These days, a sedentary lifestyle is more the norm than the exception. People spend hours in front of the TV or computer and very little time being active. What they may not realize is that this type of lifestyle can have a negative impact on their metabolism.
When you’re inactive, your body burns fewer calories. Over time, this can lead to a slower metabolism and weight gain. Additionally, a sedentary lifestyle has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Being active is key to maintaining a healthy metabolism. Try to get in at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. If you find it difficult to fit in regular exercise, start by making small changes, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking further from the store entrance.
When you’re inactive, your body doesn’t need as much energy, so it starts to slow down its metabolic rate in order to conserve energy. This means that your body burns fewer calories, and over time, this can lead to weight gain. Additionally, inactive people are also more likely to experience insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes.
What is Metabolism?
Metabolism is a process that your body uses to create energy from the food you eat. It is made up of a series of chemical reactions that convert the food you eat into the energy your body needs to function. These reactions take place in all of your cells, and they rely on enzymes to help them along. Metabolism also includes all the activities that burn energy, such as breathing and moving.
Unfortunately, many of us are stuck in an office job that requires more sitting than moving around, or if we’re at home, there are plenty of opportunities to sit on the couch or lie on the bed. Other factors that contribute to sedentary lifestyles include a lack of available space for exercise, and an increase in available entertainment on devices, apps, and television.
Sedentary lifestyles have become a public health issue, causing various health problems, including chronic diseases. One of the most common issues arising from a sedentary lifestyle is that it can slow down and affect your metabolism.
Does that matter? Yes, it does, and here’s why.
Why Metabolism Matters
Metabolism refers to all the chemical processes that allow the body to break down molecules and synthesize compounds that the cells need to convert into energy. Or, put another way, it’s how your food is converted into fuel. Several factors affect your body’s metabolism, such as physical activity, age, gender, and hormone function.
Metabolism allows the body to function normally, which is called homeostasis. It’s an important series of processes in the body that break down nutrients, build muscles, repair cells, and much more. When an individual’s metabolism isn’t working properly, it disrupts essential chemical processes, leading to health problems.
How Can a Sedentary Lifestyle Slow Down Metabolism?
When it comes to weight loss, many people mistakenly believe that diet and exercise are the only two things that matter. In reality, your metabolism also plays a role in how easily you lose or gain weight. And, for many people, a sedentary lifestyle can slow down their metabolism.
There are a few reasons why a sedentary lifestyle can slow down your metabolism. For one, when you’re inactive, your body doesn’t need as much energy, so it burns fewer calories. Additionally, when you’re not active, your muscle mass decreases. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, so the less muscle you have, the slower your metabolism will be.
Effects of Sedentary Lifestyle on Metabolism
Physical activities help the body to burn calories at a faster rate even when the person is at rest. Yes, even when you sleep you burn calories. Your body doesn’t stop working, doing what it needs to do to keep you breathing and living.
When your body regularly lacks physical activity, your metabolism slows down. Consequently, it affects the body’s ability to properly regulate blood sugar levels and blood pressure. It also impairs the body’s ability to burn fat, reduces insulin sensitivity, and diminishes vascular function.
An impaired metabolism can lead to a range of health problems, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, depression, and cognitive impairment.
You’ll know that your metabolism has likely slowed down if you experience some or all of the following symptoms:
- You’ve gained weight and can’t shed the extra pounds.
- You always feel tired even when you think you’ve had plenty of rest.
- You experience migraines or frequent headaches.
- You’re often in a bad mood.
- You seem to be forgetful.
- You always crave sugar and unhealthy carbs, such as fried foods and bread.
What to Do to Avoid Developing a Slow Metabolism
Reducing sedentary behaviours and increasing physical activities are key to improving your metabolism. We’re not even talking about comprehensive workout routines. Simple movements, such as walking and standing can help you burn calories and keep your metabolism more active too.
- Avoid sitting for long hours. When working at your computer, stand up every 30 minutes and do some stretching.
- Take a walk during your lunch break. It will also help you digest your food better.
- Engage in hobbies or sports that will get you moving around, such as gardening or golf.
- Find time for exercise every single day.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
- Find something to do at home, such as cleaning the kitchen, vacuuming the carpet, or changing the look of your living area.
Aside from physical activities, there are other steps you can do to avoid a slowing metabolism.
- Don’t cut down your calorie intake drastically. Do it gradually so as not to trigger a starvation response.
- Eat protein-rich foods, which help the body burn calories. Through the thermic effect, your metabolism temporarily increases after digestion.
- Get high-quality sleep. Insufficient sleep slows down your metabolism, which can lead to weight gain. Make sure you get uninterrupted sleep every night.
It’s time to make some changes and reduce the time you spend being sedentary and increase your physical activities, which can help improve your metabolism and lower the risks of many diseases. If you’re living a sedentary life, it’s time to get moving. Start with our tips above and work your way up to a more active lifestyle and a healthier you.
What Are the Health Risks of a Slow Metabolism?
A slow metabolism can be caused by many things, including genetics, diet, and age. When your metabolism is slow, your body doesn’t burn calories as efficiently as it should. This can lead to weight gain and a variety of health risks, including heart disease and diabetes. There are several things you can do to help boost your metabolism, including eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.
How to Break the Sedentary Lifestyle Cycle
The sedentary lifestyle cycle is one that is hard to break. Most people find themselves in this trap because they are unaware of the dangers it poses to their health. This cycle can be harmful to your health, both physically and mentally. It’s important to understand how this cycle works and what you can do to break it.
The Benefits of Breaking The Sedentary Lifestyle Cycle
We are a society of sitting. We sit in our cars on the way to work, we sit at our desks all day, and then we come home and sit some more. And all of this sitting is really bad for us. A sedentary lifestyle has been linked to obesity, heart disease, cancer, and a host of other health problems. But there is good news: it’s never too late to break the cycle of sedentarism and start enjoying the many benefits of a healthy active lifestyle.
In conclusion, a sedentary lifestyle can lead to a slower metabolism and affect your overall health. It is important to get up and move around every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Taking the time to be active will help improve your overall well-being.