Sedentary – “doing or involving a lot of sitting: not doing or involving much physical activity” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
Same as fitness/health, being sedentary is a lifestyle choice – sadly a choice many Americans make due to different reasons but totally preventable by choosing to be more mobile in your daily life. Now keep in mind, this isn’t a post meant to judge or guilt trip those of you who may have a sedentary lifestyle, however, my goal is to inform, educate, and to give some insight into what makes this lifestyle choice a harmful one (because in the end, people die from being sedentary) YES! a real thing and most people do not know this. Let’s talk.
If one was to google leading cause of death in America, you would notice the list contains many illnesses – such as the one from this link —–> https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm from 2021 data (this does not include covid-19) but what this list tells me is some of these illnesses if not all, can stem from obesity, lack of physical activity, lack of decent nutritional health awareness & possibly even a lack of knowledge being given to individuals with these illnesses. Now, I do realize some of which can be genetically inherited — but it is a smaller percentage of people who get these genetically vs those who get these illnesses from misinformation, not knowing they even have a health issue in the first place & not moving. For example, a lot of Americans do not know they are pre-diabetic or have diabetes (this alone means they can’t take ownership of this, if they don’t know) & if one does not know, this means they don’t know how to prevent, or treat the situation. How many of you get tested for diabetes regularly? how many of you make appointments with your medical doctor regularly? How many of you are self aware of changes in your body physically and otherwise? I always say, I like to think MOST people are self aware & want to be informed on their wellness, but that doesn’t mean everyone is or wants to be. #Facts
So… in turn, for those of you who do have a mostly sedentary lifestyle, you have to consider what it could do not necessarily in the short term of things (while that is important as well) but also consider how it will effect your life in the long term as well. While, it is true, we might not know our future — we can choose to protect our future self better by choosing to stay moving and being aware of our health/wellness as much as possible. Being “healthy” means something different for each individual, and I treat it as such when working with clients, because everyone’s needs differ, goals differ and bodies differ & quite honestly I’d like to say mental health is then a huge part of this because depending on where you are at mentally and/or emotionally, it could definitely play a part in your physical health as well <—- keep this in mind!
Take a moment to look at this link ——–> https://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2018/17_0354.htm. Scroll down a ways and notice the graph presented with ages, activity levels and those who have died vs survived. It is quite interesting to see the differences in age groups and physical activity. Now keep in mind, this was from 2018, but I wanted to share a visual so that you can see how this effects us & our longevity. Now that we have discussed why a sedentary lifestyle is harmful, and how it plays a part in the leading cause of deaths in America; lets turn out attention to ways to stay active MORE!
First and foremost, it is recommended that we get at least 150 min of moderate aerobic exercise on a weekly basis. Seems like a lot, but the goal is to get your heart rate up just enough where maybe you can talk but not necessarily have a full blown long winded conversation. Moderate activity will be different for everyone based on your fitness level, and type of exercise. For example, some may only be able to walk & that is fine! while others will have a higher level of fitness and run and/or jog at a moderate pace. Whatever works, as long as you are moving! Here are some simple ways to get moving:
- standing more than sitting — even just pacing back and forth while on the phone
- walking your dog (if you have a pet, a great way to stay active)
- parking further from the store(s)
- 10,000 steps daily. Use a step monitor or FitBit to keep track of your steps daily, make it a fun way to make sure you are staying active
- Ride a bike vs driving a car (if you live within distance and it is safe, riding a bike can be a great way to get in some exercise)
- Take the stairs! If you have a choice between stairs and using an elevator, try to take the stairs if possible
- Swimming. Good option for those who love the water, and also for those who have a hard time walking for long periods of time or have injuries preventing them from being able to walk & swimming is less impactful on the feet & knees.
- Household chores. Not everyone’s favorite thing to do, but definitely can be handy in staying active
- aerobic based machines (treadmills, stationary bikes, ellipticals, etc)– if you own one, pull it out and put it to good use!
- stretching — in the morning, before bed, at work —
- Yoga — if you aren’t comfortable going to classes; utilize YouTube for videos for beginners
- If you work from home and are at a desk all day, try using a stability ball for a seat instead of a chair (focus on posture, body alignment, balance, even bouncing on the ball while seated can be an activity.
These are just some simple ways to stay moving! remember, exercise doesn’t have to be hard but it should challenge you — get comfortable being uncomfortable, be self aware, and be safe!
Shay-lon Moss Aka #FitnessWonderWoman
Don’t forget to use #FitnessWonderWoman on Instagram & tag me @Shay_FitnessWonderWoman showing me how you stay active!
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