The word sedentary means spending too much time sitting and being inactive. If you have a desk job, are retired, or spend more time watching TV, surfing the internet, or playing video games, you may be at risk of having a sedentary lifestyle.
Now, if you work at a desk all day but go to the gym in the morning or after work, you get vital exercise your body needs to help counter the effects of sitting all day. However, even that is not enough, as you need to break up sitting with physical activity throughout the day – even 5 minutes of walking hourly.
You may think of a person who leads a sedentary life as being a couch potato, and while that is true, there are also other ways a person can fit this description. Some people have hectic careers, frequently traveling from one location to another. Whether by car, plane, or train, you are not getting much movement even though you are on the move. No, lugging a suitcase does not count as exercise.
Did you know that the average American spends 55 percent of their waking time in sedentary activities? The remaining 45 percent may include showering/bathing, cooking, running errands, housecleaning, laundry, eating, etc. How much do you have left for exercise in your daily schedule?
It does not take much effort to turn things around. Research has shown that a mere 20 – 30 minutes of daily cardio exercise, even broken into 10-minute periods, can tremendously impact your health and overall well-being.
How Does Being Inactive Affect Our Health and Body?
You might think that a sedentary lifestyle prevents you from feeling burned out and using up all your energy, but it is the other way around. The more you sit around, the fewer calories your body uses. Calories equal energy – your metabolism shuts down if you are not using it. Remember the simple rule: consuming more calories than you expend leads to weight gain. With your metabolism not functioning correctly, your body will have less energy available, even if there comes a time when you need it.
Here Are Some of the Number One Ways Having a Sedentary Lifestyle Can Affect Your Body, Health, and Mind
Loss of Muscle Strength, Body Aches, and Stiffness
If you do not exercise your muscles, they cannot maintain their mass or strength. You will begin to feel weak. Because exercise and physical activity also support the skeletal system, you may start to experience decreased bone density. Joint pains and stiffness could occur, making it difficult to engage in exercise. Also, remaining in one position for too long causes muscles to stiffen.
Weight Gain and Poor Metabolism
As previously mentioned, an inactive lifestyle decreases caloric expenditure. You will gain weight if you do not reduce your caloric intake appropriately. As your metabolism slows down, it struggles to break down carbohydrates and fats. Insulin resistance occurs, putting you at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and total cholesterol levels may rise, further increasing health risks.
Increased Risk of Hormonal Imbalance
Some of the crucial hormones in the body, including testosterone and human growth hormone (HGH), rely on exercise to stimulate their production in more significant amounts. People with a sedentary lifestyle often suffer from symptoms of hormone deficiency and imbalance that can lead to poor health, decreased cognitive functions, and reduced quality of life.
Decreases Blood Circulation
The two hormones we just mentioned play leading roles in circulation. HGH stimulates cell regeneration, and testosterone supports red blood cell production in the bone marrow. If you become anemic, you may suffer from problems with circulation, which puts the heart in danger. Increased LDL levels can clog arteries, furthering potential cardiovascular concerns.
Sleeplessness and Fatigue
As testosterone and HGH levels decline, the body increases the production of cortisol, which interferes with circadian rhythm sleep patterns. If you sleep less than 7 hours each night, your hormone levels will decline, your metabolism will slow even more, and you will feel more tired during the day.
The increased fatigue can lead to poor dietary choices associated with consuming excess sugar or caffeine for energy. The less energy you expend, the more tired your body will become, as exercise helps release endorphins that boost mood and help you feel motivated. If the muscles are not taking in glucose to expend while in motion, your energy levels will deplete.
Weakens the Immune System
Hormones help regulate the production of white blood cells, the immune fighters guarding against germs and bacteria. A sedentary lifestyle causes your immune system to slow down and increases the risk of developing unwanted illnesses.
Trouble Concentrating and Memory Loss
Lack of physical activity interferes with alertness, focus, concentration, cognitive processing, and memory. You may have trouble feeling motivated. Many people report frequent bouts of brain fog.
What Are the Health Risks of a Sedentary Lifestyle?
An inactive lifestyle can increase your risk of serious medical conditions that can impact your physical and mental health. Remaining sedentary can lead to chronic and sometimes debilitating diseases and increase your risk of early morbidity and mortality.
Here Are Some of the Leading Health Risks You Face with a Sedentary Lifestyle
A sedentary lifestyle slows down the metabolism, reducing the body’s caloric expenditure. Consuming more calories than you utilize results in ongoing weight gain. Because excess fat inhibits and interferes with hormone production and balance, many other health issues can occur in conjunction with obesity.
Health issues such as cardiomyopathy and coronary artery disease increase in risk when you do not get adequate physical activity. Find out the signs of heart disease in men and what you can do to prevent the development of this condition.
Vein-Related Issues and Stroke
Movement helps move the blood through your veins and arteries. A sedentary lifestyle slows circulation, increasing the risk of spider and varicose veins and, more importantly – deep or superficial vein thrombosis (DVT and SVT). While SVT is likely only to cause pain, DVT can cause a life-threatening blood clot that can block blow flow or travel to your lungs. A stroke can occur if the clot blocks blood flow to the brain. Consider visiting Vein clinic Fort Worth for a overall check-up.
Because inactivity slows down metabolic functions, the muscles do not take glucose from the bloodstream for energy. Blood sugar levels build up, causing more insulin to enter the bloodstream. The cells become immune to the effects of insulin, resulting in insulin resistance. The longer this cycle increases, the higher the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes.
High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
Cholesterol has gotten a bad reputation over the years, as the body requires it to produce androgen hormones. However, if too much of this fatty substance builds up in the arteries, they become clogged. Movement helps to promote adequate blood flow so that good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein/HDL) can remove the excess bad LDL cholesterol from the arteries.
As your arteries become blocked by LDL cholesterol buildup, the heart has to work harder to push blood through the body. That can lead to high blood pressure and weakening of the blood vessels. Exercise can help improve circulation and lower blood pressure.
Bones and muscles need physical activity to keep them strong and healthy. A sedentary lifestyle can contribute to the overall weakening of the bones. Research has shown that the simple act of jumping twenty times twice daily can help increase hip and thigh bone density. Weight-bearing exercises help increase bone mass to strengthen the bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Research suggests that 4 out of 10 cancers are preventable by reducing sedentary behaviors and increasing physical activity. Physical inactivity increases your risk of obesity, which is an established factor in breast, colorectal, endometrial, esophageal, gallbladder, gastric cardia, liver, meningioma, multiple myeloma, ovarian, pancreatic, renal/kidneys, and thyroid cancer sites. 11 of these 13 sites experience a relative risk reduction with high vs. low physical activity levels.
Mental Health Problems
Physical inactivity inhibits the release of serotonin, a crucial mood-boosting chemical, from your brain. Low serotonin levels often correlate to decreased motivation, depression, and negative thoughts. Because a sedentary lifestyle also impedes the production of other hormones that influence mood and cognitive functions, there is an additional risk of developing dementia and other mental health issues.
A sedentary lifestyle increases your risk of many physical and mental health issues, causes weight gain, changes in appearance, and can lead to weakness and body aches. Increasing physical activity is crucial to protect one’s health and well-being. If you have an office job that finds you frequently on the phone, get up and pace while you talk.
Getting up and walking around for 5 minutes every half hour to hour can tremendously impact your life. Adding other forms of activity daily can add up to a big difference. Park further away from a building, take the steps instead of the elevator or escalator, and hand-washing your car, gardening, stretching, and dancing in your living room can significantly improve your overall health.
Think about ways to sneak in movement while you are watching TV at night, such as folding laundry, dusting, washing dishes, or doing some floor exercises. The littlest changes can sometimes go the longest way toward transforming your
Teenage Mental Health: Challenges and Solutions
Statistics by the CDC show that almost one-third of students struggle with poor mental health, while about 4 in 10 feel hopeless or persistently sad. As the rate of teen mental health concerns increases, it’s now essential that parents, guardians, and teachers take adequate measures to identify and address challenges. Let’s look at the common signs of mental health issues among teens, how they develop these issues, and possible solutions to improve well-being.
Signs of Mental Health Issues in Teens
When teens struggle with mental disorders, they may exhibit certain signs. Even when making adult diagnoses, mental health professionals determine whether a client showed certain signs as an adolescent. It allows practitioners to recommend suitable therapeutic interventions such as mental health treatment by United Recovery.
- Struggling to perform well at school because they can’t concentrate
- Waking up in the middle of the night due to sleep disturbances
- Irritable mood as a symptom of depressive or bipolar disorder
- Excessive worry that is out of proportion to the situation
- Social isolation and withdrawal due to bullying and social anxieties
- Change in eating patterns that lead to weight loss or gain
- Self-harming behaviours such as cuts, burns, or restrictive eating
- Lack of interest in things they previously enjoyed, such as hobbies and social activities
- Worries about appearance and weight
- Increase in risk-taking behaviours like substance abuse and sexual activity
Common Mental Health Challenges in Teens
Teens and adolescents face various mental health challenges that impact their performance in school and relationships. It’s also important to note that during adolescence, teens face a higher risk of developing mental health disorders.
This is attributed to the different risk factors they face while navigating the transition from childhood to adulthood. It’s why research indicates that the onset of most mental health disorders is around childhood and adolescence. One study in the Molecular Psychiatry journal explains that the peak age of onset is around 14.5 years old. Some of the most common ones include:
This category includes conditions such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and adjustment disorder accompanied by depressed mood.
- In major depression, you experience at least 2 weeks of either low mood or a loss of pleasure in all activities. While adults show depressed moods, teens and adolescents experience irritable moods.
- Bipolar disorder is characterized by a distinct period when you persistently display elevated, irritable, or expansive mood. It’s accompanied by an increase in energy and activity that lasts at least four days and is present for most of the day.
- In an adjustment disorder, you develop behavioral or emotional symptoms as a result of identifiable stressors that have occurred within three months before the onset.
These include conditions such as generalized anxiety and social anxiety.
- Generalized anxiety disorder involves a pervasive pattern of excessive worry about different activities and events. What differentiates the disorder from usual anxiety is that the frequency, duration, and intensity are out of proportion to the effect of the anticipated event. You may find it difficult to control your worry, which may interfere with everyday tasks.
- With social anxiety disorder, you fear situations that require you to speak or perform a task in front of people. Also known as social phobia, you experience immense distress and try to avoid the situation.
In many cases, conduct disorder is a precursor to anti-social personality disorder. It’s characterized by a persistent and repetitive pattern of behavior that violates other people’s rights and goes against age-appropriate norms. This includes showing aggression towards people and/or animals, theft, and destruction of property.
Other common mental health challenges among teens include eating disorders and substance use disorders. These conditions can develop as a result of various risk factors, such as a negative family environment, family conflict, and lack of supportive relationships.
Solutions for Improving Teens’ Mental Health
Parents, guardians, and teachers can implement different measures to promote teens’ mental health. This also includes encouraging teens to take certain steps as well. Some positive solutions include:
Ensuring a Stable Home Environment
A major contributor to mental health struggles among teens is an unstable home environment. This requires parents to maintain a routine and schedule for different activities, creating a sense of stability.
Parents should also check in with teens to let them know they’re available if they need someone to talk to. At the same time, it’s important to give them space to figure out things on their own.
Talk to People You Trust
Teens are at a delicate stage of life when they’re going through major physical, mental, and emotional changes. It’s likely that you feel confused and need someone to talk to. Don’t wait for people to ask if you’re doing well; take the initiative and talk to someone you trust. This can be a close friend, a parent, your homeroom teacher, or a guidance counselor.
Emphasize Physical Health
The holistic approach to mental health is based on the premise that mental, physical, and spiritual health contribute to well-being, so they can affect each other. It’s why a focus on balanced nutrition, regular exercise, and healthy sleeping patterns are so important. Make sure you’re having balanced meals, getting enough sleep at night, and engaging in some form of physical activity.
Seek Professional Help
If you’re dealing with mental health struggles, then it’s great to confide in someone you trust. However, it’s not an alternative to professional therapeutic interventions. Seeing a licensed practitioner gives you the opportunity to learn new coping skills, such as improving thinking patterns and relaxation techniques.
Build Social Connections
Lastly, you should build and strengthen meaningful social connections. Even if you have a social circle, it always helps to seek new opportunities to meet new people. One way to do this is to take a class to build a new skill or try volunteering at local charities.
Because of the different physical and emotional changes that teens go through, they’re at a higher risk of developing mental health disorders. And when you fail to address them, symptoms can exacerbate when you’re an adult. It’s why parents and loved ones should look out for signs and implement solutions for timely interventions. With the right support, you’ll be able to cope with your mental health struggles.
Four Important Tips for Taking Care of Elderly Parents at Home
You may think that caring for elderly parents is not a hard job. After all, there are so many benefits of caring for your elderly parents at home. From saving money on old age homes to caring for your parents from the comfort of their home, the pros of at-home care definitely outweigh the cons.
However, caring for your parents at home can be a bit more challenging than you think. Adults have increased dependency that usually begins around their retirement and may become more and more demanding with time.
Caring for your elderly at home can be a challenge. Here are some tips that can help you care for your elderly parents at home.
For some people, caring for elderly parents is as simple as calling twice or thrice a week to inquire about their well-being. However, not everyone is that lucky. People caring for their elderly with dementia or Alzheimer’s understand that their parents need more than a phone call for their well-being.
Many elders require physical surveillance to ensure their well-being. Many people are also interested in Timely hand Assessment to maximize the safety of seniors living independently. You may also want to enlist helpers early on to ensure that you can provide your parents with timely help when needed.
Care for the Diet
Elderly people are at a great risk of malnutrition. While a medical condition may be the cause of such issues, the primary reason may be a lack of energy. Elderly people do not have the energy to collect the ingredients and cook their own food. It leads to them skipping healthy meals and switching to less nutritious foods.
You can look for local resources for healthy eating. They can help your loved ones access healthy food regularly. You can also mention the dietary restrictions of your parents to these companies to ensure that they have regular access to healthy food.
Ensure Social Inclusion
Elderly people can become very lonely, especially when living alone. There is no reason to miss out on letting your parents play an active role in your community. Otherwise, isolation can create a distressing lifestyle for them.
Social engagement is a great way for you to boost an elderly’s self-esteem. One of the best ways to make your elderly feel engaged is by taking age-friendly initiatives. It is one of the best ways to help them feel engaged and valued in their community.
Schedule In-home Consultation
Elderlies need care more often than younger people. Of course, it can be hard to take them to the healthcare centers very often. Therefore, it is better to look into in-home consultation options to keep up with the healthcare of your loved ones.
You can ask the healthcare provider for effective tips to improve the mental and physical well-being of your loved ones. Regular visits from healthcare providers can help you stay updated with the care of your beloved parents and make you more confident about providing the right care.
Vaccination For Yellow Fever: Your Responsibility
In an increasingly connected world, our choices and behaviors have extensive consequences globally. This is true not only in our daily lives but also in matters of health and well-being. A good instance of this is the vaccine for yellow fever, which is an important instrument to support worldwide health, as well as ethical living. Let us explain…
The Moral Obligation
Yellow fever is a sickness that drives fear into the hearts of both travelers and health-conscious people alike. But suppose we told you that receiving a vaccination against yellow fever is not only a matter of your well-being but also an ethical decision? It’s an action that resonates on an international level.
Availability of Healthcare
The ethical factors related to yellow fever vaccination begin with medical care being accessible. Being able to get to a quality standard of healthcare is a luxury in several regions of the globe, but not a right. By selecting to be immunized against yellow fever, we are recognizing the privilege we have in using measures of defense that are not accessible to many others.
Taking Care of Vulnerable Communities
Similar to a variety of diseases, yellow fever particularly impacts individuals who live in nations with limited development. These communities often don’t have the resources required to successfully deal with outbreaks of the disease.
When we get vaccinated, we contribute to developing herd immunity, which renders it a lot harder for the disease to propagate itself. We are, therefore, safeguarding those who are most at risk and less privileged.
Moral Decisions And Responsible Travel
As explorers of the world, we have to consider the ethical effects of our journeys. Taking trips to regions where yellow fever is common without vaccinations not only puts us at a greater risk as individuals but also puts the wider communities we visit in danger. We all have an obligation to make sure we travel responsibly, which includes protecting ourselves as well as the health and well-being of others we encounter so that we may continue to see new places, experience new cultures, and broaden our minds.
Contributing to Global Health Initiatives
Receiving the yellow fever vaccine is also a method for us to support global health initiatives. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and other global organizations work nonstop to control and eradicate illnesses such as yellow fever. We help support these initiatives and assist in minimizing the impact of disease across the globe by engaging in immunization programs.
This ethical choice has a connection to the environment that may not be immediately apparent. Yellow fever outbreaks can increase the consumption of medical resources, including plastics as well as other materials that are not sustainable. By avoiding cases by means of vaccination, we serve an important role in decreasing the environmental footprint of healthcare.
So, the next time you plan a trip, make sure to add yellow fever vaccination to your to-do list. You are doing more to safeguard your health, but you’re also supporting building a more responsible and healthier world for everyone. It’s a simple act with expansive international consequences—a real testament to moral behavior in our interconnected world at large.
The promotion of global health and ethical living is closely tied to the yellow fever vaccination. It is a crucial step in safeguarding not only individuals but entire communities against the spread of this deadly disease. By getting vaccinated against yellow fever, you are not only protecting yourself but also contributing to the health and well-being of those around you. It is a responsible and ethical decision that ultimately benefits us all. So, if you haven’t done so already, consider getting vaccinated today to do your part in promoting global health and ethical living.
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