If you have a busy lifestyle, it is easy to put exercise and physical activity at the bottom of your to do list. Staying active often becomes an after-thought if you have work and family commitments.
Unfortunately, having a sedentary lifestyle can quickly impact your health, causing a loss in flexibility, strength, and mobility. It can also increase the risk of several chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
By staying active, you can keep your body in great shape and avoid some nasty health conditions. It helps you make the most of life and delay the impacts of ageing.
In this post, our Ealing chiropractor will share some information about the risks of having a sedentary lifestyle and how to stay active at any age.
The Dangers Of A Sedentary Lifestyle
According to the British Chiropractic Association (BCA), a significant number of people living in the UK have become more sedentary in recent years. They discovered that 73% of the population say they are less active than they were two decades ago. This has resulted in 48% of the UK population having to deal with back pain and neck pain.
Aside from neck and back pain, a sedentary lifestyle can also increase the risk of:
- Poor posture
- Decreased skeletal muscle mass
- Weaker bones
- Certain cancers
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure and high cholesterol
- Mental health issues like depression and anxiety
- Spinal disc herniation and lower back pain
- Degenerative disc disease
The worst part is, the older you get, the more severe the effects of a sedentary lifestyle become. If you are currently 50 years old and sedentary, by the time you are 70, you may be dealing with several chronic health conditions.
The impact of a sedentary lifestyle is particularly damaging to the back and neck. Many of the older patients visiting our chiropractic in Ealing have spent a lot of time sitting down over the years and are now paying the price, with persistent back pain.
How To Stay Active At Any Age
Here are some tips for staying active and avoiding the health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle.
If you are a teenager, you should have many opportunities for staying active. Perhaps the easiest option is to play sports at school. If you don’t get much enjoyment out of sports, you could take up walking, running, or cycling.
There are also dozens of active hobbies that you can pursue. Instead of watching the television, try your hand at woodworking, cooking, dancing, or pottery. As you perform these hobbies, you will be active and moving about, which always beats sitting on a couch.
Even daily chores like walking the family dog or vacuuming are a great way to be active — and you will get in your parent’s good books. Although your teenage body is quite resilient and full of energy, always remember to stretch before any strenuous activity.
When you are in your twenties, your day-to-day life will become even busier. You are going to be studying or working long hours, socialising with friends, and possibly spending some time in the local pub. The regimented PE sessions that were a part of school no longer occur, so you may stop exercising as often.
Although you still feel physically fit and strong, it doesn’t take long for a sedentary lifestyle to have a negative impact on your health. You might put on weight, lose cardiovascular fitness, or experience back pain that necessitates a trip to a chiropractor.
The solution is to ensure exercise remains a part of your daily life. If team sports are no longer suitable for your lifestyle, take up running, walking, rowing or cycling. There may also be other activities which you were interested in but never tried as a teenager, like Yoga and Pilates.
When most people reach their thirties they are contending with long work hours which really get in the way of physical activity. You are more likely to have children in your thirties, which means you will be dealing with all of the responsibilities that parenting involves.
Finding time to exercise will be a challenge. However, you should still do your best to find at least 45 minutes per day for working out. For most people in their 30’s, early morning workouts are best, as you can get your exercise done before going to work.
At this point in your life, you should also reflect on lifestyle factors and habits. If you are spending long hours looking at a computer screen, have your posture checked. If you are struggling to get a good night’s sleep, talk to a chiropractor about sleep hygiene and buy a new mattress. Improve the ergonomics of your work space so your neck and back aren’t giving you pain by the end of each work week. Again your chiropractor can advise on this.
By the you reach your forties, you will definitely be noticing the effects of ageing. You may find it harder to get out of bed in the morning and injuries seem to take a long time to heal.
This is the time in your life where you really need to focus on staying active. If you don’t, your body will begin to lose muscle mass and bone density very quickly.
Make time for at least 45 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each day. Be careful about how hard you push your body, as injuries are more likely as you get older. If you have any niggling problems, it’s probably worth visiting a chiropractor to have them sorted out.
By the time you reach 50, your fitness levels will have declined substantially. At this stage in your life, you should focus on regular gentle exercise sessions which improve cardiovascular health, muscle strength, and flexibility. You should use low to moderate intensity exercises, like walking, yoga, cycling, swimming, and so on.
You should also have regular health checks and do your best to maintain healthy habits, like eating nutritious food, getting plenty of sleep, and stretching your body every day.
Visiting our chiropractic clinic in Ealing
While most patients initially visit our chiropractors at The Spine and Joint Centre in Ealing suffering pain or discomfort, many of these patients realise that ongoing chiropractic treatment is beneficial to their health and wellbeing.
Whatever, you age, our chiropractors can help and advise you in lifestyle changes that can help keep your maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.
To find out how our chiropractors can help, book an appointment by calling our clinic on 020 8900 9004.