In the last few years, the combination of a pandemic and a shift to working at home has resulted in us living an increasingly sedentary lifestyle. The exercise we may have participated in before has been reduced, impacting the health of our minds, bodies, and our connection to ourselves.
Over the last hundred years, the rise of the car and shift from manual labor jobs to office jobs has seen a steady decrease in the amount of physical activity we partake in. A shift towards automation decreased the amount of labor needed for household duties, such as washing machines and dishwashers. The increased integration of technology in our lives has correlated with an increase in a lifestyle centered around sitting and consuming.
In Scandinavia, movement and access to nature is considered your birthright, and is constantly practiced. With more Americans working longer hours to make ends meet, a reliance on fast food has eased part of the burden of our modern day cycle of driving, sitting, and finally sleeping.
Our bodies are designed to stand upright, with our heart central to our cardiovascular system. While more obvious symptoms of a sedentary lifestyle may include back problems, weight gain, and weakened muscles, a lack of movement in one's lifestyle can lead to serious problems with our bodies.
A sedentary lifestyle is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality, and a lack of education surrounding sedentary behaviors contributes to the toll it takes on our health. Among an increased risk of obesity, a lack of physical activity increases the risk of colon cancer, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, osteoporosis, diabetes, lipid disorders, and doubles the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Physical inactivity, along with tobacco use and poor diet are increasingly part of today's lifestyle, contributing to the rapid rise of preventable diseases.
With an increase in preventable diseases comes an increased reliance on prescription medications to cover these health issues. However, it is common to treat the symptom of the disease rather than the cause. The body is a high functioning machine, and treating a symptom without treating the cause creates a cycle of treatment and payment without assessing how symptoms may be related. Doctors are even paid by pharmaceutical companies to prescribe their medications, earning money off bodies that may simply need a lifestyle change. Our bodies are in a delicate balance, and the desire to profit off of our need for health is often exploitative.
Many health conditions do need specialized care, and many are predisposed to conditions through genetics. While they should be taken seriously, preventative diseases can be tackled through lifestyle changes. Eating foods close to their whole form, taking a walk or bike ride around the neighborhood, and breathing in fresh air all aid in the health of our bodies.
Thirty minutes a day of physical activity can improve our cognition levels, as well as reducing short-term feelings of anxiety. Continued physical activity reduces the risk of depression, and aids in healthy sleep cycles. Heart disease and stroke are the two leading causes of death in the United States. Regular physical activity can lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, and strengthen bones and muscles.
Combining the benefits of activity with time outdoors, numerous benefits emerge for our health. An appreciation for the world and communities we live in can be enhanced through walks in the neighborhood, or joining a local yoga class. Mindfulness of how our bodies perform spectacular feats for us is heightened, as well as an appreciation for the simple actions of putting one foot in front of the other. Spending time outside allows our bodies to absorb Vitamin D- an integral aspect of warding off depression and anxiety. Outdoor recreation relaxes us, reduces our stress levels and heart rate, which combine to reduce risks for cardiovascular disease. Among these benefits, time spent outdoors can reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and improve sleep patterns- all of which are common health concerns.
While not every person may have the same access to safe sidewalks or spaces for physical activity, there are still ways to incorporate movement into a daily routine. Whether it's as simple as 15 minutes of yoga in the morning, taking breaks to stretch during long sedentary periods, or planting flowers in the garden, movement can become a joyous part of the day.
Our bodies are incredibly powerful vessels, and treating them with kindness and care helps us to better our relationships with ourselves and others. Enjoying the sights and smells around us, waving to passerby's, and perhaps stopping to smell the roses help us cultivate a connection to the beauty nature provides. Bringing movement into our days brings joy and health to our bodies and communities, and helps break the cycle that sets us up for sickness.
Our community offers support on breaking cycles of a processed lifestyle, and returning to our sacred bond with the natural world. We learn how to break our dependence with a society that promotes sickness and greed, a cycle that aims to keep us unwell to profit off our innate desire for self-preservation.
At Sloane Marley, we offer products that enhance our appreciation for nature and our ancestral connection to the Earth. We pride ourselves on fostering a community that supports and uplifts each other with knowledge, love, and appreciation for the beauty we are surrounded with. Our team is dedicated to delivering knowledge and how-to's for simple lifestyle changes, from understanding ingredients to guided mediations.
In a world crowded with consumption and quick cures, it can be easy to fall into a sedentary lifestyle. Taking time to ground ourselves and really appreciate all that our bodies provide us with increases our health and mental wellbeing. We surround ourselves with those that enjoy nature and natural living. After all, how could you turn back after experiencing Sloane Marley?
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