The Way Out - Deepstash

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Why exercise alone won't save us

The Way Out

The way to change this sedentary epidemic:

  • Exercise and be active all day, not just for an hour a day.
  • Rethink your working style.
  • Limit the number of sitting hours.
  • Make it a habit to eat right.

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Why exercise alone won't save us

Why exercise alone won't save us

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2019/jan/03/why-exercise-alone-wont-save-us

theguardian.com

6

Key Ideas

Exercise Defined

Exercise is a  movement of the body to enhance physical fitness. 

Most people know that exercise is important for the physical development of the self, yet a majority of them are skipping exercise often.

Decrease in Human Strength

Historic evidence suggests that for many thousands of years, human beings were more active and stronger than today. 

The early humans had increased movement and activity, like going for long and tiring hunts, walking long distances that took weeks, making the prehistoric humans fitter than the best athletes today.

Technology as the Culprit

Technological breakthroughs have reduced our activity to a great extent ( vacuum cleaners, washer-dryers, self-cleaning ovens, and even cars).

The rise of the internet gave us a whole lot of technology, curbing our need to move even more.

Change in Work Profiles

While we aren't replacing our saved energy with a different activity, in the past 70 years, hard and manual labor, which required toil and sweat, has been replaced by desk jobs, leading to sedentary lifestyles.

Sedentary Lifestyle Death Toll

Sedentary lifestyle diseases like heart disease/strokes and diabetes are the leading cause of death in the world, according to the World Health Organization.

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The battle between reason and emotions

To understand the conflict between our good intentions and our contrary impulses, we can look at the dual process model. Our behavior are divided into two categories:

  • The ra...
Sedentary lifestyle and evolution

The attraction toward sedentary can be viewed in light of evolution. When it was challenging to gain access to food, minimizing effort allowed for the saving of energy that was crucial for survival.

This tendency could explain the current pandemic of physical inactivity since genes allowing individuals to survive are likely to be present in the next generation.

Moving toward an active lifestyle
  • The first step toward an active lifestyle is to become aware of this force that is driving us to inactivity.
  • We likely engage in physical activity only when it is fun or necessary. To promote physical activity, make it pleasant by restructuring your environment to favour it, especially during your daily trips.
  • The architecture of new buildings should also encourage physical activity by prioritizing access to stairs, or standing desks, etc.
Calories burned every day

The calories we burn every day include not only movement but all the energy needed to run the thousands of functions that keep us alive. 

Exercise and health

Exercise is like a wonder drug for many health outcomes: reducing blood pressure, reduces the risk of diabetes of heart diseases and slows developing cognitive impairment from Alzheimer's and dementia. 

But as for losing weight, it helps more in weight maintenance than in losing the actual weight.

Human energy balance

Exercise alone has a modest contribution to weight loss. But when you alter one component, cutting the number of calories you eat in a day to lose weight, doing more exercise than usual, this sets off a cascade of changes in the body that affect how many calories you use up and, in turn, your bodyweight.

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Make time for exercise
  • Pick a regular (sedentary) part of your routine and switch it out for an active choice: Instead of the elevator, take the stairs;
  • Commit to movement after the most frustrating, st...