If we go by the general scientific meaning, then physical inactivity means that you are not participating even in a 30 minutes workout session daily that may be as simple as walking. Maybe, we are busy, right? Well, the huge cost that physical inactivity brings with itself will blow up your minds so keep reading ahead. For some people, accomplishing this threshold is not a big deal as they take part in community sports or games and enjoy themselves.
However, my concern is for those individuals who don’t allow themselves to be physically active throughout the day. A big problem is, unawareness, people do not know what physical inactivity can cause and hence show no urgency in changing their lifestyles. Secondly, some do know about the benefits but cannot implement it in their lives. An online survey done by me revealed these results which will be attached below.
Physical Inactivity: A Killer
I don’t know where to even begin from because this list is kind of endless. Yes, the dangers of physical inactivity are life-threatening, far more than road accidents, and even the COVID-19 virus that’s spreading right now. The good part of this is that there is no rapid decline in your body functions. It’s more like a slow poison that fills you up with fatal diseases.
Problems Related to Your Muscular Fitness
Not everyone who hits the gym or exercises wants to be a bodybuilder. So, just get that word out of your mind. Even as a normal person you need to do strength training. You need to train your various muscle groups and use some resistance in the process. The intensity of your workout will depend on your goal but now let’s talk about people who do nothing.
So what happens when people don’t do strength training? Do they die? Well, not that easily. After the age of 25, they begin to lose muscles at the rate of half a pound every year just like the slow poison effect I was mentioning before. Now, as the person reaches his or her’s 40s and 50s, as you can guess they would have lost a tremendous amount of muscles unless they had trained them. After losing so many muscles what happens and why is it a problem?
Muscles need a lot of energy for maintenance and use almost 20% of your energy while you are asleep. When you lose these muscles due to inactivity and aging, the energy that was used to maintain them is no longer require but you are still consuming the same diet. Hence, this energy which was previously used to preserve muscles will now be stored as fat. Yes, you read that right. As this fat accumulates over time, it makes you obese, and do I even need to show you where it ultimately leads? Even with good dietary habits, a person will face this if they don’t exercise. This loss of muscle is often termed as sarcopenia.
This explains why older people have their skin hanging, while some are just obese even if they did not eat the fast foods you think they might have. Now, a person who doesn’t know about sarcopenia and about this entire theory will not indulge in exercises and that is what is happening right now, people are unaware. As evaluated, this brings obesity followed by problems like high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Now, people chase medical help and seek permanent medication that never stops. I have had that topic covered here. The increase of fat in the body will give rise to immense risks and finally, a time comes when it is too late.
Problems Related to Heart
Your cardiovascular system or in simple words, a system whose prime organ is the heart, is depending on your daily dose of physical activity. But let’s skip the part where we exercise and lead a healthy lifestyle. Let’s just proceed to, what most of us do. So, when you don’t do cardiovascular exercise, you don’t improve your aerobic fitness. Definitely, this will not make you cripple but your fitness levels won’t increase either. Now, who cares if fitness levels don’t go high, we will still be alive right? Well, yeah but let’s move ahead in time.
Cardio exercises are different from strength training because here we do activities like walking, jogging, and cycling which improves our cardiovascular system. When one is sedentary and they will not be training their heart or lungs or the circulatory system. This will gradually weaken the strength of their heart and make it prone to coronary artery diseases. The risk of CAD is super high, just like cigarette smoking, and kills more people than smoking does. As you age, many degenerative processes occur in the body, and fat levels rise as discussed earlier. So, physical inactivity directly pushes you towards such chronic diseases.
How Large is The Problem of Physical Inactivity?
Physical inactivity results in about 35% of deaths that were due to coronary heart diseases. When over 700,000 deaths in the USA alone in a year, heart disease is a major killer. In adults, almost 60% of the Americans were physically inactive and this can make your guess the stats of countries with bigger populations like India. Stats can be found here too.
The Cost of Physical Inactivity
Summarizing all the details quickly, we will discuss the actual cost of physical inactivity. You will be surprised to know that at every stage of life there is a cost that you will pay if you are physically inactive.
The short term cost that most teenagers and people below the age of 40 pay are metabolic disorders and weight-related problems. The intermediate-term cost is none other than all the chronic diseases like obesity, sugar problems, high B.P., and so on. The long term cost is premature death. What can be worse? Some people think you have to exercise very hard to be fit but that’s not true! Even moderate exercise benefits a lot. It is high time that we realize what physical inactivity can cause and take a step towards a better version of our lives.
Who wants to live 100 years when you are only gonna survive on a bed?
Live your life by improving the quality of it.