Why an Inactive Lifestyle Isn’t Good For You

Man asleep on couch

Could Your Sedentary Lifestyle Be Harming Your Health?

If walking around the grocery store is the most exercise you get in a week, you may be putting your health at risk. Inactivity is a factor in many health conditions, ranging from cancer to high blood pressure to osteoporosis. Fortunately, it's never too late to improve your health by becoming more active.

Are You a Couch Potato? You May Be More Likely To Experience These Health Issues

Only 25% of Americans are active enough to satisfy current exercise recommendations, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Adults should participate in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity per week, according to the recommendations.

Lack of exercise can increase your risk of:

  • Cardiovascular Problems. You're more likely to develop heart disease, heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol if you don't move enough. In fact, a sedentary lifestyle doubles your risk of cardiovascular disease and death, according to the World Health Organization. Regular aerobic exercise strengthens your heart and improves blood flow to the brain, heart, lungs, and other organs. Aerobic exercise is any activity that raises your heart rate, such as swimming, walking, riding a bike, or playing tennis.
  • Obesity. Exercise helps you burn calories and improves your metabolism, the rate at which you burn those calories. If you've been struggling to lose weight, exercising more, in addition to following a healthy diet, could help you shed a few extra pounds.
  • Type 2 Diabetes. Inactivity may also increase your likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, a disease that affects more than 34 million Americans, according to the CDC. If you're sedentary, you may develop insulin resistance, a condition that affects your body's ability to use glucose (blood sugar) to provide energy to your cells. Glucose builds up in your blood if you're insulin resistant, making it more likely that you'll develop pre-diabetes or diabetes. Researchers in Korea discovered being inactive for 10 hours or more daily increased insulin resistance values in people who didn't have diabetes.
  • Weak Bones. Weight-bearing activities, like walking, strength training, dancing, or running, keep your bones strong. These activities increase bone density and improve the range of motion in your joints. Weight-bearing exercise is particularly important as you get older. Exercise can help you lower your risk of developing osteoporosis, a disease that weakens the bones and increases your risk of fractures.
  • Cancer. Skipping exercise can also raise your cancer risk. Inactivity raises the risk of uterine, colon, and breast cancers, according to Medline Plus.
  • Mental Health Issues. Staying active may also help you avoid depression and anxiety or reduce the symptoms of these conditions. Exercise improves nerve cell growth in the part of the brain that controls moods and triggers the release of endorphins, natural chemicals that improve your mood, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
  • Joint and Muscle Pain. Without regular exercise, your joints and muscles may become stiff and painful. Does your job involve plenty of sitting? When you sit too much, the core muscles that support your back begin to weaken. When the muscles are weak, you're more likely to experience strained muscles, muscle spasms, and knots in your muscles. Muscle imbalances due to lack of exercise can pull your spine out of alignment, causing chronic back pain and reduced range of motion.

How Your Chiropractor Can Help You Stay Healthy

Your chiropractor can recommend exercises that will strengthen and support your body and help you stay healthy. If pain is keeping you from exercising, your chiropractor offers a variety of treatments designed to improve spinal alignment and decrease pressure and tension on your muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. Thanks to your visits to the chiropractor, you'll be able to make exercising a priority.

Has it been a while since you've seen the chiropractor? Give us a call and we'll help you schedule your next appointment.

Sources:

America's Health Rankings: Physical Inactivity

Harvard Health Publishing: Exercise Is An All-Natural Way to Fight Depression, 2/2/21

World Health Organization: Physical Inactivity a Leading Cause of Disease and Disability, Warns Who, 4/4/02

Medline Plus: Health Risks of an Inactive Lifestyle

Korean Journal of Family Medicine: Sedentary Lifestyle: Overview of Updated Evidence of Potential Health Risks, 11/19/20

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Lack of Physical Activity, 9/25/19

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Testimonials

  • "Dear Dr. Zabawa,
    I want to thank you for being my #1 healthcare provider.
    I have been under chiropractic care for 40 years and of the many chiropractors I have been treated by,
    you and your precise atlas adjustment are the best.
    It really is gentle and effective. I've had migraines, scoliosis, herniated L4-L5, and sciatica -
    and in the 11 yrs of being under your care I have had no problems or re-occurrence of any
    of my former symptoms.
    You are the best and I thank you."
    Judy B.
  • "Hi, I'll always remember the wonderful things you've done for me at Atlas Chiropractic of Sarasota.
    I thank Dr. Zabawa for getting me up and running!
    My last chiropractor said there was nothing else they could do for me, and I felt as if my life was over.
    (I couldn't even play video games without pain.)
    Now that I've been introduced to your atlas adjustments: I'm lifting weights again, working (making money),
    and yes - even playing video games. Wow!
    THANK YOU!!!!!"
    Lyle H.
  • "We've had 40 years of various types of chiropractic therapies (sometimes weekly),
    but have never felt truly aligned until now."
    Marsha & Alain M.
  • "I was diagnosed with scoliosis as a child, and through good habits & care have managed to avoid surgery.
    About 30 years ago my research into spinal maintenance led me to upper cervical chiropractic
    (specifically orthospinology) over general chiropractic.
    This is just phenomenal. When my atlas is adjusted and my spine is aligned, it is amazing how good I feel.
    It helps the nerves and muscles of the body function so well, and I believe it has been the key to slowing
    the spinal degeneration caused by my scoliosis.
    * And it's so non-invasive! *
    Now that I live in Sarasota, I am so glad to be under the care of Dr. Zabawa.
    It's no surprise that he came highly recommended. I have always been impressed with
    the professionalism and care I've received at Atlas Chiropractic of Sarasota.
    It compares to anywhere in the country."
    Kyle Ann M.
  • "Very thorough. Quick recovery after a car wreck!"
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  • "For 3 years I had been having headaches every day.
    I even went to a neurologist for my headaches, but he said they were a condition of menopause :(
    A friend suggested going to Dr. Z because of the unique procedure he uses and the great results.
    Dr. Z took care of me and within about 3 months my daily headaches were gone.
    What a relief!
    I don't think I've had one since :)"
    Allaesia M.
  • "I lived in pain with an undiagnosed broken back for 23 years since a horse & buggy accident as a teenager.
    When I injured my back again as an adult, the x-rays showed that I had fractured a vertebra back then,
    as well as this time.
    I received some help from going to regular chiropractors in recent years, but still lived in pain.
    I am so thankful that I found Dr. Zabawa.
    After 35 years and lots of pain, within a month or so
    I was PAIN FREE!
    It is amazing how such small adjustments to the atlas vertebra in my neck have made such
    a big difference to my life.
    To this day, I come in periodically to maintain my new found health.
    Praise and glory to God."
    Mary T.