Sedentary disease increases a person’s risks for many ailments, but some are far graver than others, such as cancers, heart disease, and other life-threatening conditions/illnesses. There are many ways to prevent the consequences of living a sedentary lifestyle, though, and the top 5 listed here are the best places to start.
Walking Away from Not Walking
This seems so straightforward because it is. Walk when you have the chance and when you can choose to do so. That is the first place you can draw a line. It is as simple as choosing the stairs over the elevator. Allowing yourself to utilize your daily activities to move your legs and increase blood flow is a privilege that we all have access to.
Some significant shifts in lifestyle that can begin to improve your bodies overall ability to function more actively are:
- Mini walks at work (5 minutes for every hour you’re at the desk).
- Walk to the furthest bathroom.
- Walk (even if just in place) during TV commercials.
- Require yourself to walk when you are in a phone call.
- Walk to work or at work (lunch breaks) if you have the chance.
- Taking the stairs over the elevator.
- Going somewhere that requires you to walk to enjoy the experience rather than be sedentary, a zoo vs. a movie theater.
- Shop in person rather than online.
- Take the dog out on a leash instead of putting it on the chain or letting it in the yard.
This list is not limited to just these suggestions either. Everyone’s lives are different and finding the best place to make these adjustments should be approached personally, considering health, even if some of the concerns are related to being sedentary.
Check out this blog post on the Link Between Arthritis and Activity Level complete with a low-impact video – Click Here to Learn More
Standing When You Don’t Have To
Standing when you don’t have to is essential to preventing the effects of long-term sedentary living. By doing so, you are forcing blood to begin circulation and putting expectations on your leg muscles, building their endurance to the improvements in lifestyle that are to come (hopefully). Think of it as you don’t have to stand, but instead you NEED to stand.
Some universal ways to apply this to your lifestyle are:
- Standing on public transport.
- Standing for five minutes every hour when at the desk.
- Require yourself to at least stand when you are using your phone.
- Stand during commercial breaks.
- Stand when you are eating at a high-top at the restaurant or bar.
- Stand when you are reading.
These are small steps that are important to avoid the effects of sedentary disease while also preparing your body for a hopefully improved lifestyle. Did you know, sitting for long periods of time can cause muscle and joint soreness? Enjoy cherry juice to reduce sore joints…Learn More If you experience joint pain, consider adding tart cherry juice to your diet.
Start Small, Aim Big
This step is less about a specific action and more about a mindset that is needed. To prevent the effects of being too passive, a person must taper themselves into becoming more active. Starting small is very important, as it prevents any injury or unneeded strain on the body. Our muscular and bone systems are fragile, especially when they aren’t used as often as they were meant to be.
Starting small, setting minor goals, and executing them is step one to preventing the effects of this disease of the mind that plagues the body. Aiming for them to continue and grow is the next part of the transition.
Some general ways to implement this sort of thing would be to start with small physical exercises that are readily available and can be expanded from.
This includes but is not limited to:
- Doing pushups off of the kitchen counter, slowly increasing your rep count each day/week.
- Doing heel raises when you are in line at the store or in the kitchen cooking, slowly transitioning to doing it isolated and with concentration.
Improve Your Experience at Work
This one is critical as it is something that most of us share in life; we have to go to work. For many of us, going to work may mean sitting all day, which does not work in one’s favor when trying to combat the consequences that loom on the horizon of a sedentary lifestyle.
If you are blessed enough to enjoy a job that keeps you moving yet still struggle with being active, take focus in the other four suggestions. If you are not as lucky and spend a lot of your time working in a still position, then proactivity is your best bet.
Being proactive at work means taking breaks to stand, walk, pace, and stretch your muscles as needed. This could be structured for the sake of consistency, or you could act on it upon recognizing your body is beginning to feel “stuck” or sore.
There are also other small things you can do to improve your working environment to decrease the effects of sedentary disease. The tricks include transitioning to a standing desk if possible, using a foot “toy” or pedal to keep your feet active, or even preparing yourself mentally for activity.
This can be accomplished by listening to podcasts or music on the subject and wearing movement-friendly clothing. You are reminding yourself to remain active where possible is important when practicing avoidance of the complications that follow a sedentary lifestyle.
I saved the best for last. To prevent the consequences of sedentary disease from burdening your life, you must remain consistent to your practice of activity. This means enforcing discipline upon yourself, taking accountability for the moments you don’t practice discipline, and taking pride in the moments you do.
Staying consistent with your small goals and adjusting them when the time comes is essential for anyone to avoid the impact of health that is connected to sedentary disease.
Striving to avoid the consequences of living a sedentary lifestyle requires changing that lifestyle. This isn’t something that can be easily accomplished overnight, nor is it something out of reach for anyone.
Taking charge of our health is a responsibility we have to our mind and body. Take on these five methods with a serious approach and it is guaranteed to create noticeable change.