Why an Inactive Lifestyle Isn’t Good For You

Could Your Inactive Lifestyle Be Harming Your Health?Lazy

Are you short of breath when walking up stairs? If walking around the grocery store is the most exercise you get in a week, your inactive lifestyle may be putting your health at risk. Inactivity is a factor in many health conditions, ranging from cancer to high blood pressure to osteoporosis. Fortunately, it’s never too late to improve your health by becoming more active.

Are You a Couch Potato? You May Be More Likely To Experience These Health Issues

Only 25% of Americans are active enough to satisfy current exercise recommendations, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Adults should participate in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity per week, according to the recommendations.

 

Lack of exercise can increase your risk of:

Cardiovascular Problems

According to the World Health Organization, when you don’t move enough in your daily routine, you’re more likely to develop heart disease, heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. In fact, a sedentary lifestyle doubles your risk of cardiovascular disease and death,  Regular aerobic exercise strengthens your heart and improves blood flow to the brain, heart, lungs, and other organs. Aerobic exercise is any activity that raises your heart rate. For example, activities such as swimming, walking, riding a bike, or playing tennis can increase your blood flow.

Obesity

Exercise helps you burn calories and improves your metabolism, the rate at which you burn those calories. If you’ve been struggling to lose weight, exercising more, in addition to following a healthy diet, could help you shed a few extra pounds.

Type 2 Diabetes

According to the CDC, a non-active lifestyle may also increase your likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, a disease that affects more than 34 million Americans. If you’re sedentary, you may develop insulin resistance, a condition that affects your body’s ability to use glucose (blood sugar) to provide energy to your cells. Glucose builds up in your blood if you’re insulin resistant, making it more likely that you’ll develop pre-diabetes or diabetes. Researchers in Korea discovered being inactive for 10 hours or more daily increased insulin resistance values in people who didn’t have diabetes.

Weak Bones

Weight-bearing activities, like walking, strength training, dancing, or running, keep your bones strong. These activities increase bone density and improve the range of motion in your joints. Exercise can help you lower your risk of developing osteoporosis, a disease that weakens the bones and increases your risk of fractures.  As you get older, weight-bearing exercise is particularly important. Learn more about the Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Older People here!

Cancer

Skipping a regular exercise schedule can also raise your cancer risk. Inactivity raises the risk of uterine, colon, and breast cancers, according to Medline Plus.

Mental Health Issues

Staying active may also help you avoid depression and anxiety or reduce the symptoms of these conditions. For example, exercise improves nerve cell growth in the part of the brain that controls moods and triggers the release of endorphins, natural chemicals that improve your mood, according to Harvard Health Publishing.

Joint and Muscle Pain

Without regular exercise, your joints and muscles may become stiff and painful. Does your job involve plenty of sitting? When you sit too much, the core muscles that support your back begin to weaken. When the muscles are weak, you’re more likely to experience strained muscles, muscle spasms, and knots in your muscles. In addition to weakness, muscle imbalances  can pull your spine out of alignment, causing chronic back pain and reduced range of motion.

How Your Chiropractor Can Help You Stay Healthy

Your chiropractor can recommend exercises that will strengthen and support your body and help you stay healthy. If pain is keeping you from exercising, your chiropractor offers a variety of treatments designed to improve spinal alignment and decrease pressure and tension on your muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. Thanks to your visits to the chiropractor, you’ll be able to make exercising a priority.

Has it been a while since you’ve seen the chiropractor? Fill out a submission on our Contact Us Page so an Optimum Healthcare team member can  help schedule your appointment!

Sources:

America’s Health Rankings: Physical Inactivity

Harvard Health Publishing: Exercise Is An All-Natural Way to Fight Depression, 2/2/21

World Health Organization: Physical Inactivity a Leading Cause of Disease and Disability, Warns Who, 4/4/02

Medline Plus: Health Risks of an Inactive Lifestyle

Korean Journal of Family Medicine: Sedentary Lifestyle: Overview of Updated Evidence of Potential Health Risks, 11/19/20

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Lack of Physical Activity, 9/25/19

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