Sitting at home and minding your own business just may be hazardous to your health. One in three adults across the globe doesn’t get enough exercise, and it’s killing us—five million of us a year. Experts call it like it is: a pandemic.
Inactivity Linked to Chronic Disease
According to studies featured in the medical journal The Lancet, physical inactivity—not achieving 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week—is a major contributor to major diseases like heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and breast and colon cancer.
Getting insufficient exercise causes as much harm to our bodies as smoking or obesity, according to the study. In example, the researchers compared the number of deaths caused in 2008 by physical inactivity and smoking. Lack of exercise was at the heart of 5.3 million deaths. Smoking caused fewer deaths at 5 million.
“In most countries, inactivity rises with age and is higher in women than in men (34 percent vs. 28 percent). Inactivity is also increased in high-income countries,” the researchers declared.
7 Easy Ways to Increase Exercise
This is one instance in which eating all the right foods and taking handfuls of supplements may not be enough to save us. Many of us simply feel strapped for time or energy, or we can’t stand the idea of paying money just to avoid running next to the Six Million Dollar Man in an anonymous line of treadmills at the gym. There are easy, thrifty ways to move, however.
- Exercise moderately first thing in the morning. You have no excuses and the rest of the day before you.
- Walk the dog at a brisk pace for 20 minutes a day, or twice a day for 10 minutes at a time. Bonus: a quieter, calmer, healthier pet.
- Park far from your destination to increase walking distance.
- Play with the kids. This encourages children to move, too.
- Take the stairs.
- Do squats or toe raises while brushing your teeth.
- Get up from the desk and walk down the hall or the street whenever you can. Hourly is ideal.