Maxine A. Ismael
The proverbial term “couch potato” has a meaning that goes beyond all sarcasm and humor. People who think they are active, by erratically exercising less than three times a week, for twenty minutes or less at a time, are actually classed as sedentary, as is someone who sits at a desk job all day, only to unwind in front of the television all night – mindlessly devouring chips and drinking coke. The consequences of such a lifestyle if prolonged, have detrimental effects on ones health. Does anyone cherish the thought of having a lower limb amputated, as a result of gangrene, facilitated by “type two diabetes” after years of ...view middle of the document...
One of every five is obese.” Pollan’s statement is confirmed when for instance, a Burger King van is frequently seen driving down suburban streets, delivering greasy and sugary delights - fast food is now even faster, with no need to move from the couch. No wonder we are a nation of fat. So how can these inactive behaviors be altered?
There is a simple solution to reversing sedentary tendencies and all that is needed to start, is a pair of comfortable shoes and a positive attitude. However, increasing physical activity does require some commitment and small goals can be set at first, so they can be reached with a sense of achievement. For example, when using a car, park a little further away than usual and walk the remaining distance to a destination. Perhaps give up the car altogether and cycle. Take the stairs instead of an elevator where possible. Take out the dog more often and increase the distance walked. Subtle changes are a way to re-educate ones “bad habit” behavior and increase the endorphin level or “feel good” hormones in the body. Incentives to increase activity, becomes greater when a person undertakes an activity they enjoy, or performs it with others. Comaderie has a great psychological effect and result on helping change sedentary ways.
There are some arguments that exercise causes physical injury to the body such as the joints and the back. Although horror stories of runners having multiple surgeries to their knees, or football players having extended physical therapy to their shoulders after an injury may scare some people, none of this can be compared to someone who has high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, digestive issues, osteoporosis and is depressed and overweight. That will cause stress to the joints and back, because of the sheer body weight the joints have to endure, or the lack of nutrients from a bad diet. Those who are active for most of their lives regardless of an injury, have a much lesser chance of developing serious...