Keep on movin’

Sometimes, doing nothing is the most risky choice

man-on-couch_800-compressor

Let’s face it, relaxing is nice.  There’s a reason why “Netflix and chill” is a thing.

However, sedentary lifestyles can create serious health concerns, particularly as we get older.  When I say serious health risks, I am including things such as diabetes, cancer and a shortened life expectancy, in general.  But, don’t just rely on my word.  There’s a body of research behind all of these claims, performed by people much more reputable that myself in the areas of heath and fitness.

Still, with all the news, we aren’t getting it.  In the U.S., some 25% of people over the age of 50 don’t exercise.  Believe me, I get it.  Many of us sleep too little, go to demanding jobs that allow us little time away from our desks, may have after-work commitments and, when it’s all done, we’re just not interested or inclined to squeeze in some time for exercise.  However, with all the downsides of not making exercise a priority, your ability to fulfill your other priorities could be negatively impacted.  There’s nothing like an unexpected hospital stay to throw a wrench in the best-laid plans.

All is not lost, however.  There are ways to sneak in some exercise.  For example, get up from your desk and get in around 250-300 hundred steps every hour. It will help clear your head and, over the course of 8 hours, add an extra mile or so of walking to your day.  Are you one of those people who sit in your car waiting for the nearest parking space to the store to open up?  How about starting to park farther away.  It will allow you to get in some steps and avoid a few scratches and dings to your car.  Don’t have time for the gym?  There are a number of fitness programs you can download or stream online, allowing your to get a great workout at home.

Of course, it’s not just about the cardio.  Resistance training is important to help keep off the pounds and retain our muscle.  This does not necessarily mean lifting weights, though.  I can tell you from personal experience that body-weight exercises, and there are plenty of them, can wake up those muscles quite efficiently.

The point is to get moving.  So, I encourage you to find “your thing” and do it.  If you need a little more motivation, I’ll leave you with this.

Written by JP Smith

A self-proclaimed "technologist...with attitude", I'm a forty-something husband, father and IT professional/enthusiast. I believe that learning and growth are lifelong endeavors.