As you age, you might find yourself wanting to sit more often—needing your rest is only natural! Nevertheless, seniors need to stay active in their golden years. Regular exercise is also recommended for anyone regardless of age as it improves balance, muscle strength, and endurance. Read on to learn about why sitting too much can affect our health, why keeping active is important, and ways to stay on your feet regularly.
An inactive or sedentary lifestyle usually leads to an increase in blood pressure and cholesterol levels, both of which are causes of heart disease. Exercising and staying on your feet can help seniors to lower the risk of heart disease. Even with a well-planned exercise routine, you should still keep track of your daily activity and limit sedentary behavior throughout the day. Even the simple act of standing instead of sitting while on the phone, or getting up from your desk now and then, can be beneficial.
High Blood Pressure
Prolonged periods of sitting can increase your risk of high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, leading to clots that can cause strokes. Experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly and it’ll be good to break that down over the week so that you are getting in some exercise regularly. Adopt the habit of getting out of your seat every hour and being physically active for a few minutes. Do some stretches or chair yoga poses to improve your circulation. Walking is a great activity that helps you stay active too. You can break up every 20-30 minutes of sitting with a five-minute walk.
A sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of obesity. Do you know that around 70% of adults in America are overweight or obese? Obesity is linked to various health risks such as cancer, osteoarthritis, and cardiovascular disease. Sitting too much can cause low-density lipoprotein levels to go up. The latter refers to “bad” cholesterol that will build up on the walls of your blood vessels, leading to the narrowing of your blood vessels, and increasing your risk for heart disease. A good way to combat obesity is to exercise or go for walks—you should enjoy the many health benefits of walking! By going for short and brisk regular walks, you can keep yourself lean and healthy.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein, usually in the leg area. This medical condition is caused by prolonged sitting. If the clot breaks away and ends up in your lung, serious problems can arise. Although DVT can include warning signs like swelling and pain, some people have no symptoms at all! To prevent DVT, remember to break up prolonged sitting sessions with a quick walk.
Research shows that sitting too much increases levels of “bad” cholesterol and blood sugar. This, in turn, leads to insulin resistance, inflammation, and diabetes, all of which can contribute to mood disorders. If you have been feeling anxious or down, you might have been sitting down for too long!
Exercise is also a good way to get those endorphins flowing. Hence, if your mood starts getting low, you can try getting up for a walk around the house or neighborhood, taking a stroll in the park, or heading to town to boost your mood. Getting out for a change in environment can also give you a fresh perspective on things and lower your risk of getting depression. Keep your body and mind healthy by sitting less and exercising more—let’s get moving today!