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A Healthy Sedentary Life? Fat Chance!

By Madhusudhan Tammisetti

A Healthy Sedentary Life? Fat Chance!

A life of luxury that doesn’t require you to be in a particular place at a particular time, that doesn’t require you to do anything at any time, that doesn’t require you to ask “how high” when someone asks you to jump, might seem like a beautiful thing.

Being able to lounge all day by the pool may have its advantages for a while, but the lounge life -- or being a couch potato -- can be a dangerous proposition.

A sedentary lifestyle can have an adverse impact on your body and create various health problems. These problems include cardiovascular disease, weight gain, and mental health issues. Not all sedentary lifestyles are by choice. Modern technology gave rise to many sedentary jobs. These jobs require people to work behind a desk throughout the day looking at a computer screen. And at home, watching TV is a favorite pastime for many people.

What Are the Health Risks of a Sedentary Lifestyle?

Many people don’t have an inkling that a sedentary lifestyle had creeped into their lives silently and created a host of health problems for them. They don’t want to miss their favorite show or sports event on television and, for some people, office work takes precedence over health. Whatever the reason may be, a sedentary lifestyle increases the chances of weight gain and obesity. This can put extra pressure on the heart to pump faster, can cause heart disease, and cause type 2 diabetes. To have a healthy heart, your heart and blood vessels need regular movement.

Sitting on the couch or in your favorite chair for longer periods can cause muscle and joint problems. Along with poor posture, you may need to get accustomed to neck pain and back pain if you are not making an effort to stay physically active. Your sedentary habits can cause problems to your nervous system, and impact your mood and mental well-being. You don’t have to miss your favorite show, but remember that you have to do some physical activity to stay healthy.

What Are the Benefits of an Active Lifestyle?

Regular exercise can help in your weight loss goals. You burn calories when you do exercise or take part in a physical activity. The more intense the physical activity, the more calories you burn. But many people don’t have time to go to a gym or take time off from their work to keep their body in tip-top shape. Even a 5- to 10-minute workout can burn calories. To get more benefits of exercise, climb the stairs instead of going in an elevator. After work, do some household chores. The key point here is consistency; do some physical activity.

Whatever your weight is, an active lifestyle boosts HDL cholesterol and decreases unhealthy triglycerides. Staying active decreases the chances of getting cardiovascular diseases. Regular exercise helps prevent stroke, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, and arthritis. Active lifestyle improves cognitive function. If you need an emotional uplift, a brisk walk or a gym session can help relieve stress. It helps you relax and be less anxious.

How Can a Chiropractor Help a Person Who Doesn't Exercise?

People find it difficult to do regular exercise when they’re used to a sedentary lifestyle. They sit on a couch for several hours and are prone to many health problems. You can suffer from postural problems if you bend or slouch while watching TV and the spine is improperly aligned with the body. This results in poor posture. Bad posture can cause neck and back pain. Yet chiropractic care can help align your spine with a chiropractic adjustment.

The chiropractor performs a spinal manipulation to relieve pain. Adjustments to the neck to correct joint restrictions in the spine can reduce inflammation, improve the functioning of the affected joint, and can help relieve neck pain and improve overall mobility of your neck. For back pain, chiropractors apply adjustments to the affected region to restore mobility and range of motion, and relieve extra pressure on the patient's nerves and tendons.

Chiropractic treatment aids nerve function. If your spine is not properly aligned, you can suffer from health problems. Joint subluxations along the spine can cause nerve compression, but chiropractic care may help relieve the pressure on those nerves to improve nerve function.

People leading a sedentary lifestyle often experience stiffness and pain in their joints. This can decrease your range of motion. The chiropractor uses adjustments to the affected areas to relieve pain and stiffness, which can help improve range of motion.

What Can I Do to Stay Active in My Daily Life?

You don’t have to do complicated stuff to move your body. Let’s look at some simple tips that can help you get started.

  • Take breaks - It’s easy to forget the time when watching your favorite show on TV. Set a timer to remind you to take breaks from time to time. You can stand up, walk a bit, or do some stretches to relieve stress that piled up on your hips due to sitting for hours on the couch.
  • Walking meetings - Sometimes, meetings in conference rooms can go for more than an hour. You can suggest walking meetings instead of sitting in the room. It helps you get some fresh air, exercise, and relieve stiffness due to prolonged sitting.
  • Commercial break workouts - If you’re watching TV, use commercial breaks as a good excuse to stand up, walk to the kitchen to drink some water, and do some stretching.
  • Standing desk - You can use a standing desk to change positions from sitting to standing or standing to sitting to negate the harmful effects of standing or sitting for long periods.
  • Stairs over elevator - If it’s not an insanely 100-floor building, try to use stairs over the elevator. You can put those leg muscles to work and get your heart pumping and reduce the chances of getting stroke and heart disease. You don’t have to set aside extra time for this calorie burning exercise. You can incorporate it into your daily routine and it may help you maintain a healthy weight.
  • Park farther away - Park your vehicle a bit farther away than at the usual parking lane when you are at the office or at the grocery store. These extra steps can burn a few more calories a day.
  • Outdoor activities - Make outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, or a sport you enjoy as a hobby. You get the exercise you need with the added advantage of getting fresh air and being with nature.

You Must Stay Active for a Healthy Lifestyle

A sedentary lifestyle leads to various health issues. The most common health problems people face are weight gain and obesity. These problems have an adverse effect on the heart. An obese person’s heartbeat is faster than a person living an active lifestyle. They may also suffer from arthritis and back pain. Chiropractic care can help with body pains and postural problems by applying chiropractic adjustments to the affected areas.

You can stay active by doing regular exercise. A simple walk to the park can burn a good amount of calories. Cycling or hiking can help improve your heartbeat and blood flow. Stay active and say goodbye to pains and aches.

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