On Fridays, we speak about travel and exercise. Getting out into the world is good for you, physically and mentally. Staying active helps you enjoy better health while also getting you out of a rut. We’ve been speaking about holiday travel and how to stay healthy while in transit. We wanted to take a look at inactivity’s dangers today. Traveling is hard, but there are a lot of reasons to exercise when you get where you’re going.
For many of us, once we have traveled for the holidays, we want to relax, kick back and do as little as possible. We’re busy all year and the holidays are a chance to finally catch our breath. However, research is now showing that even short spells of inactivity can be harmful to your health.
Researchers at the Univ. of Liverpool had volunteers significantly reduce their physical activity for two weeks. They saw that people lost bone density and gained significant amounts of fat around their waistline. Older people saw fat increases of up to 28 percent.
“The severe impact of short-term inactivity on our health is hugely important to communicate to people,” said study author Juliette Norman. “If the gym is hard to get to, people should be encouraged to just meet 10,000 steps as even this can guard against reductions in muscle and bone health, as well as maintaining healthy levels of body fat.”
In addition to gaining fat, older people in the study lost eight percent of their leg strength. Older people’s cardiorespiratory health — the body’s ability to provide oxygen to muscles during activity — also fell by almost 10 percent. Energy production in the cells decreased by 19 percent. Researchers worry that this could have permanent negative impacts on a person’s health.
When the weather outside is frightful, no one can blame you for wanting to stay where it’s delightful. However, this winter and holiday season, get up and move, take a few laps of the house, use the stairs, dance to your favorite holiday songs — like Santa in our banner! There are lots of ways to stay in your healthy groove. Embrace new types of energy and do your best to keep up with your daily health routine — your body and health will thank you. And you can enjoy the holidays without worrying about if your time off’s damaging your health!