Have you ever given thought to how active your lifestyle is? Would it surprise you to learn that 25% of US adults sit for more than eight hours per day? As well as this, 44% don’t do any sort of vigorous or even moderate exercise or activity in a week. While it may not sound like a big deal, a sedentary lifestyle can lead to all kinds of issues in the present and the future.
The World Health Organization (WHO) warns people that a sedentary lifestyle is the number one cause of disability and disease including such serious health issues as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, colon cancer, obesity, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and osteoporosis. These are health issues you don’t want to develop or be faced with, which means it’s time to combat a sedentary lifestyle.
Here are four tips that will help you to get up, get active and ensure it becomes a regular daily habit.
Set an Achievable Daily Goal
It’s admirable to want to fix the problem immediately and combat your sedentary lifestyle, but that’s not always realistic. Instead, it can make more sense to set achievable daily goals. This gives you something to aim for each day and helps you to start forming a habit. It also gives you something to celebrate each day as you work towards a more active lifestyle.
Typically, the best type of goal is to set a time goal. For example, you tell yourself you will be active for 25 continuous minutes each day. That leaves the activity itself open to interpretation since anything that gets your body moving will count as exercise.
Try Less Traditional Exercises
Those who have never been active regularly may also be intimidated at the thought of an exercise routine. Many questions can come to mind, such as: what exercises you should do? What equipment will you need? How can you make sure you’re using proper form and not straining yourself? How many repetitions should be done? The good news is that you don’t have to deal with any of that if you don’t want to. Instead, you can try less traditional exercises.
Here are some examples of activities that will get your body moving but won’t feel like a typical workout:
- Active video games
- A class or course that requires participants to be physically active
There’s a good chance that at least a few of these will appeal to you.
Get a Workout Buddy Involved
Sometimes you know exactly what you need to be active, and the activities themselves don’t seem intimidating but you are lacking in motivation. It’s easy to put off a workout to another day and find an excuse that you can use. The problem is that this starts to snowball and, before you know it, days, weeks, even months go by where you aren’t being active regularly. A good solution can be to find a workout buddy that is dependable and shares your personal health goals.
What If You Have Mobility or Pain Issues?
There are many reasons why a person may have a sedentary lifestyle and some of those are out of the person’s control. For those with mobility issues, combatting a sedentary lifestyle can be especially difficult. Even if the mobility issue is relatively mild and not chronic, it still poses that extra challenge that people have to get past.
Lumbago is an example of a health issue that results in pain in the lower back or back. When you feel pain in your joints and muscles, being active and mobile may not sound desirable or even possible. The good news is that there are typically exercises, stretches, and activities that those with pain can still do rather comfortably. You can try mobility exercises for lumbago specifically – just be sure to listen to the signals your body is giving you. You want to give yourself a bit of a challenge but, at the same time, you never want to risk injuring yourself and potentially causing more pain.
If you’re under the impression that change isn’t possible or it’s going to be too difficult, it’s time to change your mindset. Combating a sedentary lifestyle is extremely achievable with regular effort.