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Keys to say goodbye to a sedentary life

The sedentary lifestyle affects 36.4% of the Spanish population and causes 1.9 million deaths worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). How can we end a sedentary life? What benefits does sport bring?

Start going to the gym, sign up for some physical activity, go for a run… these are the typical goals that most people set at the beginning of the year to put an end to a sedentary life, but which they usually don’t fulfill.

And it is that, according to the last one European Health Survey published by National Institute of Statistics (INE)the 50.7% of the Spanish population aged 15 or over does not exercise in their free time.

In addition, the 36.4% declares to have a sedentary life.

In this way, the Spanish Society of Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine (SERMEF) i Cinfa offers different keys to say goodbye to a sedentary life in the best possible way.

“Unfortunately, our willpower does not always agree with our intentions and these intentions often fall into disrepair”, explains the doctor Julio Maset, doctor and spokesman for Cinfa.

How does sedentary lifestyle affect our health?

Being sedentary can have very serious consequences for our health. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) esteem it causes 1.9% million deaths worldwide and causes one 22% of cases of ischemic heart disease.

Spain is one of the four most sedentary countries in Europe. Thus, the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equalitythrough the National Health Survey, points to sedentary lifestyle as one of the most common risk factors for the main chronic diseases, along with excess weight, alcohol and tobacco.

In this same line, a report published by the WHO indicates that until 2030 they will occur in the world almost 500 million of new cases of preventable diseases due to physical inactivity.

“Ultimately, not being active in our day-to-day lives reduces our quality of life and also the possibilities of healthy ageing,” points out the Cinfa expert.

Benefits of regular exercise practice

As Cinfa points out, the benefits what sport means to health are multiple, from physical to mental:

  • Increase the muscle mass and bone mineral density (preventing possible fractures due to osteoporosis in the elderly).
  • Improve the cardiorespiratory condition.
  • Strengthen the immune system.
  • Decreases the risk of developing numerous chronic diseases and cancer.
  • Increase the strength and enduranceas well as mobility in elderly people.
  • Reduces susceptibility and Stress.
  • Increase the self esteem and minimizes the symptoms of the depression and insomnia.

For its part, SERMEF points out that “three days is a motivation, three weeks is a habit and after three months you get results”

He also adds that regular exercise is associated with increased longevity and reduces the risk of several diseases, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, cognitive impairment, some cancers, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, hypertension, increased cholesterol and/or triglycerides, obesity and osteoarthritis among others.

Sedentary life sport
EFE/ Nacho Gallego

What sport should I do?

Depending on the age of each person, the recommended level of physical activity will vary. SERMEF advises to follow the following indications set by the WHO.

In the case of children and teenagers from 5 to 17 years, the organization recommends an average of 60 minutes daily moderate to intense physical activities at least three days a week.

When it comes to adultsfrom 18 to 64 years old, it is recommended to do weekly de 150 to 300 minutes of moderate aerobic activity. Or between 75 and 150 minutes of intense activity.

For the over 65 years oldthe recommendations are the same as for adults, but with daily sessions of one 30 minutes and training muscle strength for at least three days.

Ten tips to combat sedentary lifestyle

From Cinfa, the experts recommend different ones keys to say goodbye to the sedentary life:

  1. Stay active, it’s a matter of attitude. Walk to places instead of using the car or take the stairs instead of taking the elevator.
  2. follow them physical activity recommendations of the WHO for your age.
  3. Keep your kids active.
  4. Don’t let your age stop you.
  5. Warm up before exercise and stretch afterwards. Both precautions are necessary to reduce the risk of injury during sports practice.
  6. Take care of your breathing when you do physical activity.
  7. Limit the time the whole family spends on sedentary activities.
  8. move home.
  9. Take advantage of new technologies. Carry out activities such as pilates, zumba or aerobics by following videos, tutorials or apps
  10. If you work sitting down, remember to get up regularly.
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