While May is known as National Arthritis Awareness Month, it is also National Physical Fitness & Sports Month. This initiative is used to spread awareness about the benefits of physical activity and is sponsored by the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. Not only do these physical activities have health benefits, regular activity provides cognitive health benefits as well. But children aren’t the only ones who need physical activity to stay healthy. Let’s take a look at some tips adults can use to stay healthy this month as well as some of the health risks you face by being inactive.
The Risks of Physical Inactivity
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about two million people worldwide die from conditions related to inactivity. There are many different negative consequences of a sedentary lifestyle. Some of these consequences include:
- Hypertension– hypertension, which is also known as high blood pressure, is one of the main risk factors for having serious medical conditions such as a stroke or kidney disease.
- Heart disease- physical inactivity can contribute to heart disease by impairing the efficiency of coronary blood flow and raising cholesterol levels.
- Osteoporosis- inactivity can weaken the bones over time. If this occurs, it is known as osteoporosis can cause the bones to weaken and fracture easily.
- Cancers– lack of physical activity can also contribute to both colon cancer and breast cancer. When you are inactive, the waste moves slower through the colon, exposing the colon to possible carcinogens for a longer period of time. Hormone levels can also be regulated with regular exercise, which helps to decrease the risk of breast tumors developing.
- Obesity- According to the WHO, people who are physically inactive also have an increased risk of developing obesity and related conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and sleep apnea.
- Depression and anxiety- physical inactivity can also have negative emotional effects. Exercise can help reduce or prevent anxiety and depression as it releases chemicals in the brain to improve mood and reduce stress.
There are many different risk factors of living a sedentary lifestyle. So, what are some tips you can use to stay healthy?
Tips for Being More Active
While doctors recommend walking at least 10,000 steps per day, it can be hard for people who work in an office setting. But you can combat this sedentary lifestyle by taking the stairs, walking or riding to work, standing or walking during meetings, and even walking to deliver mail or messages. You can also take a few five to ten-minute breaks throughout the day and be more active during your lunch break to get the blood flowing and to be healthier. Organizing a yoga session with your co-workers can also help keep you calm and healthy. Ask your boss if you can make some furniture modifications to make your work more accessible. Use a standing desk and an exercise ball chair to stay healthier and on your feet while you work.
With some lifestyle changes, you can get healthier and minimize your risk for many different health conditions. For more information on getting healthier and celebrating physical fitness month, call Shakthi Health & Wellness Center today!