The human body was built for action; for burning energy… but unfortunately, most of us today lead sedentary lifestyles that can have devastating effects on our health. Standing still, and particularly, sitting or lying down with most muscles relaxed, can contribute to a suite of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, colon cancer, deep vein thrombosis, high blood pressure, obesity, depression, and can even dramatically increase the risk of death among the elderly. Lack of exercise can also cause muscle atrophy, which makes you feel weak, and increases your susceptibility to injury.
Sedentary lifestyle definition
A sedentary lifestyle is one which lacks deliberate movement. Many office jobs are considered sedentary because there is little or no physical activity, and a lot of time, just sitting at a desk. Many people also end their day sitting on a couch and eating unhealthy foods, watching unhealthy television and consuming unhealthy beverages. Those people’s faces show up in the dictionary when someone is looking to define sedentary lifestyle.
Effects of junk food on health
Add unhealthy eating habits to the equation and there are even more chances to encounter various health problems later in life. Pizza, for example, the favorite fast food of millions of Americans, is loaded with empty calories, while missing key nutrients that are vital for optimal health.
Food effects how you think, your energy levels and overall feelings of wellness, and those are just short term effects. Junk foods contribute to a whole host of health issues in the long term, some issues that may go unnoticed for months or even years.
The good news is that you don’t need to quit your day job to improve your health, nor take on frustrating diets that cause more harm than good. Simple adjustments to your every day life, like the inclusion of short exercise routines that you can perform at your desk, and some diet tweaks, can make the world of a difference.
Healthy foods for sedentary people include fruits and vegetables rich in fiber, as well as nutrient rich herbs, teas and fruit juices. The CDC recommends that all people, regardless of their level of activity, consume fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. Garlic, nuts, green tea and red yeast rice have been hailed for their natural cholesterol lowering properties. If you like meat, try replacing some of it with ocean fish, which is easier to digest, and rich in heart healthy omega-3 fats and high quality protein.
It’s also a good idea to start cutting back on sugar and white flour. You don’t need to go cold turkey, start slow by gradually reducing the amounts you consume every day. That way, you’ll prevent your body from experiencing withdrawal symptoms. If you’re used to relying on bread for fiber, there are sprouted varieties made from seeds or nuts that pack more of a nutritional punch without the mucousy-forming ill effects.
Sources for this article include:
News on ‘food and health’:
ScienceDaily: 20 percent ‘fat tax’ needed to improve population health, experts say
ScienceDaily (May 15, 2012) Taxes on unhealthy food and drinks would need to be at least 20% to have a significant effect on diet-related conditions such as obesity and heart disease, say experts on the British Medical Journal website.
Medical News Today: Health Benefits By Taxing Unhealthy Foods
Substantial health benefits could be achieved by implementing taxes on sugary drinks and foods high in saturated fats, as well as subsidizing fruit and vegetables. According to researchers, the foods that should be taxed are those which pose serious …