Personal fitness has never been more important. We are living in an age where our lifestyle has become completely static. Modern age technology has created an excess of ease and the result has been a sedentary living ecosystem with an absence of an essential element: physical activity.
Why do I call it essential?
The human body has been mechanically designed to indulge in regular physical activity. Our joints and muscles need constant motion to stay in shape and function properly.
Needless to say, the lack of physical activity creates an imbalance between the supply of energy and nutrients to your body and their consumption which then leads to severe health problems like obesity, heart issues, high cholesterol, mental fatigue, depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, diabetes and what not.
If this scares you, then good!
No! I am not just talking about spending time at the gym or having a workout regime. There is a great deal of difference between working out and staying active in general.
According to recent 2006 study by the University of Minnesota, it was found that from 1980 to 2000, the number of people who exercised regularly remained the same but the number of people who spend most of their time sitting rose by 8%.
One can relate this sharp change to the advent of the IT industry and more and more jobs becoming completely desk jobs over the course of the past 25 years.
Back in the day people used to be far more active than they are today. Imagine your grandfathers and great grandfather who had to sweat it out all day in the field.
To become more active, you have to be creative!
There is so much you can do. But there is one thing, which almost everyone can do: use your legs more! How can you do that? Simple, you can cycle or walk to work. You can jog to the nearest metro station; you can walk to and from a bus stand and take the bus to work.
I usually prefer walking or cycling to my office as it burns more calories and all the sunny sides I have each day for breakfast! It has been scientifically seen that people commuting publicly are healthier in terms of factors like BMI and overall obesity. This has been found in a UK study where data from over 150000 individuals who are aged between 40 and 69 was collected to study the health benefits of active transport like cycling or walking.
Interestingly, in a certain section of men, cycling to work rather than driving to it led to a weight difference of 5kg on average. That is a great number and it shows that alternative living choices do lead to an increasingly healthy living style in the same work spheres.
This means that two software engineers, one of whom walks to work and the latter drives his car to it, are separated only by their personal choice of living. The former is healthier, leaner and more active than his ease-loving colleague.
Even public transport use can reduce sedentary health risks.
Every deal of activity contributes to the overall physical health of an individual.
I generally move on a model, which includes a ton of physical activity across the day. Let me share it briefly with you.
A usual day involves 1 hour of workout which I generally do in the evening post work. I usually walk 10 minutes to my metro station and the same thing happens when I arrive home in the evening.
When at work, I serve myself when I need water or a little coffee by walking down to the vending machines or cafeteria myself. All this physical activity keeps my body going. On weekends, I usually replace walks with sports or something else but I never have a dull moment before going to bed!
Being this active helps your body in many ways. First and foremost, it keeps your metabolism up and running. Some key benefits include improved digestion, good skin tone, weight reduction and proper internal waste disposal. Your internal organs like your kidneys and lungs function better. You start to age slowly compared to someone who is inactive.
Public health authorities across the globe believe that significant public benefits could be inculcated with increased use of public transport. Some of the key targets are obesity reduction and the atonement of a more active and healthier lifestyle.
Physical inactiveness is one of the leading causes of many health issues and is one the biggest reasons of premature mortality in many developed and developing countries. Take England for instance, where more than 60% of adults never meet the required levels of physical activity.
Awareness about the health benefits of public transportation and other alternatives should be enhanced.
I believe that steps should be taken to promote public transport and other physical activities like walking or cycling to work. People should be aware of the health risks, which stem from an inactive lifestyle.
Issues that are prevalent in mid-life individuals like obesity, diabetes, heart risks and others can be greatly reduced in terms of health risks if public transportation systems are used to increase physical activity.
I also find that unlike me, some of you might not like recreational sports and related physical activities that much. Then it is all the more important that you take public commuting more seriously than ever because I think you must want to be healthy and live a long life!