… Keep bones and muscles strong with regular exercise.
… Use exercise to prevent cardiovascular diseases.
…Wake up and promote brain health with frequent activity.
(Not if we have anything to say about it!) In this day and age, it can be difficult to get your steps in even though we’re all living a modern lifestyle. So much of our everyday busy-ness is designed to be comfortable and convenient -almost movement-free. Most of us drive cars or take public transportation anywhere we want to go rather than walking. We sit in front of screens all day, not only at our jobs, working. We also sit in front of screens at home during our downtime. But few of us realize the risks of our sedentary lifestyles.
This kind of immobility leads to numerous chronic and dangerous medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity and more. When we fail to get up and get moving regularly, our body’s function deteriorates over time and we begin to feel the effects of poor health.
If you struggle to stay active and are falling into the pitfalls of an immobile and sedentary life, here are some of the health risks you could be facing sooner or later.
Immobility has dire consequences for the musculoskeletal system. Your muscles need regular exercise to stay toned and strong. Otherwise, they atrophy and become weak. Eventually, even normal activities can be affected by this weakness.
Lack of activity also prevents proper bone growth. New bone tissue grows in the direction of the stresses it’s subjected to, such as gravity. When you spend your days sitting for too long, your bones don’t experience stress and don’t regenerate. Over time, you lose bone density and can develop conditions like osteopenia, osteoporosis and fractures.
Regular exercise does prevent muscle atrophy and bone density loss. Even if you’re short on time, small habits like taking the stairs or going for a walk each day will help. Use that smart watch and set hourly alerts to stand up, stretch or get your steps in.
Maybe you think that sitting all the time is giving your heart a rest. In reality, it’s making it lazy. Regular exercise strengthens your heart and lungs, increasing their ability to pump blood and circulate oxygen through your body.
If you’re worried about overwhelming your cardiovascular system, use exercise to reduce stress and control your weight. Those factors are known contributors to cardiovascular diseases. With healthy levels of activity, you can significantly reduce your risks for high blood pressure and hypertension, heart disease, heart attacks, stroke and more.
While it may take some time to develop the more severe diseases associated with a sedentary lifestyle, you can experience other issues that interfere with everyday life sooner.
Immobility can decrease your ability to balance and your coordination, causing prolonged reaction times and increasing your risk of falls. A lack of activity is also linked to disruptive sleep patterns, mood swings and depression.
To combat conditions that develop due to inactivity, make movement a regular part of your daily routine. Exercise and lighter physical activities increase blood flow to your brain, delivering more oxygen and nutrients that promote healthy brain function. While it might seem that exercise will tire you out (which is good if you’re an insomniac), it also boosts energy during the day and diminishes that lethargic feeling many of us feel from sitting all day.
While some people might be more susceptible to conditions caused by a sedentary lifestyle, everyone is at risk of developing poor health if they neglect proper physical activity. Just 30 minutes of exercise each week makes a big difference. Beginners can start where they are physically and work their way up to a 30-minute goal. Parking farther away from the door, taking the stairs, cleaning your own home, standing every hour and other small behaviors help increase your activity throughout the day.
If you find that your sedentary lifestyle leaves you in pain after exercising or regular activities like walking and lifting hurt, see your doctor and ask about physical therapy. A physical therapist can help you find exercises appropriate for your fitness level and teach you how to improve your physical fitness and avoid pain.
At True Sports, we’re sports-focused because you’re sports-focused. The best physical therapists in Baltimore and Maryland provide the highest level of sports physical therapy and expertise you need to get back to your sport. With six convenient state-of-the-art locations to choose from, any athlete who takes their rehab seriously can get awesome care and extraordinary results. Select your location and schedule an appointment and have True Sports get you back to your team. For questions about insurance or self-pay rates, please call our office at 1-401-946-1672.