The 3 Week Diet

Sitting Down Is Bad For Your Health

Increasingly, we all live a more sedentary lifestyle. Fewer and fewer people have jobs that are physical and involve much movement. Most of us are tied to a desk and hours sitting at that desk could be damaging our health.

Even more alarmingly, a sedentary lifestyle has been labelled as a leading cause of preventable death across the world.

Even if you feel that doesn’t mean you – analyse your range of movements in a day. You get up, get ready to leave the house, then sit down in the car, bus or train on your way to work. You get settled in at your workspace for the next eight hours and then, before you know it, you’re back on the bus or train or in the car. When you get home, you’ll have a burst of activity getting dinner ready, and then you’ll probably be on the sofa until bedtime.

And what’s worse is that a sedentary lifestyle makes it hard for you to break out of it and do more exercise and lead a healthier life. If you are sitting down a lot, not burning up energy, you begin to gain weight and find it hard to do exercise, so gradually you do less and get even more out of shape.

WalkingAnother hurdle comes when you decide to address the problem. Many people make New Year’s resolutions to get fit and pay out on a gym membership. However, if you set out doing a demanding type of exercise before getting to a reasonable level of fitness, it can be a little self-defeating. It’s best to start small and build up to more demanding sports gradually. One easy way to build up your fitness is to make adjustments to your day and add exercise to your daily routine. Perhaps you can walk to work instead of taking the bus. Failing that, you could get off a stop or two earlier and walk the last few hundred metres. You can gradually increase the amount of the journey you do on foot. Similarly, you can park your car further from the office if you drive.

At work, make a conscious decision to use the stairs not the elevator – and if you need to talk to a colleague, don’t email them, walk over to their side of the office.

At home, you can take on the cleaning and gardening at the weekends, rather than getting someone to do it for you. You’ll save money as well as getting active.

For fun ways to get fit, you need to find an activity that you enjoy doing. For example, you could get into camping. By its very nature, camping encourages you to be more active than going to stay in a hotel. Firstly, you’ll have to get used to putting up tents and setting up camp, then you need to walk to and from the shower block, and you’ll probably be in the countryside where you’ll have beautiful countryside to explore. If you enjoy getting fresh air, camping and hiking in the countryside is a great re-introduction to exercise. You can set yourself small targets to begin with – say a five kilometre circular walk, and increase the length of your rambling each time.

The best route away from the bad health of a sedentary lifestyle is to get yourself moving – little and often to start with, and you’ll soon get addicted to being on the move.

Biog: Jessica has managed to improve her own fitness levels and lose 6 kilos during the last year by walking more often, both on her way to work and at the weekend. She recommends that anyone planning to go camping gets the proper gear before they go – including a decent tent, proper camping sleeping bags and good hiking shoes.

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    Category: Exercise

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