Easy, Healthy Habits in 2018: Why Prolonged Sitting is so Bad for your Health
Our bodies are designed to be active. Exercise improves every one of our systems, including metabolism, body tone and strength, and our bone density. Working out lowers your stress levels, brightens your mood, and increases your energy throughout the day. At night, having worked out helps you get a better night’s sleep.
Meanwhile, most of us spend the majority of our days sitting! Do you sit for most of the day at work – four to six hours at a time with barely any walking breaks? (And if you don’t know, find an app to track yourself—you’d be surprised!)
Why is all of this sitting so bad for you?
Prolonged sitting compromises metabolic health and increases the risk of premature death—regardless of how old you are, how much you weigh, or even the amount of other physical activity you get in a day! Contrary to popular belief, an hour-long session on an exercise machine first thing in the morning or after work will not necessarily undo all the damage of sitting the rest of the day (in front of the computer, commuting, watching TV).
Basically, when you’re inactive, your circulation slows down and your body uses less of your blood sugar. And the longer you’re immobile, the more of an impact that metabolic slow-down will have on you. This is why prolonged sitting will not just negatively affect your blood sugar, but also triglycerides (blood fats), good cholesterol, resting blood pressure, and even your appetite hormone that tells you when to stop eating! Translation: Sit for too long and you won’t be able to control how much you eat! And you’ll likely gravitate to the very foods that will further push your metabolic buttons—foods high in processed fats and sugars, which will do a number on your skin.
The good news is you do not have to train for a marathon or join a CrossFit gym. The simple truth is that you just need to find something you enjoy enough that you want to do it regularly.
Here are my take home tips:
- Get moving throughout the day. Research shows that you can get similar health benefits from doing three ten-minute bouts of exercise as you would from doing a single thirty-minute workout.
- Surprise your body! When you get used to doing one form of exercise all the time, your body adapts to it. The more you vary your routine, the more you will see and feel your body grow stronger.
- Stay hydrated when you work out, especially if it’s a vigorous routine that gets you sweating.
Why are you still here?? GET MOVING!! It’s a New Year and it’s the perfect time to jump start your health routine for wellness from the inside out and the outside in!