-bearing movement can cause bones to become brittle, increasing your chances of developing osteoporosis and other bone problems in the future.
5. Mental Health Can Become Impacted
You may have noticed that going out for a brisk walk can improve your mood. That’s not by mistake. Exercising (and fresh air) increases blood flow to your brain, pumping in feel-good endorphins and generally creating a rosier outlook on life. On the other hand, a sedentary lifestyle could increase your risk of dementia, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.
6. Immunity Can Decrease
Your lymphatic system, a major player in your immune system, is made to push waste out of your body. Unlike your heart, that’s constantly pumping and cleaning blood, the lymph system doesn’t have an automatic pump. Instead, the pump is controlled by you and your daily movement. So, the less you move, the less support the lymph system has to cleanse your system. As a result, you can have increased inflammation, and your immune system is more susceptible to disease.
The Last Word About the Dangers of Being Sedentary
Which of these dangers of a sedentary lifestyle concerns you the most as you get older? Do you have a family history of heart disease, obesity, dementia? You can choose to move more today and decrease your chances of these dangers becoming your reality. Need help in that journey? We have a team of experienced personal trainers ready to help you take steps to improve your health and get moving today. Contact us to get started.
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