For many people, the week consists of travelling to work, sitting in front of a computer all day and being physically inactive. For others who maybe are retirees there can be equally little or no activity.It is easy to get stuck in a rut of being glued to an office chair for hours on end, then collapsed behind a device or TV for the rest of the day, with only your typing fingers getting a work out. Our modern world is designed to encourage a sedentary lifestyle. In fact, just about every modern convenience is centered around making us as physically inactive as possible. Lifts, escalators, all forms of transport, television, fast foods – are all designed to make our lives “easier’ and, in the process, almost completely sedentary.
This physically inactive lifestyle can lead to a number of health problems. Recent studies have shown that such a lifestyle can be more potentially dangerous to our health than smoking. It can also effect weight gain and obesity which, in turn, contributes to diseases such as heart disease and type II diabetes.
We all deserve time to relax; reading, watching movies, and browsing the internet, but all those passive activities need to be balanced out by physical activities. By introducing some changes into your lifestyle choices you can make life more active and help bring back a zest for life.
EVERYDAY EXERCISE – Take the stairs instead of the lift whenever possible. Visit a gym for cardio vascular exercise or fitness classes or join a golf or bowls club. Join a sports team either at work or at your local club. Organised sport will give you something to look forward to and is also a great antidote to weight gain and inactivity, while having the added benefit of meeting and interacting with people. Walk or cycle to the shops, it is a great way to get the blood flowing. When at work do some arm and neck stretches, shoulder shrugs and breathing exercises throughout the day. If you stat being mindful of moving your body during the day it will become second nature
DELIVER THE DIET – Overeating or eating the wrong foods can make your body feel sluggish and lacking in energy. When you’re physically inactive all day, your body requires far fewer calories. The high grease, sugar, and other chemicals in processed foods creates an addictiveness that causes us to eat more than normal. It stands to reason therefore, that if you want to avoid weight gain, you will need to eat less. Try to snack less and drink lots of water. Eating healthily through the week will help you feel better overall and probably inspire you to move a little bit more.
GET OUT AND ABOUT – Getting out of the office or house will literally be a breath of fresh air and very likely improve your focus and levels of concentration. As well as getting some exercise, getting out can also inspire you with fresh ideas. Go for a twenty minute walk at lunch time and take in the sights, smells and sounds around you. You’ll be surprised how it will lift your spirits and clear the mind.
It will take a bit more effort to swim upstream against the tempting time savers that modern life offers us. But the long-term rewards of feeling healthier, happier and more alive are well worth it. Nothing is quite as energising as knowing that we are looking after ourselves. The realisation that a healthy mind body connection, created through physical and mental fitness can give us a true sense of well-being which in turn may help us to preserve a longer more active lifestyle.
Annie Moore massage therapist, reiki practitioner, yoga teacher and owner Vidatherapy Spa.