A lot of people in the United States suffer from a debilitating, and often fatal disease: laziness. I know that being lazy isn’t necessarily a disease, but it does play a powerful role in obesity. In turn, this leads to things like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, decreased mental capacities and even the onset of osteoporosis. So even though being lazy isn’t the direct culprit, it will be a linking factor in health.
How Laziness Hurts You
One of the obvious aspects to being content with sitting on the couch is the lack of physical movement. It’s this lack of activity that propagates weight gain. If you overeat and have your butt glued to the couch for nine hours a day, don’t expect a trim and slim body. What else can you expect to accomplish while being too lazy to move?
When you don’t move your joints and limbs, these parts of the body don’t get the activity they need to be flexible. For example, a standing toe touch keeps your lower back limber. If you don’t do these after a year, you won’t be able to bend as far as you used to. It’s the same concept for many other parts of your body.
Lack of Heart and Blood Vessel Health
Your arms, legs and waist are not the only muscles that benefit from physical activity. Your heart is a muscle as well, which needs to be worked out in order to stay healthy and strong. Those who live a sedentary lifestyle are often the ones at greater risk of heart disease and other complications. It will also increase your risk of heart attack should you increase the heart rate without proper preparation.
Reduced Muscle Development
You don’t have to be a body builder in order to appreciate increased strength. Even 20 minutes a day with a pair of 10-pound dumbbells can make a profound impact in things like grocery shopping, house cleaning and golf. If you’re too lazy to move your body, the muscle mass may also begin to deteriorate. The body will reassign proteins from your muscles in order to fuel other parts of the body. This is because the muscles are not being used enough.
How to Identify Laziness
For most people, it’s a pretty easy process to identify when they are being lazy. It doesn’t take a degree in health to spot when you’re doing nothing to better yourself. Here are a few ways to identify whether you’re being lazy or not.
1. Asking Kids to Do Stuff For You
A lot of parents can easily sink into weight gain by having children. Not for the obvious reasons such as pregnancy and weird food cravings. When you ask a child to do something you could have done yourself, you’re actually contributing to poor health.
This is one I used to be terrible at. Since my desk is in the basement, I often had my children run upstairs to get me a cup of coffee. Perhaps I needed the bottle of Advil from the bathroom medicine cabinet. This was back when I weighed more than 280 pounds. Now, I don’t ask anyone to get anything for me. If I need something, I talk myself into getting up off my ass and doing it.
How often do you ask someone to get you something that you could have retrieved yourself?
2. Watching More than One Episode on Netflix
Streaming media and a smartTV can be a dangerous combination from a health perspective. It’s this instant gratification that humans need that makes this such a bad feature. If you binge watch something you love, your body is more than likely not moving. This is what causes health issues.
I am very guilty of this in my household. This is one of the hardest habits for me to break. I’ll watch one episode of Deep Space 9 and then think to myself, “I can watch one more, what the hell.” Before long, six hours go by while I’m still sitting at my desk. However, I am making the conscious effort to change this part of my life.
How often do you binge watch television?
3. Texting Within the House
Technology is grand. Unfortunately, mobile technology is contributing to a lot of unhealthy practices. If you text message someone within the same house because you don’t want to yell, then you might have a problem. It doesn’t take that much more effort to get up and walk to the person you want to speak with.
My wife is terrible at texting in the house. Instead of walking up a short flight of stairs to speak to her mother or myself, she’ll send us a message. In reality, she could have accumulated a few steps on her Fitbit if she would just get up off the chair and walk to someone.
How often does mobile technology interfere with your day in terms of physical activity?
4. Driving Instead of Walking
A lot of people are starting to get on the bandwagon of walking or riding their bikes every day. Driving isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you have to cover longer distances. It’s when you start the car to go a couple of blocks is when it begins to hurt your body.
There are several “large” people in my neighborhood that will drive to the Family Dollar when it’s less than half a mile away. It’s a five minute walk for me. There may be times like when it’s raining or snowing that driving may be safer and more comfortable. If it takes you longer to start the car and pull out of your driveway than it does to arrive at your location, it could be considered excessive laziness.
What’s the shortest distance you drive in any given week?
5. Drive-Through Window Rather than Cook
One of the biggest health problems in American culture is the access of a drive-through window. Too may people take advantage of fast-food, which often results in extremely poor dieting. In reality, you’ll consume about three-times the calories in one meal than your body should be absorbing. That’s not including the amounts of fat, sugar and bad carbohydrates that are in most of these value-menu items.
One of my favorite things to witness is when people who are dieting go to McDonald’s and order something like a Big Mac meal complete with fries and a Diet Coke. They get the diet drink because they are trying to watch what they eat.
Out of the 1300+ calories that are in that meal, a Coke is only going to take about 210 calories of it…depending on the size of the cup and amount of ice. So, you’ll consume more than 1100 calories even ordering a diet drink – which is about half of the amount of food you should eat in any given day.
How often do you pull up to the drive-through window?
Avoiding Laziness Improves Your Overall Health
Conveniences often save time, but at a cost to your health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, more than a third of American adults are considered obese. Although there are many reasons why a person can gain weight, it’s often something that is directly related to laziness. It’s being able to talk yourself out of an activity because there is an “easier” way to get the job done that causes a lot of these issues. The most difficult part is doing something about it.
You don’t have to put a lot of effort into fitness and exercise in order to keep healthy. A lot of us just need to stop relying on devices and other people to do things we could have done ourselves. Not all convenient aspects of life need to be utilized all the time.
I am guilty of being lazy throughout my day. However, I have recognized many of my short-comings and have taken steps to fix the problem. A lot of this is why I’ve been able to keep off the 20 pounds I lost a while ago. Before you succumb to laziness, think about what it does to your body. Healthy and fitness can cure a lot of physical and mental problems in your life. Get up and get active.