Americans Now Sit More Than Ever, What Does That Mean For Our Diets?

Bed. Shower. Train. Cubicle. Train. Bed.

With each day following the same monotonous schedule – from home, to work, to home again – we are a lot less active than we were as kids on the playground. After working all day, who can blame you for just wanting to climb into bed with Netflix and a frozen dinner? Well, while many young adults understand your pain, your body is definitely feeling the effects.

Many doctors are saying Americans are sitting more than ever before, and it’s time we face the reality f this. This kind of sedentary lifestyle has significant effects on your body and can cause high blood pressure, strokes, heart disease, and obesity, just to name a few. To make it worse, Women’s Health stated in an article that “women who sit for more than six hours a day have a roughly 40 percent higher risk of dying from any cause, regardless of their fitness level, versus those who sit for fewer than three hours.” Sound scary? It is, and between hustling for a promotion and making time for friends and family, it’s hard to prioritize a balanced diet and exercise. But, in order to reach your career goals, you’re going to need your body to be in tip-top shape, and here are a few changes to ensure you get there.

While exercise is a good way to get your body moving, that’s always the last thing I feel like doing after a long day, and you better believe I’m not waking up early to hit the gym. However, there are changes you can make to your diet to help with those days the most you exercise is walking from your desk to the refrigerator. A good way to start is by becoming more aware of your caloric intake. No, you don’t need to go on a crazy diet, but you also shouldn’t be eating as many calories as someone who is doing a high-intensity workout every day. So, instead of running out for a Big Mac at the McDonald’s next door to your office, pack a healthier lunch from how. You’ll not only cut back on the calories, but you’ll save some money too.

Beyond just watching your calories, there are certain aspects of your diet you should monitor as well. According to health.gov, it’s important that less-active individuals avoid eating too many high-fat foods since they won’t be burning them off in the gym. Not only will they not burn them off due to a lack of working out, these high-fat foods also contain more calories than others. Beyond high-fat foods, SFGate.com also recommends those with a more sedentary lifestyle consume less protein than more active individuals. However, that doesn’t imply you should cut down on protein completely. Ultimately, a well-balanced diet is the answer – too much of anything is bad for you. I personally have a hard time with this, so when I remember to, I like to log my eating in an app called “My Fitness Pal.” This app allows you to look at the nutrients you’ve eaten and will help make you more aware of the things you have too much of and those you’re lacking. It’s definitely not necessary, but those of us who aren’t health-minded, it makes the process a bit easier.

With these minor changes in mind, you can do whirlwinds for your health, and there’s no better time to start taking care of yourself than now. So, this work week, choose fruit over chips, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and get a good night’s rest. We only get one body, treat it well.

Featured image by Kristen Bryant

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