In­ac­tiv­ity Is Not Good For Us

The Oakdale Leader - - PERSPECTIVE - By Dr. GLENN MOLLETTE Guest Colum­nist

A hap­pier life is an ac­tive life. Do­ing noth­ing does not gen­er­ate much in the realm of feel­ing good about your­self and is detri­men­tal to your health.

A friend of mine re­flected on his ca­reer and often six day work weeks and said, “Those were the hap­pi­est days of my life.” I know of peo­ple who live very ful­fill­ing lives of re­tire­ment but also know of too many who don’t have much to do or much in­ter­est in do­ing a whole lot.

Some­times sick­ness or in­jury keeps us from do­ing any­thing. This can hap­pen to us all and it’s no fun be­ing sick and shut-in the house. In­clement weather can drive us in­side and for that rea­son many peo­ple dread the cold win­try months that are sure to come.

How­ever, we all need to strive more in our daily ac­tiv­ity. You don’t have to be a mem­ber of a high priced gym to move ev­ery day. You don’t have to have a lu­cra­tive re­tire­ment to move ev­ery day. If you can walk and move your arms you are re­ally on your way to ac­tiv­ity.

Whether you live in the city or coun­try we all need to think more ev­ery day about get­ting out of the house and be­ing in mo­tion. Walk­ing, jog­ging, mow­ing grass, work­ing in the yard, house clean­ing or more ex­er­cise, we all need it.

Be­hind my of­fice is a nurs­ing home. A man comes out of that nurs­ing home almost ev­ery day in a wheel­chair. He has no legs. His wheel­chair is mo­tor­ized. How­ever, ev­ery day he pushes him­self to go the pub­lic li­brary or down the road to one of a couple of small restau­rants. He hasn’t given up. I want to chal­lenge us all to not give up and push our­selves a lit­tle more in the realm of ac­tiv­ity.

In this day and time we all are in dan­ger of ter­mi­nal in­ac­tiv­ity. Com­put­ers, tele­vi­sions, social media, desk jobs, com­fort­able lounge chairs and rid­ing in the car can spell long bouts of in­ac­tiv­ity.

Re­searchers have been in­ves­ti­gat­ing ways to re­duce our risk of chronic disease for decades. One big ques­tion: How much ex­er­cise is needed to pre­vent disease? The an­swer is at least 150 min­utes per week. Ac­cord­ing to the U.S. Depart­ment of Health and Hu­man Ser­vices’ phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity guide­lines, adults should par­tic­i­pate in at least 150 min­utes of mod­er­atein­ten­sity aer­o­bic phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity per week, in­clud­ing at least two days of mus­cle-strength­en­ing ac­tiv­i­ties. Ex­er­cis­ing up to 300 min­utes per week has even greater health ben­e­fits.

What health risks are linked to phys­i­cal in­ac­tiv­ity?

Lack of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity has clearly been shown to be a risk fac­tor for car­dio­vas­cu­lar disease and other con­di­tions.

Less ac­tive and less fit peo­ple have a greater risk of de­vel­op­ing high blood pres­sure.

Phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity can re­duce your risk for type 2 di­a­betes.

Stud­ies show that phys­i­cally ac­tive peo­ple are less likely to de­velop coro­nary heart disease than those who are in­ac­tive. This is even af­ter re­searchers ac­counted for smok­ing, al­co­hol use, and diet.

Lack of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity can add to feel­ings of anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion.

Phys­i­cal in­ac­tiv­ity may in­crease the risk of cer­tain can­cers.

Phys­i­cally ac­tive over­weight or obese peo­ple sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced their risk for disease with reg­u­lar phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity.

Older adults who are phys­i­cally ac­tive can re­duce their risk for falls and im­prove their abil­ity to do daily ac­tiv­i­ties.

Thou­sands and thou­sands of deaths oc­cur each year due to a lack of reg­u­lar phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity. In ad­di­tion: In­ac­tiv­ity tends to in­crease with age.

Now, please get up and do some­thing. Our health and hap­pi­ness de­pend on it.

Thanks to John Hop­kins Medicine, Hop­kins­medicine.org and eatright.org for their in­for­ma­tion.

Glenn Mollette is a syndicated colum­nist and au­thor of 12 books. He is read in all 50 states. Visit www.glen­n­mol­lette.com. The opin­ions ex­pressed are those of the au­thor and not nec­es­sar­ily those of this pa­per or its cor­po­rate own­er­ship.

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