The Curse of The Couch Potato – Get Moving!

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Today is the age of stagnation! We eat sitting at a place, work all day on the same chair, even travel without moving ourselves. So what ultimate costs will we have to pay for this immediate comfort? Colloquially called “the sitting disease”, a sedentary lifestyle is defined as one with little to no physical activity and which mostly involves sitting or lying in one place. The fatal combo of obesity, stress and static living have been linked to many of the epidemic disorders that plague our times including but not limited to heart disease, type 2 diabetes and psychological imbalances. This is of particular concern to us, as the incidence of type 2 diabetes is ever on the rise in our country – earning it the unenviable title of Diabetes Capital of the World.

“But I feel fit!”

Low activity levels lead to many afflictions that only gradually wax into full blown calamities. A classical outcome of unhealthy lifestyle is death by heart attacks especially when coupled with savoury acts like smoking or alcoholism. Long hours of sitting in one place causes clots to form in blood which, if gain sufficient size, can enter the lungs with fatal consequences. Couple the inactivity with sugary, unhealthy foods and you have the recipe for type 2 diabetes – which can be avoidable if one loses a couple of pounds.

Obesity, which is often associated with slow moving lives, also facilitates the development of certain cancers. Yes, cancer through insulin resistance, increased levels of sex hormones and chronic inflammation! Muscle wasting from the lack of usage causes the muscle fibres to be replaced with fat, thus altering body posture. It also brings skin colour changes and fatigue on even mild exertion.

“But I have a desk job!”

Changing the way of living is easier said than done but it does not come without its own perks, especially on the long run. Well begun is half done, and inculcating healthy habits with lots of outdoor activities from childhood is one of the best ways to later prevent falling into this stationary trap. For adults in the slow moving life, maybe try –

  1. Taking a walk, better yet, jog – 30 minutes daily, and turn it into a habit. Beside physiological benefits, it will also freshen your mind.
  2. Not skipping the stairs – Climbing stairs is a vigorous activity and burns way more calories than walking.
  3. Not staying seated – especially at work. Try standing desks at work and stay mobile, take walks in between long hours of sitting.
  4. Parking your vehicle further away – you can walk that distance.
  5. Exercising – 1 hour of moderate exercise daily or intense exercise several times a week, take your pick.

All the medications in the world won’t help you if you don’t help yourself. Seeing how many life-threatening complications such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes can be avoided with just minor tweaks to daily habits, do not hesitate to get up and get moving!