If you are someone who lives in a wealthy nation, then your life is probably a bit… Lazy. Now, I’m not saying that all people who live in first world countries are lazy and just sit around all day, but I think it is fairly true to say that this is the reality for many people.
I wish to clarify, however, that when I say “lazy” I don’t mean it as if nobody does anything and are just slobs that sit around all day sleeping, eating, and going to the bathroom. This is not true whatsoever.
What I do mean though, is that modern lifestyles tend to lean more towards a life of less movement, and more consumption. Many people work office jobs where they sit for long periods. Students have to sit around listening to lectures most of the day, and many recreational activities people engage in are limited in their movement.
To illustrate my point, here is how probably a lot of people’s days nowadays go. Let’s start with a student.
A student starts their day probably by waking up at around 6 or 7 AM. They get out of bed, get ready for the day, and probably sit down to eat breakfast. Or, they skip breakfast entirely. (Yikes)
From here, they go to school. Some people walk or bike, which is great! Others take a car or a bus. This means more sitting.
When you get to school, you are then probably going to do quite a lot of sitting in all of your classes. Except for gym class of course, but that is not every day, and it’s usually only for a period or 2 periods at most.
After this is lunch, in which students are told they have to sit and eat. Followed by more classes where you have to sit down and pay attention to the teacher.
For many people, school and work are mentally taxing which makes them feel physically tired. So, they come home and sit down to watch TV, PlayCroco online casino, or play video games.
Of course, there are people who start their days with exercise or people who play sports during or after school. However, this isn’t always true for everyone. Especially as you get older!
As people get older, they tend to do fewer physical activities. Either because they are less in shape, their jobs are very tiring, or they are too busy to. All of this compounds into a very unhealthy sedentary lifestyle.
Which, in turn, is worsened by how much rich countries consume. People tend to eat more carbohydrates, more refined sugars and starches, and fewer vegetables nowadays.
This means many people are taking in many more calories than they are expending. Even if you don’t believe me, you can just look at obesity statistics. Wealthier countries have much bigger problems with obesity.
This is very unhealthy for everyone. It is also bad for the environment. The more we consume the more we also tend to waste. Just think about how much garbage, especially food scraps, you throw away on a daily basis.
This means the world has to work harder, expend more resources, create more pollution and damage to the environment, just to get people food that is going to be wasted.
With all of this in mind, what are some ways we can help prevent this? How can someone work towards living a healthier lifestyle for both themselves, the people around them, and the environment?
If you currently live an unhealthy lifestyle, then it is going to take time to change to a healthier one. You probably aren’t going to be able to change over night. The trick is to make a lot of small incremental changes that all will compound on each other into a big change over time.
And that is the reason why my first piece of advice is to simply drink water. And, I don’t just mean drink more water. I mean try to drink nothing but water. Or at the very least, don’t drink any calories.
It is much easier and quicker to drink a ton of calories than it is to eat a large number of calories. This means that those sodas, double sugared teas, and glasses of orange juice are going to quickly add up.
Now, I am not saying to go nuts with this. Although, you can. Drinking only water is probably one of the biggest contributors to my losing weight. However, I digress.
What I am saying is that you should keep flavored beverages as a rare treat, and not a regular thirst quencher. Believe me, even though you don’t get the satisfaction of flavor from water, you feel so much more fresh when you drink water instead of something else.
It is also the best thirst quencher there is, it can have a lot of other health benefits. I find that many people get dehydrated, without even realizing it. This leads to problems focusing, pain, and headaches, along with other problems such as dizziness.
This seems especially true for people who spend a lot of time on computers or doing some other task that requires a lot of focus. If the water isn’t right in front of them they can forget to drink.
And, since you aren’t moving much, it can be hard to tell that you’re getting slowly dehydrated until you start to feel woozy or get a headache. This is very unhealthy and should be avoided. Always have water with you wherever you go.
Don’t Forget to Move!
I think that many people don’t realize how serious of an issue not moving around throughout the day is. Let us set aside the problems with obesity. Everyone knows about exercise and burning calories.
I want to talk about lesser known, yet just as serious medical conditions that can occur due to a lack of movement. First and foremost are hemorrhoids and other digestive trouble.
With a lack of movement (specifically sitting a lot), it is shown to increase the risk of hemorrhoids. This is a condition in which veins in your rectum become swollen. This can cause bleeding or discomfort. It is caused by straining and can also be caused by sitting for long periods.
Although not necessarily life threatening, it is still an uncomfortable condition that could become more serious and is best avoided.
Another problem with sitting is that movement helps with digestion. If you find that you have problems with indigestion, then maybe try taking a gentle walk a short while after you finish eating. The movement helps things move in your bowels and can improve digestion in general.
Another less serious problem that doesn’t necessarily have to do with sitting, is staring at screens for long periods. This can hurt your eyes, cause eyes strain, headaches, and make you just generally feel unwell.
So, it is recommended to not stare at a screen for long periods of time. Try to use the rule of 20s. This states that you should look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.
This will give your eyes a different focal length and help prevent eye strain. This can be great if you find yourself suffering from headaches often.
Finally, there is a very dangerous condition I would like to mention that is caused by a lack of movement. It is called Deep Vein Thrombosis, and it kills 60,000-100,000 Americans every year.
Moreover, about 10-30% of people diagnosed with Deep Vein Thrombosis die within a month of diagnosis. So, what is Deep Vein Thrombosis?
Deep Vein Thrombosis is a condition where a blood clot forms in one of your ‘deep veins’. In our case, this is due to blood pooling in the legs due to lack of movement.
The biggest problem is that after this clot forms, it can cause major damage to you. It can block blood circulation, or if it goes to your lungs, it can cause what is called Pulmonary Embolism. A quarter of people who suffer from a pulmonary embolism experience sudden instant death.
This is not a joke to mess around with. Sadly, it affects many truckers and can also affect office workers or really anyone who sits for a long time. Many times, truckers say they just can’t stop to walk around for a few minutes due to time constraints. I imagine the same is probably true for many other professions as well.
This means that tens of thousands of people are dying each year due to a preventable issue. So, I implore everyone to simply take their health into their own hands. Try to do what you can to keep yourself safe!