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Monday, February 6, 2023

Sedentary Lifestyle: The Silent Killer

Physical activity acts as an antioxidant and rejuvenates the body, mind and spirit. It improves appetite, digestion, assimilation, excretion, circulation and respiration. It also improves sleep and sharpens the sense organs. Due to balance in endocrine and nervous system there is better control and coordination. The musculoskeletal system becomes strong and flexible. The blood is detoxified and complexion enhances. There is improvement in immunity power and aging is slowed down.

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By: Dr. Suman Bharali

Sedentary lifestyle is the leading cause for many non-communicable diseases like diabetes mellitus, hypertension, ischemic heart diseases, obesity, dyslipidaemia, poly cystic ovarian disease, arthritis and related with some psychological disorders. Everyday new inventions are coming out to make our lives comfortable and to save time. But once addicted to comfort a person stops developing and his or her capabilities starts reducing. It is evident from the study of evolution that if an organism does not utilize any part of its body for period it becomes vestigial or weak. Thus, if one does not utilize certain part of their body, they will become less efficient with time. Then, during time of emergency or need such person cannot cope with the adversities well.

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Genetically we are not built for sedentary life. Early humans had very tough life and remained very much active throughout the day. Everything was manual and had to be earned by struggle. The weak would be conquered and vanish according to survival of the fittest. One had to be fit, strong and flexible for any fight or flight situation. They had to walk long distances, run, swim, jump, climb, pull, push, lift weight, throw and do a lot of other physical activities to gather essential items and for survival. Everybody needs to be physically and mentally strong to face any situation in life. As it is said “Rome was not built in a day”, one cannot become fit overnight following some shortcut. It needs strong will power, determination, consistent sincere practice and a disciplined daily routine. Then gradually one can enhance his or her endurance and efficiency.

The new generation has become very much addicted to the modern electronic gadgets. Very less children go out to play on the ground. Most of them spend maximum time indoors either studying or in front of electronic screens. It might be television, computer, smart phone etc. Due to this lot of children have become less efficient and unhealthy mentally and physically. Adults have also become equally inactive and addictive to these gadgets. There is lack of concentration, patience and tolerance. There is craving for instant gratification or quick reward. Such person can’t produce any quality result in any field.

People are becoming busy for nothing. There is no time to communicate with the person nearby; connect with the nature or to understand the Universe. One has information about a lot of things from all over the world but don’t know what’s going in their body, mind, relationships or community. No beneficial work is being done and time just pass slips away scrolling social media feeds, watching online series, online shopping or playing some games. Important tasks keep piling up due to procrastination and lack of will power.

Lot of people don’t know about their potentials and lot of talents remain unexpressed. This is the cause for frustration in a lot of people who knows they have the potential but never utilized it. Thus, one should meditate regularly to become aware of themselves and the Universe around them. One should schedule their to do list and prioritize according to importance to finish them in time. Rather than living in an imaginary world in comfort zone one should face the reality and work on things that are important for their life. One has to sacrifice a few luxuries to gain long lasting rewards. In this fast and vast world what not to do is more important than what is to be done. As we have limited time and can’t do everything by self. Thus, we need to live in harmony and cooperate with each other as we all are interdependent. By working as team, we can get better result and tasks get simplified. Every person possesses some special qualities and therefore every life is important. Harmony creates overall development and conflict creates erosion of both surfaces.

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Every person should inculcate some form of physical activity in their day-to-day life irrespective of their occupation, gender and age. Children should spend some time outdoors everyday away from their comfort and safe zone to toughen up. Children should be allowed to learn in pragmatic way by exposing to calculated risks. They will understand the nature, components of the universe, other human beings better without prejudice. They playing with other children a child will learn to communicate, work in team, discipline, sportsmanship, develop trust and empathy towards others. They will understand the risks and learn how to be safe. This will make them self-reliant and confident.

Everyone should have some form of physical activity in their daily routine. It might be some sports, brisk walking, running, swimming, dancing or working out in a gym regularly. One should do some adventure occasionally. Taking calculated risks expands our limits and makes us stronger.

Engaging in some physical activity has several benefits on body, mind and spirit. Rigorous physical activity increases the heart rate and enhances circulation throughout the body. It clears the stagnant blockages in the vessels and supplies fresh blood to every organ in the body. Fresh blood carries ample oxygen and nutrients to every cell of the organs. This enhances the metabolism and revitalizes them. Enhanced circulation also helps in excreting the end products of metabolism in the cells through lungs, kidneys, gastrointestinal and skin.

When the minute channels in the body which are called srota in Ayurveda are cleared and metabolism is enhanced the stores fats and carbohydrates are utilized. Also, many enzymes, hormones and biochemicals are secreted properly. Proper physical exercise increases stamina, endurance, strength and flexibility of the body. The mind focuses on the activity of the moment and breaks the chain of monotonous thoughts which are the cause for depression and anxiety. A sportsperson has disciplined lifestyle and avoid bad habits which may hamper their performance. They manage the time better and are enthusiastic and optimistic. They eat, sleep and act consciously. They avoid addictions to intoxicating substances and distractions causing laziness and procrastination. The toxins in the body are removed properly and biochemicals remain in balance maintaining the homeostasis in the body.

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Physical activity acts as an antioxidant and rejuvenates the body, mind and spirit. It improves appetite, digestion, assimilation, excretion, circulation and respiration. It also improves sleep and sharpens the sense organs. Due to balance in endocrine and nervous system there is better control and coordination. The musculoskeletal system becomes strong and flexible. The blood is detoxified and complexion enhances. There is improvement in immunity power and aging is slowed down.

So, one should be aware of their sedentary lifestyle and indulge themselves in conscious physical activities amidst their busy daily schedule. One should not sit or lie down for long time. One should get up and shake themselves at regular intervals. One can walk to nearby market, to and from bus stop, take stairs instead of lifts in buildings, use cycle instead of cars or bikes, stretch in-between sedentary work. Movement is a sign of life so everyone should keep moving and be alive completely. (The author is an M.D. Ayurvedic Medicine based in Guwahati & can be reached at bharali.suman@rediffmail.com)

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The Hills Timeshttps://www.thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
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