Sometimes doing nothing at all can be the most dangerous move of all. Inactivity (like sitting for hours on end) causes more deaths around the world than cigarette smoking or diabetes. Experts say the results show that no matter who you are or how fit or unfit you are, there’s still a benefit to taking even a short walk every day.Researchers have found that the least fit people (determined by a treadmill test) had a 500% increased risk of early death.
Still need convincing? Here are some more reasons to stop being a couch potato and break a sweat!
Exercise helps you get a good night’s sleep
Have you ever experienced a deep, extremely satisfying and rejuvenating sleep after spending a couple of hours in the fresh air, paddling a kayak, working in the yard, backpacking 10 miles, or running a long-distance race? Vigorous exercise, especially outdoors, is a highly effective sleep inducer—one that you are missing if you aren’t getting regular exercise.
Exercise may prevent you from developing high blood pressure
Exercising helps your heart become more efficient at pumping blood, which decreases the force of blood flow through your arteries. If you don’t exercise regularly, over time you will lose your cardio-respiratory fitness (CRF). A study of 3,831 men found that those whose fitness levels decreased over about 10 years were 72% more likely to develop high blood pressure compared to subjects who increased their cardio-respiratory fitness.
Exercise could protect you from memory loss
Scientists have linked physical fitness to the brain’s ability to make new neural pathways, and the hippocampus, which refers to the area of the braindevoted to memory and executive function. Studies have shown that people who were fit as young adults had better motor skills, memory and aheightened ability to focus on emotional control 25 years later, in middle age.
Exercise could help regulate your blood sugar levels
Researchers found that just one 30-60 minute session of moderate exercise can help to boost insulin sensitivity, and improve the way our body regulates blood sugar. So take a walk at lunchtime, or maybe have a mini workout after dinner – there’s a good chance it will help to keep your blood sugar levels in check.
Exercise may reduce chances of getting some cancers
Does sitting the entire day increase your risk of cancer? Scientists don’t know for sure. But what they do know is sedentary behavior is a risk factor for several chronic conditions and premature death.According to the National Cancer Institute, while no studies have conclusively proven that lack of exercise causes cancer, many self-reported observational studies have provided evidence that links higher physical activity to lower cancer risk.