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  • Writer's pictureJulie Manley

The Risks of Being Inactive

A lack of physical activity is a risk factor for many, MANY health problems! You know this, we all know this, but let us review a few medical problems caused by being inactive.

Inactive people are more likely to develop:

  • Cardiovascular disease (heart attacks and strokes)

  • Type 2 Diabetes

  • High blood pressure

  • Increasing feelings of anxiety and depression

  • Certain cancers

  • Falls and injuries associated with falls

  • Osteoporosis

  • Early cognitive decline

  • Increased risk and disability from arthritis

  • Weakened immune system

It is a slippery slope when you are inactive. Inactivity leads to weakness, stiffness and balance problems. These, in turn, lead to more inactivity, more disability and loss of independence. Older people who are inactive for only two weeks, lose muscle mass and power in their lower limbs which leads to mobility problems.

Some facts about activity:

  • Studies show that physically active people are less likely to develop coronary heart disease than those who are inactive. This research even accounts for smoking, alcohol use, and diet

  • Physically active overweight people significantly reduce their risk for heart disease with regular physical activity

  • There is a clear link between physical activity levels and cognitive performance, suggesting exercise is an effective way to reduce cognitive decline (and memory loss) as we age

  • Being active benefits bone and muscle strength regardless of age as increased muscle strength stimulates bone formation and decreasing bone resorption, which reduces osteoporosis and fracture risk

  • People with arthritis who take part in physical activity can reduce their arthritis pain and improve their function, mood, and quality of life.

  • Moderate aerobic exercise increases the amount of slow wave sleep you get. Slow wave sleep refers to deep sleep, where the brain and body have a chance to rejuvenate. Exercise can also help to stabilize your mood and decompress the mind, a cognitive process that is important for naturally transitioning to sleep.

150 mins of moderate to high intensity exercise per week is recommended. A physiotherapist can help you figure out what exercises are best for you while considering your symptoms and medical ailments. We can teach you how to exercise and help you find an exercise plan that you can sustain! Call us today for an assessment.

Here are some of the references used in this blog, but honestly, there are millions.

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