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     Volume 7 Issue 24 | June 13, 2008 |

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When Relaxing May Be A Problem

There is nothing more relaxing than spending a whole day doing completely nothing. In fact, those of us who work long hours often crave a day when we do not have to worry about anything -- a day when yummy food just magically keeps coming, the best shows are on TV all in one go, there are no responsibilities, and literally no reason to even move from either your bed or your TV couch for hours.

However, we do not realise how dangerous and bad for us this lifestyle can be. The sedentary lifestyle, as it is better known as, is most significant to the office-working class of Bangalis. Why? Because we spend half our time sitting in front of a computer at the office and the other half sitting in a rickshaw, CNG, bus or car -- sometimes for hours on end -- waiting either to get home or to the office. In addition, half the time when we are home, we get very little physical exercise. This is not to say that we have nothing to do and no responsibilities when we go home, just that some people do not have to exert themselves physically. What ends up happening as a result is that people end up harming their bodies even more.

In fact, a sedentary lifestyle is a huge factor in how people become obese. In addition this lifestyle causes an early deterioration in one's health, contributing to diseases such as type II diabetes, heart disease, depression and hemorrhoids.

A sedentary lifestyle is one which does not exercise the heart at all. Since the heart is also a muscle, it needs to keep up its flexibility, strength and endurance. The active heart pumps about 25% more blood than an inactive heart when it is resting and 50% more blood during exercise. Therefore it is imperative for those who are prone to this kind of lifestyle to try to do about 30-35 minutes of cardiovascular exercise every day, be it walking in the park, running on a treadmill, swimming, jogging or cycling.

In addition there are other ways of fitting some small form of exercise into your albeit busy, but physical exertion-free lifestyle. For example, ask your driver, CNG or rickshaw-wallah to let you off a few blocks away from your house or office so that you can walk the remainder of the way. If you are taking a bus get off on the stop after your stop so you can try walking a little. Also, the stairs instead of the elevator (there is nothing like climbing stairs to get your heart pumping. When you are shopping, try to walk around the whole store, a couple of times. When you are watching TV or talking on the phone, try to pace and walk around the house and stretch every once in a while. And last but not least, put on some music and dance around in your house just to get the adrenaline flowing.

By keeping yourself physically active you are not only positively affecting your physical health, but also your mental health. Your mind reacts to the state that your body is in. When the body is complacent and lying down or sitting down for a long time, the mind becomes equally complacent and dull, often leading to depression and unhappiness. However, when the body is active the adrenaline rushes to the brain, causing your mind to be alert, sharp and as a result more positive about life in general.

Compiled from the Internet


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