2 Types of Exercise and Their Benefits (Part 1 of 2)
The average American spends 54.9% (approximately 7.7 hours) of their day inactive, whether sitting at their occupation, commuting, or sitting at home. Many people in Friendswood may not realize exactly how many hours they are inactive. However, some may suffer from other medical conditions that may create a challenge to physical activity, such as conditions that cause fatigue.
Fatigue can arise from many factors such as:
- Vitamin Deficiency such as vitamin D, folic acid, Iron, and B12 can impact the body systems, which can cause moderate to severe fatigue, insomnia, or may also induce depression-like symptoms.
- Chronic Health Conditions such as lung and heart disease, metabolic disease like diabetes, thyroid, and more serious conditions such as RA (rheumatoid arthritis) or MS (multiple sclerosis) can also cause severe fatigue.
- Chronic Pain from past injury or chronic health conditions may also make the body think about getting up and moving around. Persistent, moderate to severe pain may also induce symptoms of depression, including fatigue.
- Living a Sedentary Lifestyle is also a contributing factor to disease and general poor motivation, which can be mistaken for fatigue.
Although fatigue is very broad and doesn’t create the whole picture as to why Americans are not motivated to move more, physical activity is becoming more and more crucial to maintain a healthy mind and body.
Medical professionals are recognizing the devastating consequences sedentary lifestyles. In an article published by the NIH titled “Sitting is the New Smoking…Where Do We Stand?” states:
“…the ‘globesity’ pandemic where inactivity is estimated to cause 9% of premature mortality worldwide…Recent research suggests that sedentary lifestyles are themselves a risk factor for cardiometabolic morbidity and all-cause mortality… The fact that we can’t erase the effects of a lifetime spent sitting at the desk (or on the sofa) with a few weekly trips to the gym is an inconvenient truth at a time when the majority of the population, GPs [general practitioners] included, remain wedded to our desks and computers.”
The question posed is, “If sitting is the new smoking, how do we quit?” Although there is no clear evidenced-based research that provides a clear solution, the clear conclusion is simply - we sit too long and it’s killing us.
Other contributors to poor motivation and inactivity includes:
- Doing too much too quickly may cause exercise ‘burn-out’ and lower motivation to perform physical activity. It is important to remember, if you’re not used to exercise, don’t take on too much all at once. Start slow and build up.
- Not knowing where to start can also hamper efforts to become more active. If you’re not sure where to begin, ask the experts. Personal trainers are professionals who understand how to exercise. They can also guide you in performing exercise that is appropriate for your current activity level.
- Time Management may be another barrier to increasing physical activity. Whether you’re concerned about not having enough time for ‘Self’ due to family and work obligations, scheduling time on a calendar or simply breaking into a few moves during your favorite show is a great way to get started.
- Exercise is too uncomfortable. Many people don’t exercise due to the body’s response to activity. Exercise may cause increased heart rate, panting or becoming ‘winded’. It may also cause you to sweat, it’s too hot or cold, it might make you dirty. However, stepping out of your comfort zone is a part of building up the body. After a brief adjustment, you probably won’t mind it as much.
- Muscle soreness is another reason why people avoid physical activity. Unfortunately, muscle soreness is a by-product of the muscles becoming bigger and stronger. Embrace some soreness and understand that your muscles are getting stronger. Otherwise, try performing lighter workouts that doesn’t cause soreness. If pain occurs during activity, you may want to consult your doctor.
Finding resources to help stay active and motivated may be essential for the beginner. Creating a social support system, using a personal trainer (whether long term or just a couple sessions), and using mobile fitness apps are helpful for keeping your mind on performing more activity and fitting time for exercise into your schedule.
Start with the Basics
If you’re not used to physical activity, start small. Find opportunities throughout the day to increase your activity such as taking moments to stand instead of sit.
- If you sit at a desk for work, ask your employer if you can use a standing work station or use a stability ball at your desk.
- Find opportunities to walk. If you are permitted breaks, take walk breaks or get some fresh air. Take the stairs in your parking garage or your office building rather that using the elevator. If you work in a multi-level building, take one or two floors before hopping on the elevator. If you get too sore, try taking the stairs one or two times out of the week and build up.
- Take some time for preparation. Women who wear high-heels or men who wear loafers may want to keep a pair of tennis shoes with them
- Arriving an additional 5 minutes before work can ensure you’re not late for your shift, if taking the stairs.
- Lunch breaks can be a great time to increase activity. Set aside 20 minutes of an hour break, or 5 minutes from a half hour, to stretch or take a walk before returning to work. If you lunch with co-workers or clients, arrive a few minutes early and park further down in the parking lot.
- Practice getting on the floor and getting up.
- Get the family involved and take a walk after dinner. Use sitting time during your favorite TV series or movie to work out. This can also be a great way to time your workouts as TV episodes can range from 20 – 60 minutes long.
No matter how you start, at the end of the day, we can’t deny the importance to get moving. Attention to self is important. At Forever Well, we recognize the importance of movement and how crucial physical activity is for whole body wellness, but also for healing specific conditions, such as skeletal alignment and proper joint function.
Look for Part 2 of this 2-part series on the types of exercises and how to apply them. However, if you’re looking to achieve specific goals or suffering from pain, Dr. Haywood is ready to help assess and address any concerns you may have. Schedule a consultation today!