Often a space on the upper rung of the social ladder is characterised by travelling around in a privately owned car no matter how short the distance, having someone do household chores and maintaining the outdoors, carrying grocery bags, lifting of and reaching for stuff even those that one could manage. And of course there should be long often extensive periods of rest and relaxation and eating out. The justification is often, “I work hard so I should enjoy life”. Whether you were ‘born into this greatness, achieved it or have had it thrust upon you’ it could be your demise. Could the good life be causing your health to fail?
A sedentary lifestyle, one in which one engages in little or no physical activity can lead to or exacerbate illnesses such as heart diseases, diabetes and cancer. According to research, even fitness buffs are sometimes guilty of a sedentary lifestyle because after one hour of exercise for the day they spend most of the rest of the day sitting. Apparently, those who do no form of exercise but or because they have a great life are at even greater risk of illnesses. As long as it is safe, try to incorporate more walking in your daily routine.
Lift stuff, you do not have to roll everything around; the grocery bags are manageable from the supermarket to the parking lot. As a matter of fact, heavy lifting is recommended to reduce anxiety, increase happiness, produce hormones that stimulate the brain, prevent injury, and improve endurance as well as fight aging and weight gain (Healthline.com). It is ironic that those who lift in the gym cannot lift or carry a grocery bag in public. Lifting or walking outside of an exercise routine doesn’t make you any less chic; these activities make/keep you healthy.
The next time you ask someone to reach for something that you could get yourself you are actually robbing yourself of a health benefit (even if it is a pick up tactic, but then some guys do not like the damsel in distress move, reaching can actually be quite sexy) According to Healthbeat, Harvard Health, activities that lengthen and stretch muscles can help you prevent injuries, back pain, and balance problems. Daily activities involving stretching/ reaching, stooping movements increase functionality – the body was made to move. Do some of your household chores, rake or sweep the yard; the “dirty work” could help you to live longer and healthier.
Then there is the fad of eating out to treat yourself or to show your ascension or space on the rung. Unfortunately, some of us do not make good choices when we decide to eat out or get fast food. The status activity could increase your risk of illness. Do you ensure that you get a balanced meal each time you treat yourself as a reward for your hard work? Do you concern yourself about the sugar content, oils used, gluten, preservatives and freshness of the food or even the conditions under which they are prepared? Is your treat making you sick?
Perhaps we need to redefine what makes a good life. Stay active – walk, lift, stretch, bend, do some dirty work; treat yourself – have well prepared balanced meals; relax and rejuvenate. Have a good life – a healthy life.