Tag Archives: Obesity

I’m Thin So I Must Be Healthy? Why Waist Size Isn’t Everything.

thinmustbehealthy

“I’m skinny, so I must be healthy?” WRONG.

Physical inactivity is a leading cause of disease and disability – it’s not just your waist size that matters.

You already know that exercise will help you fit into your jeans, but the benefits are far greater than just looking good. A huge percentage of diseases and chronic illnesses can be improved, or prevented altogether, simply through regular exercise. In an effort to combat our sedentary lifestyles and get patients moving, some physicians are even starting to write prescriptions for physical activity (http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/doctors-writing-prescriptions-to-get-patients-active-1.1355824).

The World Health Organization attributes nearly 2 million deaths per year to physical inactivity, which has prompted them to issue a warning that “a sedentary lifestyle could very well be among the 10 leading causes of death and disability in the world.” Between 60-85% of people in the developed and undeveloped world lead inactive lifestyles, making this a serious health problem.

Sedentary lifestyles increase all causes of mortality, double the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity, and also increase the risks of high blood pressure, osteoporosis, depression and anxiety. Recent evidence also shows that exercise is linked to a decrease in colon cancer, breast tumors and other malignancies. It has been suggested recently that physical inactivity is much like cigarette smoking or obesity, in that it causes disease and shortens people’s lives.

Plain and simple, people who are physically active most often outlive those who are inactive.

It’s never too late to start being more active! The World Health Organization recommends moderate physical activity for at least 30 minutes every day. Start slowly and safely and build up to the recommended frequency, duration and time. Besides lengthening your life and preventing chronic illness, you are also likely to improve the quality of your life, have more energy, relieve stress, improve confidence and reduce depression.

Life is better when you’re active. It all comes down to prevention: nobody feels like they have the time but if it’s a choice between making time for exercise or making time for illness, choose exercise.

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Is Sitting Bad For Your Health?

Is Sitting Bad For Your Health?

I’ve seen a few headlines lately reporting that sitting is as bad for us as cigarette smoking. How is that possible? We obviously know by now that smoking is very bad for our health and can increase our risk for cancer and a number of other frightening diseases, but what’s so dangerous about sitting?

It turns out, the problem here isn’t sitting down and taking a rest for a few minutes, but it’s the increasingly SEDENTARY nature of our jobs and our lives in general. Not only are we sitting at our jobs more than ever, we’re doing less and less physical activity outside of work. And it’s not just that we’re getting lazier – we’re putting our health at risk. It’s not a coincidence that diseases like obesity, heart disease and diabetes are affecting us more than ever. And what’s worse, it’s affecting our teens and kids too.

Our bodies were meant to move! But as activity has decreased and technology has increased, we’ve seen a rise in headaches, back pain and other chronic conditions. Which isn’t surprising because prolonged sitting causes certain muscle groups to tighten and shorten, while others become weak. Once this pattern is in place, pain and/or dysfunction isn’t usually far off.

So what’s the solution? Quit your job and throw out your laptop. Kidding. Quite simply, we need to interrupt this pattern. This means that we need to take breaks every half hour or so: stand up, walk around, change your posture, fidget. Limit your TV and/or screen time when you’re not at work and do the same for your kids. Be more active. You’ll feel better and your body will thank you.

For some easy tips and interesting/scary stats, check out the full article at:

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/sedentary-lifestyle-hazards

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