Inactivity can lead to an increased risk of developing some forms of diabetes and heart disease. How do we test this on inactive individuals to see if it is really true? Inactive folks are also often overweight, with poor eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle. This study had some results:
“To explore this theory in more depth, researchers at the University of Missouri took a group of healthy and active young adults and requested they decrease their physical activity dramatically. Volunteers were asked to reduce the amount of steps they took daily by nearly half. Glucose levels were closely monitored to determine if inactivity affected the body’s ability to control blood sugar levels. After analyzing the findings, the results were rather startling. When the volunteer’s remained inactive and still consumed a balanced, healthy diet, their blood sugar levels spiked significantly after meals (compared to when they were active and ate the same diet). Even more alarming was the fact that these spikes successively grew each day they remained inactive.” from Homecare Assistance
Even if you eat a healthy balanced diet, it is all about the movement. Move and you bring glucose levels back to normal. Stop movement and they go up. This could not be clearer from the research. It is very straightforward. It is more about what you do than what you eat. So what will you do?
List five simple walking movements you could add to your day if you do not have a physical handicap that blocks your path:
1. Walk around the room – put on music if you want – just stand up and move for 15 minutes.
2. After you eat, walk outside for the same amount of time it took you to eat. Ten or fifteen minutes would help if more time is not available.
3. Hide the remote control or put it in the next room and get up to find it to change the channel. Literally, this amount of movement could change your life based on these findings.
4. Walk the dog. Borrow a dog if you don’t have one. Or walk the cat. Follow the cat.
5. Go to the store and walk with the shopping cart around the store. It may not be exciting, but with the prop to lean on, it can add just that small amount of exercise to your day.
Remember this simple principle. Eat + Sit = Sick.
If you are a health provider, don’t let that elderly person just sit, please get in motion together. It is better for both of you.
Jaleh Neshat, Home Care Assistance, Raleigh, NC, where the focus is on The Balanced Care Method™ for home care in North Carolina. Read more how-to information on senior care on the website.