When was the last time you practiced? Nearly half of the Brazilian population will answer this question by citing a date far in the past, if the person remembers.
According to the WHO (World Health Organization), Brazil occupies a negative position in this sense, being the most sedentary country in Latin America and the fifth in the world. This information interacts directly with data from the IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics), which indicate that around 47% of Brazilians are sedentary.
Those who lead a sedentary routine are more likely to experience health problems such as:
It’s a sizable list and one that, let’s face it, everyone wants to die for. However, getting out of a sedentary lifestyle is not something simple and, although it is obvious that the best thing to do is to include exercises in your routine, it is a topic that raises many questions.
To help you move and live a healthier life, Live well spoke to specialists and answered the most common questions on the subject.
1. Am I really sedentary?
If you’ve ever had this doubt, there’s a good chance you’re sedentary. In his definition, the sedentary lifestyle occurs when we spend a lot of time on activities that do not promote significant energy expenditure compared to situations in which we are at rest. This includes spending a lot of time sitting, in front of the computer, etc.
A more accurate way to get a sense of this is to assess how well we fit with WHO recommendations. According to the organization, the ideal is for adults to perform 150 to 300 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, a number that drops to 75 to 150 minutes for more vigorous activity.
But what would be moderate activity? “An interesting parameter is to check whether, while you train, you have difficulty singing,” suggests Warlindo Neto, exercise and sports doctor at Vita Ortopedia.
2. Does walking matter or do I really need to go to the gym?
The ideal first step, according to the experts consulted, is to undergo a medical evaluation which, among other things, will give you some indications on what you can and cannot do.
Once the release is there, walking is indeed worthwhile exercise, especially for those just starting out. “In addition to being an economic method, it has benefits for the body and mind, as it improves mood and reduces stress,” emphasizes Gustavo Lemos Pederçole, cardiologist at Santa Catarina – Paulista Hospital.
The most important point for beginners is to take it easy, whether you decide to go for a walk, hit the gym, or engage in any other activity.
“Respecting the adaptation process without exaggerating in volume and intensity at the beginning is important, as it avoids injuries or acute late pain,” emphasizes Washington Souza, physical educator at UBS do Jardim Comercial, a unit managed by Cejam in partnership with the Municipal Department of Health of São Paulo.
3. I can never exercise for a long time. What should I do?
It is common for many people to approach the beginning of physical activities with high expectations. And it varies from person to person: While some just want the feeling of walking up a few steps without running out of breath, others can’t wait to run for miles right after they start exercising.
Since this doesn’t happen right away, a cycle begins that leads to disappointment and, many times, results in abandoning the practice – or in that situation where we pay for a gym without going.
One of the big mistakes is to think that physical exercise brings great immediate aesthetic benefits, and this causes frustration when it doesn’t happen in practice. Another very common mistake is to train excessively to obtain faster gains, running the risk of injury, increased inflammation and subsequently pain and, consequently, discouragement. Washington Souza, physical educator
Therefore, create realistic goals, and once exercises are part of your routine, more advanced goals can be set.
4. Every time I exercise I feel a lot of pain. It’s normal?
The biggest beneficiary when we decide to leave sedentary life behind is also the biggest adversary for us to achieve this goal: our body.
“Any change brings discomfort, the body’s responses are uncomfortable, such as pain, tiredness and, that is, in a certain sense, a defense mechanism not to change the current state of the individual’s physiological balance,” says Neto.
It’s completely normal to feel pain during this phase of the body adjusting to the new routine. “They result from injury to muscle fibers, a process critical to muscle growth and development,” says Pederçole.
The best way to treat them is to boost hydration, have rest periods between workouts, and stretch before and after exercise. Some foods, such as those rich in potassium (like bananas) and omega 3s (found in nuts and some fish) help minimize the effects. Maintaining regularity in the practice of the exercises also helps the body to get used to it and to “complain” less.
What should not, under any circumstances, resort to painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, as they limit the physical evolution and can also cause other health problems. If the pain persists for more than 72 hours, it is best to see a doctor and stop exercising to see if there has been a more serious injury.
5. Will I really start enjoying exercise?
We get tired of hearing that exercise is a pleasure, but when we get out of the sedentary lifestyle, a session of physical activity is not like eating candy. Was all of this a lie then?
The point here is that this pleasure is unlikely to appear right away, but there are some shortcuts to get there. One of them is practicing activities that bring a certain level of enjoyment: even if it is not your favorite sport, the simple act of listening to the music you like while you train helps to associate the moment of exercises with something pleasant.
As you progress, you begin to feel the benefits of your new routine. “When we exercise, five hormones are released: endorphins, serotonin, cortisol, adrenaline and somatotropin. They are responsible for helping regulate sleep and digestion, improve blood pressure and body processes, generating a feeling of well-being, happiness and relaxation ” says Pederçole.
Does that mean you can replace the candy bar with a weight training session and still get the same level of satisfaction? Not necessarily, but what tends to happen is that, little by little, you stop resorting exclusively to sweets, for example, to experience that feeling of pleasure.
6. How do I know the exercises are working?
You started an exercise routine and two weeks later you stepped on the scale and found your weight hadn’t changed. Or even that dress you love so much is still tight.
After all, how long does it take for exercises to start giving results? “Between four weeks and six months. The fastest changes are emotional, mood, increased attention and performance in daily activities. Muscle strengthening begins to appear between eight and 12 weeks. Diabetes and cholesterol can appear only three months later the beginning of the exercise routine,” reinforces Neto.
And when will you start shedding those unwanted pounds? “Weight loss is closely linked to eating habits, so it is somewhat difficult to predict without adjusting the diet,” adds the specialist.
7. Should I start a diet together with exercise?
“Although the ideal is to exercise, eat well and sleep well, the mere fact of exercising already helps in the prevention of obesity, osteopenia and osteoporosis, diabetes, hypertension, anxiety and depression, among others” , emphasizes Souza.
So, if you have to choose between these two paths at the beginning, choose the exercises. And you don’t need to loot, as the rest ends up coming as a result.
“The exercise routine will naturally contribute to a change in eating habits. Active people end up being more aware, have more emotional control and eat better. It’s a change that happens naturally,” concludes Neto.
#Moderation #patience #tips #sedentary #lifestyle