Staying Active Can Be Easy
What is a Sedentary Lifestyle?
A Sedentary lifestyle is a lifestyle where the individual does not get regular physical activity. Older adults are the top population that experiences loss in physical activity and function. 60 to 80% of people do not get the required amount of fitness, making inactivity the fourth leading cause of death.
It is never too late to start exercising! If you have not been active much in your life, it is okay to start slow at first. Physical activity does not always mean high intensity/cardio work outs. Going for a walk by yourself or with a friend is a great start. As you become more comfortable you can add different exercises and increase the length of your walks. The guidelines for physical activity for adults is 150 minutes of moderate and 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week. For older adults, it is a good idea to also incorporate balance training, aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercises.
Here are some ways to incorporate exercise into your daily living activities. To ensure you are staying active and maintaining your independence:
When doing everyday task such as going to the washroom, making breakfast, getting dressed, all these things can be done with exercise involved.
- When ever you walk, take longer strides and be aware of balances, or do lunges if you can not do longer strides.
- When talking on the phone, pace rather than sit.
- When sweeping or mopping do side to side lunges and squats. Incorporate music to help motivate you to keep moving.
- If you have to walk somewhere, walk briskly and lift knees higher.
- While doing dishes, do leg lifts and Kegels.
- When doing laundry squat down do not bend.
- Deep breathing whenever it comes to mind, take three deep breathes inhaling and exhaling for as long as you can ensuring you are filling and emptying the lungs for it to be beneficial.
On top of your daily activities, if you would also like to go above and beyond and incorporate an exercise program here are a few suggestions:
- Serenity at Home In-house Fitness Classes: These are one on one exercises geared to your abilities and needs.
- Join a local gym or a local fitness class
- Grab a friend or pet and go walking, biking or hiking
- Play Interactive Video Games: Wii sports, Wii fitness, Wii dance, Dance Dance Resolution
*Always remember that the intensity of these activities depends on your individual needs and abilities.
The Risks of a Sedentary Lifestyle
- Increase risk of some cancers, such as colon, breast and uterine cancers
- Increase risk of obesity
- Increase risk of heart disease
- Increase risk of stroke
- Loss of skeletal muscle structure and strength
- Increase risk of Type 2 diabetes
- Increase risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol
- Increase feelings of depression and/or anxiety
- Increase risk of osteoporosis and falls
The Benefits of Staying Active
- Weight Management
- Improve cardiovascular functioning and abilities
- Promotes social interactions, cognitive functioning and helps reduce stress
- Strengthen muscle and bone structure
- Reduce risk of falls
- Reduce risk of some cancers
- Improves mental health and mood because being healthy is a state of mind