The lack of activity in the US is pervasive and wide-reaching. It is unfortunate to realize that our society is truly sedentary. The data reports that too many hours are spent sitting and not enough exercising.
Regrettably, this terrible inactivity is an after-effect of our modern society. People spend most of their waking hours sitting. The majority of the workforce spends most of the time at a desk, only very few occupations require people to be active as they used to be decades ago. Plus, our recreational activities tend to keep us inactive as well.
Most people spend eight hours of their day at their inactive jobs, followed by more sitting at home in front of the TV, computer or video game, before going to sleep. What’s even scarier is that 33 percent of adolescents spend 3 or more hours watching TV according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This translates into future generations been even more sedentary and with many more ailments.
ARE YOU MOVING ENOUGH?
By now you should be pretty aware of the importance of being active, of having a regular exercising routine. But are you really meeting the basic requirements of activity?
The government has established activity guidelines for the maintenance of a healthy body. It is recommended that adults partake in:
- Aerobic activity of moderate intensity for at least 150 minutes a week — that’s 5 thirty-minute sessions of moderate cardio
- Or aerobic activity of vigorous intensity for 75 minutes a week — that’s 3 twenty-five minute sessions of intense cardio
- Plus, 2 days of muscle strengthening a week
- Children and adolescents should be physically engaged for at least 60 minutes a day, aerobically for at least 3 days a week and the same for muscle strengthening activities.
Despite government recommendations, it is sad to report that the stats related to our current state are alarming. According to the latest CDC’s report, only 20 percent of adults meet the aerobic and muscle-strengthening guidelines. The picture gets even scarier in relation to our youngsters: only 8 percent of youth ages 12–19 and 42 percent of children ages 6–12 getting (49% of boys versus 35% of girls) are getting at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Overall, the most active age group is that of children ages 6–12, but not even half of them meet the recommended physical activity guidelines.
THE REALITY OF A SEDENTARY BODY
Dr. Mercola, a renowned osteopathic physician and New York Times bestselling author, has recognized the dangers of our current trend. It seems that disease processes follow long hours of sitting, even if you exercise.
- Sitting for hours increases toxic buildup and interferes with muscular and cellular systems.
- Hours of continuous sitting raise blood pressure, blood sugar, triglycerides and cholesterol levels.
- Lack of physical activity doesn’t allow the body to produce the necessary mechanical stimulation of the tissues to turn the cells into fat-free mass cells, instead of fat mass cells.
Remember, being sedentary not only contributes to overweight states but correlates with sickness. Activity is highly needed by the human body. Exercise not only helps you lose body fat but improves your mood, your self-esteem, and keeps your internal systems functioning properly. If you are not currently being active, do yourself and your loved ones a favor: start moving at least the minimum required amount. Your body and mind will thank you!
To a Fitter Healthier You,
The Fitness Wellness Mentor