There is far more to exercise than just losing weight. 
In fact, exercising can provide you with so many health benefits while minimising the many risks that a sedentary lifestyle brings. 
Take a look at our blog here to understand more. 
The Health Risks Of A Sedentary Lifestyle 
There is far more to exercise than just losing weight. 
In fact, exercising can provide you with so many health benefits while minimising the many risks that a sedentary lifestyle brings. 
Your appearance should almost be an afterthought when you consider how many other benefits there are to offer. 
While there’s no need to have the timetable of an Olympic athlete, you may not recognise the signs of a sedentary lifestyle. After all, nobody is likely to self identify as a couch potato. But the problem is that with the increased use of technology, fast-food outlets and other modern facilities, it can be easy to fall into the habit of moving very little. 
Take office workers, for example. If you spend your days sitting at a desk, you’re at risk of developing many health problems. While changing careers isn’t likely a viable option, there are things you can do to minimise the impact that your job has on your health. Add to that spending your evenings in front of the television and you can see how this can quickly spiral. 
A Vast Percentage Of The Population Are Far Too Inactive 
According to a 2017 study published by the British Heart Foundation, around 39% of UK adults – that's around 20 million people – are failing to meet Government recommendations for physical activity. 
Around 11.8 million women across the UK are insufficiently active, compared to around 8.3 million men. 
Overall women are 36% more likely to be classified as physically inactive than men. 
This is a horrifying statistic and with the past 18 months of frequent lockdowns, inactivity has surely risen further. 
Sedentary lifestyles can be the cause of many problems, including: 
- Obesity 
- Heart diseases, including coronary artery disease and heart attack 
- High blood pressure 
- High cholesterol 
- Stroke 
- Metabolic syndrome 
- Type 2 diabetes 
- Certain cancers, including colon, breast, and uterine cancers 
- Osteoporosis and falls 
- Increased feelings of depression and anxiety 
But alongside all of these troubling conditions, there is another risk factor that is so often overlooked. 
Something that can affect anybody, at any time, but often women are more prone to, because of their hormones… 
Blood Clots 
Over 900,000 people annually will experience blood clots and of those, 100,000 are likely to be fatal. 
Did you know that taking postmenopausal hormone therapies, birth control or even pregnancy can increase your risk of blood clots? This is generally attributed to the rise in estrogen that occurs. 
While the risks are still reasonably low (one in 3000 women taking the pill will experience blood clots), this is an increased factor that men don’t have to consider. 
But what else is a major cause of blood clots? 
Sedentary periods are a huge risk factor for blood clots. 
Know what else is a factor? 
Both of these are a key contributors to the 900,000 cases discovered each year. 
While increasing your activity levels and losing weight won’t necessarily prevent clots from occurring, it will definitely decrease your risk. 
Particularly if you have a family history of blood clots, or have previously had one before, it’s something to take into serious consideration. 
What Are Blood Clots? 
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) occurs when your blood pools during inactivity and thickens into a clot. It’s more likely to happen in the lower part of your body, but can also be seen in your arm or other areas. Clots can also spread to the lungs, or elsewhere in the body, causing serious problems such as PE (Pulmonary Embolism). 
In fact, one particular case that I’m personally aware of includes a female in her early 20’s suffering from CVST (Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis), which are essentially blood clots in the brain. The cause? A combination of birth control hormones, inactivity and excess body weight. 
If you’ve ever stayed in hospital for a long period or have been through surgery, you’ll likely have been given a combination of things including pressure stockings and anticoagulants, because being sedentary increases the risk of these silent killers so drastically. 
How Can You Keep Moving Throughout The Working Day? 
If you’re finding yourself tied to your desk throughout the working day, or struggle with mobility for other reasons, then there are some low-impact activities you can easily factor into your daily routine to help to keep your blood flowing: 
If you’re able to, simply getting up and walking around frequently can help to improve your circulation. Don’t forget to get up from your desk throughout the day, no matter how busy you might be. Kitchen and bathroom breaks, parking a little further away from the office or even pacing while talking on the phone can easily increase your step count. 
Chair Exercises 
Remembering these useful, simple, low-impact exercises can keep your body healthy throughout the day: 
Foot Pumps. Simply place your feet flat on the floor and then lift your toes forward, towards you. Hold this position for a few seconds and then lower your foot back to the floor. Raise your heels and hold for another few seconds. Repeat this several times. 
Ankle Circles. Raise both of your feet from the ground and move your ankles in a circular direction. Why not mix things up and try different shapes, such as alphabet letters, instead of simply tracing circles. 
Leg Raises. Simply raise your foot from the floor and straighten your leg slowly, holding this position for a moment before slowly returning your foot to the floor. Repeat multiple times with each leg. 
Remember to exercise regularly… 
Taking part in regular cardio activity, wherever you’re able to, is absolutely the key. Whether this is as simple as going for frequent walks or jogs, working out inside the gym or going swimming, dancing, cycling… There are a whole host of activities available and there’s bound to be something that inspires you to get your body moving, your heartbeat rising and your blood pumping. 
Interested in finding out more about how you can get more active, while improving your physical health? I’m here to help. Fill out my enquiry form here today to initiate a conversation and find out more about my personal training services and the benefits they can provide, or follow me on Social Media to see more top tips and information. 
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