How is it that I work out, but I’m still considered sedentary? America has become known for an increase in overall unhealthy population. Some individuals have attempted to make a change that will steer them away from this growing population and into a healthier lifestyle by increasing physical activity.
In many areas of our lives, the whole is made up of the sum of the parts. I exercise for an hour a day so I’m not sedentary, right? The challenge lies in how easy life has become (generalization of physical activity needed to survive). It is easier to slip into a life of sitting at a desk for eight hours a day followed by a binge of technological mind numbing behavior including but not limited to watching TV, watching movies, playing games on i-pads, scrolling through facebook, instagram, twitter, going down a YouTube rabbit hole and on and on.
The number of hours spent performing physical activities has been less necessary for general short-term survival (having/obtaining food, water, shelter and space). In the long run however, we are slowly killing ourselves if we choose to live a sedentary lifestyle. Unfortunately, as a society, we spend much of our day sitting. You may have heard the expression, “sitting is the new smoking,” and in all honesty, it is true. Prolonged sitting not only has adverse effects on your musculature structure, it can tank your metabolism. After I went from physical job to sitting in an office I noticed how quickly my workouts were no longer effective! Because my body no longer needed to exert as much energy, I found that I needed to either focus on getting my heart rate up multiple times per day, or change my exercise routine (or both) if I wanted to maintain my current level of health. The Center for Disease and Control recommends a half hour of vigorous exercise three times per week. However, if you have a sedentary job, exercise for an hour a day may be a step in the right direction to save your life; but a larger portion of the equation that needs to be considered is how the other 95.8% of your day is used.
With this percentage of time, you can see how it has a huge impact on the overall health and wellness. There are many things that are important to take into consideration when attempting to manipulate or change the way you act through the day. Slow and steady changes like incorporating walks on breaks, limiting time spent on electronics/social media and being mindful of the amount of time being utilized for each behavior through the day. It has been scary as well as an eye-opener when I wrote down the amount of time doing each activity throughout the day. If you don’t think you have enough time in the day to go for a walk, play a game family or friends I challenge you to simply write out what you are doing with the time I your day. Now is the time to make the change!