We often hear that inactivity or sedentary lifestyle is bad for your health. In fact, it has been proven that inactivity is a risk factor for a number of chronic diseases. Studies have showed that the lack of keeping your body moving will diminish your lifespan. Sedentary lifestyles are considered self-destructive behaviour.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that physical inactivity constitutes the fourth leading cause of death globally, causing an estimated 3.2 million deaths globally.
There are many little steps that you can take in order to keep active. You do not have to do rigorous exercises. Instead, all you need to do is to get up, get moving, take a walk through the park, walk the dog, go for hike, take a swim in the river or at the beach, ride a bicycle, or do 20-30 minutes of exercise in the comfort of your home.
Not only does exercise improve your health, even if you have already been diagnosed with something, it can go a long way to prevent the onset of several life-threatening conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Exercise can make you look great – younger, fitter and thinner.
Exercise reduces cholesterol that clogs arteries. It also reduces your blood pressure, relieving stress on your heart; improves your insulin sensitivity; improves heart muscle function; and blood flow and diminishes the chances of developing blood clots.
Exercise is good for your blood pressure – no matter your age, weight, race or gender. And it really doesn’t matter whether you get exercise from a brisk walk, a fast run or a few laps in the pool; the results are equally good.
Relaxation exercises can help to ease tension and relieve headaches, backaches and insomnia. Exercise releases the body’s own painkillers, called endorphins, into your system. It also helps you to gain a sense of emotional wellbeing and a feeling of being more in control.
Exercise during the day promotes the onset and quality of sleep, according to the South African Memory Resource Centre. But you need to exercise at the right time: the ideal time for exercise is in the morning. Exercising late in the day can contribute to sleeplessness, because exercise causes an increase in your body’s energy.
It is important to move no matter what you do. Your age, job or physical state should not prevent you from participating in exercise.
Dr. Rosmond Adams, MD is a medical doctor and a public health specialist with training in bioethics and ethical issues in medicine, the life sciences and research. He is a lecturer of medical ethics.
You may contact him at [email protected]