Tips to Overcome a Sedentary Lifestyle
A woman is spending some time with her girl friends. They talk about a lot of things and then she says that she spent weekend shifting her furniture around. “Well” says her friend “Why didn’t you wait for your husband to come?” She took a deep sigh and said “I could, but the sofa is easier to move around when he’s not sitting on it.”
The Sedentary Lifestyle
This was a joke that I once read somewhere. While it is good for a laugh, we also need to understand that given our sedentary lifestyle, most of us are turning out to be couch potatoes. We spend most of our time either sitting on the sofa, or at a desk, or in the car.
Even kids are not spared from this syndrome. All the games that we once used to play in the sand or on the road in our childhood are simulated for our children to play on the computer. So, what are we doing to ourselves?
Effects of a sedentary lifestyle
We read increased incidence of heart problems at the age of 40. Or hypertensive people at the age of 30. More and more people go into depression. Obesity, osteoporosis, Diabetes, Cholestrol, Kidney stones etc. All these are effects of a sedentary lifestyle.
Sheena was never a slim and trim person. But she was not exactly obese. Once she had a kid, she gained a lot of weight and before she even realized, she was 85 kgs.
She no more was the brisk girl she was in college and she hardly ever had the energy for anything. She hated to get up from the sofa and had to employ a maid for all the housework. Soon she succumbed to high blood pressure and diabetes. And she was just 32.
How to combat sedentary lifestyle?
The most ideal way to overcome a sedentary lifestyle is to have a regular physical activity. One should walk everyday and join a gym or have a regular sport. Well, you might even say “There are only 24 hours in a day!”
I for one, joined a gym and continued this regimen meticulously for about 2 months. Then came my project deadline, then came fatigue, then came children falling sick and soon I found my gym taking a backseat in all my priorities.
If you can relate to my story, then you will find these tips particularly helpful in overcoming a sedentary lifestyle.
Most of us instinctively look for the elevator. If you have to climb upto 3 stories, do not feel shy to take the stairs. This is especially useful where you have the office cafeteria on a different floor. This is the best way to ensure you get a daily dose of exercise.
Park far away
Be it at a theatre or at the office, we mostly try to find the closest parking lot. Well, the simplest way to ensure a bit of exercise is to park farthest. That way, you will have to walk a bit.
Walk / Cycle to work
If you are one of the blessed lot to have your office within 4-5 kms from home, you could consider cycling to work. You will also contribute to the social conscience by saving on the pollution.
Play with your kids
It is a very rewarding way to get physical exercise as well as spend some quality time with your kids. You could play in the park or in the children’s play area in your apartment complex.
Take a walk break
I prefer taking my coffee and walking outside or in the cafeteria rather than sitting at a place and taking my break. You could also take a walk after lunch, if time permits.
I also don’t like using the messenger to talk to colleagues on the same floor. I just walk across to them. This not only helps my lifestyle but also gives my eyes the much needed break.
Walk while you talk
Like the famous “Sirjee”, you could choose to walk while you talk. It actually provides a good exercise especially for people who spend a lot of time talking on the phone.
Develop a sport
After week long inactivity, your body will appreciate a much needed sport. You could pick something like badminton or tennis. For those of you who are hooked on to video gaming, you could try something like a Wii. This will provide the much needed activity for your body.
Cricket is all but a religion in India and there are huge sects of people who love to watch cricket. Try to jump up and cheer your favorite team rather than sitting and clapping. It also adds to the spirit of cricket. My friend loved the World cup season because she nearly shed 3-4 kgs during that time.
Dance with the music
I find this particularly helping people with a love for music. You don’t need to know dance or do complicated steps. You might choose to just sway your hips or move your hands and legs in beat with the music.
For the women
Avoid use of blenders and grinders. Instead get your pounding stone or your grinding stone out. Ask the maid to take a weekly off and sweep and mop the house. This is exactly the motions we do in a gym and we pay a ton of money for it. Why not do it yourself in a traditional way?
You can avoid problems such as early ageing, avoid stress and live a healthy lifestyle by making a few simple changes. Initially you may find it very tough to make these changes to your sedentary lifestyle.
For motivation to exercise, please read our blog – How to get motivated to exercise
But you will find yourself more active in just a few days of adopting this healthy lifestyle. The more you pamper your body, the more trouble it makes. And the more you work your body, the happier you are. Think about it!