New Heights Physical Therapy reveals the negative effects of inactivity in Portland OR and Vancouver WA

It’s easy for us to say that physical activity is key to improving your health. This could be running or biking out in nature, doing reps in the gym, or simply going about the house doing your daily chores. You’ve heard it before from countless sources, but have you ever wondered why physical activity is so important? What are the effects of an inactive lifestyle, on both a physical, mental, and psychological level? 

Health Risks of Inactivity 

A recent study by JAMA cites that 80% of US adults and adolescents are insufficiently active. This raises concerns on a number of different levels, as it’s physical activity that promotes healthy growth and development while also reducing the risk of many chronic diseases for people of all ages. Even a consistent rate of moderate-to-vigorous activity can offset many of the risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle. 

Short Term Effects

Some of the short-term effects of an inactive lifestyle can include: 

  • Weight gain
  • Weakened immune system
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Poor blood circulation
  • A decrease in skeletal muscle mass
  • Higher cholesterol levels

Long Term Effects

Over time, a sedentary lifestyle can lead to more serious health conditions, like: 

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Type-2 diabetes
  • Certain cancers
  • Anxiety and depression

Physical Activity Guidelines

How do you know how much physical activity you need? The United States Department of Health and Human Services published a helpful guide describing the variety, intensity, and duration of physical activity that people need in every stage of life. 

  • They suggest that preschool-aged children (aged 3-5 years) be physically active in a variety of ways throughout the day. 
  • Children and adolescents (ages 6-17) should get at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity that focuses on aerobics as well as muscle-strengthening. 
  • For adults, you need at least 150-300 minutes of moderate activity in a week. 
  • Older adults should, if possible, get 150 minutes per week of moderate activity focusing on balance training and muscle-strengthening. 

Physical Activity FAQ

What are the benefits of physical activity? 

Physical activity can improve bone health and cognitive function. It can reduce the risk of certain cancers, postpartum depression in pregnant women, and prevent fall injuries in older adults. 

What kinds of physical activity are there?

The four main varieties of physical activity are aerobic, muscle-strengthening, bone-strengthening, and stretching. Aerobics move large muscles like your arms and legs, muscle-strengthening improves strength and endurance, bone-strengthening helps your bones support the weight of your body and strengthening increases flexibility. 

What is a moderate-intensity exercise?

On a scale of zero to ten, a moderate-intensity exercise would be a five or six. Your hearts, lungs and muscles will work harder, and while you should be able to speak clearly you will be unable to sing.

How can New Heights Therapy help me be more active?

New Heights Therapy focuses both on recovery and training. Whether you aim to bike safer or run with the right form, our therapists can start you on your health journey right.

Simple Activities You Can Do to Prevent Issues in the Future

If you’ve been inactive, you may want to start slow to prevent injuries. Here are some simple activities you can do in your daily life:

At home

  • Housework, cleaning, yard work, and gardening.
  • Stand up while on the phone
  • Stretch or lift hand weights while watching TV
  • Go on a walk around the neighborhood
  • Exercise using a workout video

At work

  • If you sit, get up and move around at least once an hour
  • See if your company can get you a stand-up desk
  • Take the stairs
  • Use your break to walk around the building

Monitored physical exercise and activity can help inactive patients develop new and positive habits. At New Heights Physical Therapy, we help our patients lead a healthier life through movement and education. You owe it to your body to lead the best and most productive life possible! If you’re interested in learning more ways to get active, give the professionals at New Heights Physical Therapy a call today.

Negative Effects of Inactivity in Portland OR and Vancouver WA

Seeing Patients in the following Portland and Vancouver areas:

SE Portland | NE Portland | Gresham | Happy Valley | Clackamas | Milwaukie | Mt Tabor | Belmont | Lloyd Center | Laurelhurst | Hollywood District | Downtown Portland | Beaverton | Tigard | Hillsboro | Cedar Mill | Cornell | Sylvan | Cedar Hills Downtown Vancouver | Fruit Valley | Hazel Dell | Felida | Cascade Park | Camas Washington

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