The 21st century has so much curse to offer including the high cholesterol and sedentary lifestyle that we have gathered, it’s just like with the introduction of smartphones we have gradually become dumber, and on a similar note we have managed to work, play, chat, enjoy, and almost everything even consulting a doctor and via smartphones; and have successfully managed to reduce our life expectancy (which is good in a way for nature if you think about it unbiased, anyways we can always talk about that later)!
I remember my grandfather telling me stories of how they could commute to far off places on a bicycle, which I am sure enough, are a far cry for most of us. Get on your car or a cab, reach your place of work, and get seated on a chair with your eyes fixed on the monitor screen and start “working”, get stressed and start stress eating while you return home and jump right on to your bed and get your eyes fixed on the mobile phone.
What we forget is that with this lifestyle we are slowly but surely destroying our body system, our health deteriorating like anything. We are basically becoming some well-educated junkies.
The thing is about prioritizing, keep in mind what our mothers’ used to say, “Health over wealth” or else you are going to face a lot of difficulties primarily with our cardiovascular system about which I am going to elaborate in this article.
To understand how a sedentary lifestyle can damage our health, especially our “heart”, which we keep boasting about all the time so “vividly”, what a hypocrisy?
Anyways, to understand it lets get into some basic medical science, and know what happens inside our system in general:
Our liver is a major hub for various metabolic pathways, including the synthesis of cholesterol (after hearing this word, I guess you have gone super crazy but trust me if you religiously follow and guidelines like these you can save yourself for sure). The fact that cholesterol is not formed instantaneously after eating any fat products, its triglycerides that are formed, and it takes almost a week for the formation of cholesterol.
So, after forming cholesterol from acetyl Co-enzyme A with the help of the rate-limiting enzyme, HMG-CoA Reductase and also with our other dietary intakes it stores these hydrophobic but lipophilic (just like us, the way we fear transparency and like to be flattered) in chylomicrons (a lipoprotein) along triacylglycerol to be transported to the intestine via bile.
Now, during this process, an enzyme named Lipoprotein lipase present along the lining of blood vessels, cardiac muscles, skeletal muscle plays a major role in the absorption of this cholesterol and TAG and also is responsible for breaking down these chylomicrons and removing triglycerides from it. There is the formation of LDL (bad cholesterol) from VLDL. Whenever there is an excess of cholesterol deposits, they are restored back in the liver via various receptors and proteins, the HDL (good cholesterol).
Now let us focus on what goes wrong when we are idle for a long time on a regular basis.
Reasons you may have high cholesterol leading to heart disorders
Without physical activity, there is a huge accumulation of fat, leading to obesity and leads to various lipid disorders.
Without any physical activity there is no absorption of TAG into the muscle tissues from the plasma, but the Lipoprotein lipase keeps producing the LDL but so is an increase in triglycerides and hence a decrease in HDL.
· Increased accumulation of this fat and cholesterol in our coronary arteries leads to formation plaques leading to stenosis which leads to atherosclerosis induced ISCHAEMIC HEART DISEASE, INCREASED BLOOD PRESSURE, HYPOXIA AND MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION which generally leads to death.
· Also, recent experiments conducted by John Hopkins Medical School and Hospital shows a direct and proportional relationship with a sedentary lifestyle and high blood pressure.
· Also, oedema and water retention due to loss of any movement and decreased renal perfusion may lead to hypertension.
· Sedentary lifestyle also contributes to increased belly fat and excess fat prevents glucose transport resulting in insulin resistance leading to Diabetes and subsequently hypertension and as you are well aware of, will finally lead to multi-organ failure.
· So, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, Diabetes are the major contributing factors leading to either a heart attack or heart failure.
·, Also gradual decrease in ventricular compliance, decreased atrial contraction diminished skeletal muscle pump and low venous return due to postural hypotension will reduce the End diastolic volume-> decreased preload-> reduced cardiac output.
So, the sedentary lifestyle affects our cardiovascular system heavily and makes us as unfortunate as those who are having familial or congenital issues.
We shouldn’t self-destroy ourselves just by sitting!
What we can do: Tips to stay healthy
· Dedicate at least an hour for working out. A thing to be considered though is to focus more Cardio exercises like treadmills, skipping, jogging or even brisk walking and/cycling a mile or two rather than pulling up dumbbells. Exercises may even help to develop collaterals in case of already plaques arteries.
· Try to reduce the usage of vehicles for short distances.
· Try to walk and study or work instead of sitting at the same place all the time.
· Since this lifestyle has become almost inevitable, we must try to cut out extra amounts of refined carbohydrates, saturated fats, carbonated drinks, alcohol, etc. from our diet.
· Drinking a lot of water and including fibres in our diet like cucumbers, etc. would be of much help.
· We must avoid the usage of hydrogenated vegetable oils high in trans-fat and use healthier alternatives like canola oil, olive oil, safflower oil, etc. as they may reduce the incidences of heart blocks.
· Young ones should spend more time in the fields rather than playing video games at home.
· The required amount of sleep (8-10hrs) is ideal to stay healthy.
So, I am pretty sure you were sitting and reading this the whole time, some of you might even be eating too, I suggest you stand up and start reading again while walking, this will help you get into the implementations of the suggested tips and a second read will make your memory stronger.
Don’t just sit and die. Let us do something before we go forever!