I simply describe the sedentary lifestyle as living a low energy or do nothing lifestyle. This is not a perfect definition by International Standards but it works for me. My target in this post is simply to let you know that you can prolong your life and improve your health if you will just do something about your lifestyle especially in the areas of sitting and lying down all the time. Sitting and lying down all the time is like dying slowly without knowing. Harsh, but true.
This post is important to you, especially if are now at the stage in life where you now have people doing stuff for you. The tendency to slip into a sedentary lifestyle without knowing is high. You have a driver, a cook, gardener, your children, washerman or washing machine, etc and everyone gets things done for you. This is good but it is also dangerous for your health because all you are left with is going to your desk-bound job or just pottering around the house doing nothing directly except to give instructions to people. I mean you sit in the car, someone drives you to work, you get to work and sit some more, you close and come back home to sit or lie down in front of the TV or sit on the Social Media, etc. This sitting and not moving much is behind why quite a lot of people feel weak, sick and complain of low energy. In that low energy time, some take alcohol, some even drink more Sodas or caffeine (or whatever) to boost energy when a good old walk down the street for 30 mins, 5 days a week in the fresh air can supply the boost they needed.
This is why people are dying slowly without knowing.
I have taken time to look at why our ancestor’s lived longer than we are doing now. I noticed the reason is partly due to the differences in lifestyle. I mean in the areas of food and movement. They ate a lot of natural foods whilst we are into eating processed/junk foods. Also, they walked long distances just to get food and water. We are heavily into either using our cars or just placing an order online from our comfy couches and everything gets delivered to our doorsteps. Technological improvement is ok. How we deploy its use is what we need to manage better so that we live healthier and longer.
Some months back, I checked the steps counter on my Samsung phone and didn’t like the result it gave me. I noticed that if I just wake up and go to the office and back, I average between 800-1,500 steps per day. Honestly, this is too poor. I observed that due to our weekday service on Wednesday’s (At Church), I average about 4,500-5,500 steps. On a Sundays, I average between 8,000 – 10,000 steps per day. I knew all these figures fell short of the International Standards which is 10,000 steps per day going by the S Health App on my Samsung Galaxy. It was clear. I was living the Sedentary lifestyle. I was unhappy.
I started thinking of how I could increase the number of steps I was taking per day. At least If I didn’t hit 10,000 steps per day which is the standard, I should be able to make 6000 steps my daily average. Understand me, out of the 7 days of the week, I have 3 exercise days that I strictly follow. What I am trying to achieve here is to increase the number of movements made per day when I am not exercising or preaching. What is the point of doing 1-hour serious aerobics at the gym so to say, and then spend the next 20-23 hours of the day just sitting around with next to zero movement. This makes a mockery of the whole exercise you made earlier on. This was why I titled this post “dying slowly without knowing”.
The sedentary lifestyles that some people embraced is the reason why they died suddenly maybe from heart-attack or even became diabetic cases. This can be addressed by refusing to continue the sedentary lifestyle.
You have to create more movement.
Sitting too much is the strength of a sedentary lifestyle and its not healthy. Even our kids are also embracing the sedentary lifestyle. They sit for most of the day at school learning. Come home to sit some more doing homework. After that, they also sit to watch TV or play with their tech toys or hang out on some social media app all done sitting down. Get them moving and get moving too.
Think of it like this. Your joints are created to move. So if your present lifestyle does not create enough movement for those joints it’s not the best especially if you want to avoid arthritis, cardiac arrest, etc.
Hippocrates said walking is man’s best medicine.
All I am saying is, increase your movement. You may look at an alcoholic or a chain smoker and say they are doing something unhealthy. This is true, but spending your day sitting on your behind all day long is also unhealthy.
So what should I do to create more movement in my life- Start by walking. Instead of sending someone, go to the grocery store yourself. When the doorbell rings, don’t send your made or steward to answer the door, move your body to the door and answer the bell yourself.
You can, join an exercise club and take the advantage of the group to encourage yourself to move more. Or start a walking/jogging program on your own or better still with your spouse. For those who can afford it, you can buy some exercise equipment in your house say a threadmill and make sure you use them. Whatever you chose to do, just avoid sitting or lying down all the time. You can park your car a bit further away instead of close to the office so that you can walk and get some sunshine on your body. Continuous bombarding your body with Aircon in the car, the house, office is convenient but may become an unhealthy practice if used at all times. How about fresh air outside. At times, just lift the curtains and allow nature to do its job in your house.
Instead of asking the secretary to get you a cup of coffee, go to the coffee stand yourself and get some exercise in. At other times, climb the stairs instead of using the elevator. I know it’s easier now that the TV, fans, Air conditioners, lights all have remote controls. Maybe you should consider the remote as your “enemy” once in a while and chose to walk, bend over and flip the channels directly. Just get your exercise from here or there to avoid dying slowly without knowing. It’s more convenient to call your children/maids to get stuff done for you. I know, but doing stuff yourself is also great.
You can even get a small garden at your back yard just do something. Another option is instead of sitting on the bus whilst commuting, chose to stand. At home, you can do the same. There is no law that states that you have to sit to work on your computer. You can stand and do the same work too. These are just suggestions concerning how you can eliminate sitting or lying down all the time. If you know other methods kindly add it in the comments section below. You can beat having type 2 diabetes, heart failure, depression, etc by eliminating the sedentary lifestyles you have indulged yourself in. Setting reminders on your phone to remind you to stand up or walk around or stretch every 30 minutes when working at a desk is another good choice you can make. Whether you are in your sitting room or bedroom, making/taking your phone calls whilst walking/standing is better than doing the same sitting down. Studies have shown that going for a 30mins walk will do a lot for your heart, lower your blood pressure, boost your immune system, reduce joint pain, improve brain function, help in weight loss just to mention a few. So get going and stop the sedentary lifestyle.
You can also download the Samsung S Health app. it on the Android /Apple store for the purpose of documenting your journey concerning eliminating the sedentary lifestyle.
Another good app on both App stores which I have used too is Endomondo. Runtastic and Strava are also great. Just visit the App Store of your mobile phone and try what works for you as there are tons of fitness apps out there. If you have an Apple Watch or a Samsung Smartwatch they can be a lot of help for you. You can buy other digital watches even budget watches of about N3000 – N4000 if the Apple watch range is too expensive for your pocket. Just check if they have Pedometers. (ie step counters. Most of them do).
In conclusion –
As of today, I am now having 6000 steps as the minimum steps I make per day. I still have a long way to go. Maybe next time I will share with you other things I do to make sure the 6000 steps per remains my minimum. Yay.
If you noticed, I have tried to avoid boring you with statistics of this or that concerning health and wellness. You can get that online or from accredited experts in the medical field which I am not. I have just written on the little I have known, handled, experienced and still learning so don’t consider my suggestions in this post as the “holy grail” .
Whatever you do, do it at your own pace as you don’t need to impress anyone but yourself. Also, talk to your doctor first to know what suits you best and any form of exercise you do and start feeling pain stop it immediately and seek medical advice /assistance.
My question to you is this- What kind of lifestyle do you live? Are you pulling yourself towards good health or towards ill health by your lifestyle? Do you have an exercise routine and do you do it? Let me know in the comments section below.
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