26 March 2012

Simple Living Tip: Walk More

We've all heard it all too often - walk more! It is a kind of a mantra that unsurprisingly hits right on the spot. Life has grown beyond sedentary. Not only do we spend more time sitting but the time that 20 years ago was subconsciously dedicated to physical activity is now devoted to driving.

But life is changing faster than our human minds can grasp, and that is why nowadays we need to pay attention to our bodies and follow a physical routine. I know people who spend almost all their time awake sitting. To be honest, I am sometimes one of them!  And I know how easy it is to fall in that trap. While our brains work actively in front of the computer - day in, day out - our bodies are in standstill which is devastating for all our organs and our nervous system.

According to research we now spend more time sitting than sleeping. But our bodies were not made for that and this massive lifestyle change is taking its toll. Obesity is just one obvious consequence. The problem is that there is much more going on under the surface that might get late to fix when we realize it.

Did you know that prolonged sitting leads to an earlier death? Yes, even if you exercise, once you exceed the healthy limit of sitting you are doomed.After the second hour of sitting your insulin effectiveness drops and the risk of diabetes increases. Your good cholesterol drops with 20%. Calorie burning drops to 1 per minute. For more malicious effects of sitting, read here.

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How to make the situation better? Take every chance to stand up and walk. Use the stairs, instead of the elevator, walk outside, even better - walk in nature. Any time you can walk instead of drive to a certain destination - do it! Walking burns more fat than jogging! Walking on an uneven terrain is even better because it involves more muscles!

To see just how beneficial walking can be for you, take a look at the infographic below. 

I know that all benefits of walking are obvious and probably banal but knowing how devastating sedentary life is, I prefer to remind myself time and again to just get out there, find a goal and reach it. For me, taking photographs is the perfect and simplest excuse for going out for a walk. What is yours?