Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle, Say No to Physical Inactivity

A major cause of obesity in addition to eating fatty foods in large portions is physical inactivity.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) physical inactivity is the fourth leading factor considered when it comes to global mortality. This, in other words, sounds like "keep moving or you die!". Yes it is a warning signal, an alarm that has gone off to show how "lazy" human beings have become...thanks to rapid urbanization and globalization.

Oh the convenience of technology! Yes the convenience that may not be that "convenient" when you have to visit the Doctor more often than you plan to.

This really calls for a change of lifestyle; become a more active you, get a grip on yourself and exercise more control over decisions that you take like "the elevator or stairs?"

Risks that come with increased physical inactivity:

Increased blood pressure
Increased blood sugar levels
Obesity
Cardiovascular disease
Stroke
Depression

Children are also not left out of this sedentary lifestyle embraced. Parents pride themselves in boasting about how good their kids are in operating and manipulating their communication gadgets even before the age they start talking.

I once heard of a situation where some visitors to a home were kept outside for over a quarter of an hour because the children who could have answered the door had their eyes glued to the television set.

It's even more worrisome to see that a lot of schools in are loosing their play fields while others just don't even think about it. This goes against research that shows that the number one stress reliever for children is physical activity.

Children are kept seated in classrooms for hours in the name of learning or education, which is just simply pathetic.

I once had to state my observation of this retrogressive trend during one of the parent teacher forums in my children's school some time back.

As a member of the exco of the parent teacher forum and a health educator I had to point out the damage lack of play could do to the children's learning process....it's also important to state that my children had already been manifesting signs of stress, complaining about headaches and frequent stooling!

According to the WHO guidelines for physical activity

1. Children and youth aged 5–17 should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.
2. Amounts of physical activity greater than 60 minutes provide additional health benefits.
3. Most of the daily physical activity should be aerobic. Vigorous-intensity activities should be incorporated, including those that strengthen muscle and bone, at least 3 times per week.

Here are some benefits of exercise to encourage you to get up and move! Activities like walking, cycling and doing house chores are extremely beneficial so dont overlook these activities that are the easiest to begin or take seriously.

1. Exercise helps improve the strength, tone, mass and function of your muscles.
2. Exercise helps enhance your bone's mass and mineral density and general bone health.
3. Exercise helps control the accumulation of body fat.
4. Exercise improves your  cardiorespiratory fitness levels.
5. Exercise supports general brain health and mental wellbeing.

WHO recommendations for physical activity:

1. Adults aged 18–64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.
2. Aerobic activity should be performed in bouts of at least 10 minutes duration.
3. For additional health benefits, adults should increase their moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity to 300 minutes per week, or engage in 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.
4. Muscle-strengthening activities should be done involving major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week

Sitting for long periods even at work should be strongly discouraged, always take up the challenge of getting up every two hours to engage in physical activity that will make you more productive.

If you know you've been on the inactive side of the divide start doing basic chores, or even walking short distances that you know you would have driven. Then gradually build up or increase your activities with the guidance of your physician or physical therapist.

Remember, getting active shouldn't just be something you do it should be your lifestyle.

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