LIFESTYLE is the living conditions, behaviour and habits of an individual or group of people that is either typical or chosen. So in both the cases lifestyle can be modified, more or less, so that we can be benefited. In general, Lifestyle can be Sedentary and Active depending on the type of profession and the type of activities you get involved into.
The term Active means to move around a lot or participate a lot in different works. The term ‘Sedentary’ comes from the Latin word ‘sedere’ which means ‘to sit’. A sedentary person is also called Couch Potato.
What do you mean by active lifestyle?
Let us suppose, you are an IT professional and you have to spend 99-11 hrs of the day in front of the computer without any physical activity. But you make sure you don’t skip you meals, take breaks from your work for at least 10-15 mins in between, stand up, move around and also take out time from your hectic schedule for jogging or go for brisk walks regularly, you actually lead an active lifestyle inspite of having a sedentary profession.
Now what exactly being sedentary means?
If we go by its literal meaning a sitting person is called a sedentary person or a fat person appearing like a potato can be said to be a sedentary man. But both the meanings are correct only to some extent and not exactly.
Few months back, The New York Times had published that researchers, affiliated with the World Health Organisation and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, reported that worldwide people’s waistlines are expanding, with the total weight of human beings on the Earth exceeding to 287 million tons.
Let us suppose, you are a sales person and you have to spend most of your day from one door to another. And when you return back home tired, exhausted and hungry, you just relax on the sofa, gorging on food, watching your favourite show or go to bed immediately after a heavy dinner. In all the activities you are just allowing your body to enjoy the leisure so that it can replenish the lost energy. This lifestyle is termed as a sedentary lifestyle and a person living in it is said to be sedentary.
“Sedentary behaviour is something we need to take note of beyond telling people to get 30 mins of activity a day.” Said Peter t Katzmarzyk, one of the lead researchers for the study and a professor of population science at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La. He said “standing should not be an alternative to exercise but can be to sitting.” [These informations were taken from The Wall Street Journal online, wsj.com]
ILL Effects of a Sedentary Lifestyle:
- Sleeping disorder
- Artherosclerosis (fat deposition on the walls of blood vessels hampering the blood flow)
- Coronary heart diseases
- Cancers of the organs like kidney, colon, oesophagus, uterus, etc.
- Other related problems like type II Diabetes Mellitus
- Mortalility of foetus, heart burn in pregnant women, etc.
It has been surveyed that mortality in elderly women leading a sedentary lifestyle is double than in case of elderly men of same lifestyle.
There are certain practices which can modify your lifestyle and you can maintain them anywhere anytime. They are as follows:
- Walking while talking over phone.
- Avoid public / private transport for short distances.
- Using staircase instead of escalator or lift.
- Do not keep your stomach empty for long by taking smaller meals at frequent intervals.
- Take lots of fluids. (Fluids with added sugar will only help in case of underweight, non diabetics suffering from fever, dehydration, diarrhoea, etc.)
- Never skip your meals especially your breakfast. If you don’t have much time just grab a fruit or munch on few nuts.
- Try to jog / take brisk walks at least thrice a week.
- Do not go for crash dieting. It will not help you lose weight but push you towards malnutrition leading to weakness, anemia, etc.
- Never go to bed immediately after heavy meal. Sleep lowers the metabolism.
- Choose salads or vegetable raita, baked items instead of fried ones as starters, fruit juices instead of carbonated drinks and plain nans or rotis instead of buttered ones at a party. Correct choice of food is very important.
- Avoid or minimize your intake of alcohol. It is not only a rich source of calories but also a cause of various fatal diseases like cirrhosis of liver.
Now you choose which lifestyle would you like to practice?