Say No to a Sedentary Lifestyle: 5 Reasons to Get Active

Say No to a Sedentary Lifestyle: 5 Reasons to Get Active
Melissa Eisler

Spending the day relaxed on your couch, binge-watching your favorite Netflix show isn’t always a bad thing … unless it becomes your norm. Or perhaps you don’t even watch TV, but find yourself fairly inactive, spending more time sitting at home, work, or in your car rather than being active.

Research has shown that many adults in the U.S. spend 70 percent or more of their waking hours sitting. Couple this with the fact that less than 5 percent of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day and that the typical American diet exceeds the recommended intake levels of solid fats, added sugars, refined grains, sodium, and saturated fat—and you have a disaster waiting to happen.

Instead of trying to find motivation to get active by telling yourself that it’s “wrong” or “lazy” or that you need to “try harder,” take a step back and truly understand the long-term negative effects of being sedentary, and the toll that can take on your mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, and social life. Getting active might just save your life.

1. Mental Clarity

Living a sedentary lifestyle usually equates to a lack of physical activity. While you may think that being a couch potato only has an effect on your physical health, it can actually harm your cognitive abilities as well. According to Harvard Health, researchers have found that regular aerobic exercise appears to boost the size of the hippocampus, the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning. In order to keep your mind sharp for years to come, try staying active.

This doesn’t mean you need to go from the couch to a marathon (although there are programs that can help with that), but you can start with basic exercises that will get your heart and sweat glands pumping:

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Stair Climbing
  • Yoga
  • Tennis
  • Squash
  • Dancing
  • Hiking

And if you’re pressed for time, use your household activities to your advantage. Try doing chores a little faster and more intensely, like floor mopping your kitchen in less than five minutes or raking leaves with a backpack filled with books. 

2. Emotional Balance

Life is going to send you curve balls. If you don’t have stable mental health, then you’re more prone to following the whims of your emotions, which are healthy to experience, but not healthy to follow blindly.

Research shows that physical activity is associated with benefits in the prevention and control of emotional distress as well as improvement of self-esteem. By staying emotionally balanced, you will be able to better deal with any circumstance that might come your way, and more present and supportive to other people, which in itself can have healing powers.

3. Physical Health

A sedentary lifestyle can lead to a host of problems, and most significantly (this probably comes as no surprise) a decline in your physical health. There have been many studies conducted on the link between …read more
Source: Deepak Chopra  

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