How Walking Can Help You Live Longer
Sometimes even simply sitting can be very tiring.
Think about the last time you had a long flight, train journey or even a long commute. You may not have done anything strenuous in between, yet by the time you were done with your journey, you were probably feeling pretty tired.
We may think of sitting down as a way to rest and relax, but that is hardly the case when it’s done for long periods.
In fact, science shows that sitting down for lengthy periods at a stretch is completely unnatural for our body, yet this is what most of us do on a daily basis. We live in a society that has conditioned us to think this is perfectly normal, and in our schools and workplaces, this is usually the norm. Much of the way we keep ourselves entertained also involves being seated whether it’s getting on social media, watching movies, tv shows etc.
Researchers from Indiana University have found that even just one hour of sitting decreases the blood flow from your legs to your heart by 50 percent. Moreover, having a sedentary lifestyle may have serious implications for our health and is a major underlying cause of death and disease.
Lack of physical activity has been identified by the World Health Organisation as the fourth leading cause of deaths and causes an estimated 3.2 million deaths globally (accounts for 6% of deaths). It’s also the leading cause for various health conditions, such as :
Physical inactivity also increases the risks of breast cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, depression and anxiety.
While all this may sound bleak, the good news is that there is something simple you can do to negate the unpleasant effects of a sedentary life style. Something that can boost your energy and also have plenty of other benefits.
Studies have found that simply taking a five-minute walk for every hour that you are seated can offset the negative effects caused by sitting for long periods.
Organs like your brain, heart and lungs function better when you are walking as opposed to sitting down. It also increases blood flow to the brain and improves cognitive functioning.
Doing this also comes with many benefits such as :
Increase your energy levels
Improves your mood
Improves attention span
Lengthens life span
Reduce your risk of chronic diseases
Reduces food cravings
Having created a habit of doing this myself, the first three benefits mentioned above are ones I can personally attest to from my own experience.
If you fear doing this may affect your focus and productivity at work, you don’t need to worry since studies show it can have a positive effect on both. Whereas lack of activity can put a strain on your eyes, body, and mind and hamper your attention and productivity.
Doing this can provide a mini break for our mind and help us to feel less stressed as we go about our day.
If you feel lazy at the prospect of walking for 5 minutes, even taking a walking break for 2 minutes for every hour that you are seated, has been shown to have positive benefits and can lower the risk of premature death by 33 percent!
While this is incredibly easy to do, the benefits are huge. Although you will have to overcome the laziness to carry on being seated at first, before it becomes a natural part of your life.
Adopt this simple routine into your life today and enjoy the tremendous benefits for yourself.
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