The Sedentary Diet
Few people doubt the health benefits of an active lifestyle. A mere 30 minutes exercise twice a week is recommended as a simple means of reducing the risk of disease and weight gain. Increase that amount of exercise by three and you’ll likely strengthen your immune system, boost your metabolism and increase your energy levels.
No matter how much we know we should exercise, however, the opportunity isn’t always there. This problems effects office workers, students, professional poker players, architects, cashiers, flight dispatchers and taxi drivers – pretty much anyone with a job that requires them to sit for extended periods of time! For people who work long shifts in these sedentary-type jobs, the importance of a healthy diet is especially important.
Though exercise should never be omitted completely, below is a guide to foods you can incorporate into your diet to potentially minimize the effects of an inactive lifestyle.
Sitting still for long period of time means your blood doesn’t circulate as well as it should. Anything which is good for your heart is usually also good for your blood circulation, which is why you should enjoy foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids (such as salmon, avocado and flax seeds).
Also look for foods rich in Vitamin K – like Celery. This vitamin is important for healthy blood flow, clotting and flushing out waste from the body. Green foods like spinach, kale, asparagus and romaine also contain Vitamin K and will help cleanse the liver, which also filters blood.
Next, you can incorporate more oats into your diet to reduce cholesterol. Raw almonds and walnuts contain antioxidants which also benefit the blood, whilst cacao is known to boost circulation and lower blood pressure. Lastly, citrus fruits like lemons and oranges are great for your blood as they are anti-inflammatory.
Digestion-friendly foods are also good for a sedentary lifestyle. Ginger, in particular, is known to cleanse and boost the digestive system. Sprinkle some raw ginger on your food, or enjoy a cup of ginger tea each day.
Since inactive individuals don’t burn as many calories as active people, they are more at risk of weight gain. If you are inactive, it is worth cutting out red meats and opting instead for lean meats (chicken, turkey) or vegetarian alternatives (tofu, veggie patties) as they are lower in calories. Cut out ‘empty calories’ (junk food, soda) as much as possible and incorporate metabolism-boosting and fat-burning ingredients into your meals. In particular, cinnamon, garlic, chili peppers, green tea, lentils and eggs are known to improve your body’s fat burning.
Perhaps the most important advice is to drink lots of water. The general health benefits of drinking a lot of water extend beyond merely flushing your body of toxins. Simply increasing your water intake will help you feel more energized, make your skin glow, and improve your immune system along with countless other health benefits. Drinking lots of water is essential to the sedentary lifestyle.