College of DuPage Nursing Student Misbah Baig research for Healthy Lombard that everyone wants to live for many years without any complications. The trick to longevity seems to be self-care and a commitment to add bodily movement on a consistent basis. The human body was not built to remain sedentary. Ongoing sedentary behavior will result in poor health-related complications such as increased stress, depression, increased risk of stroke, diabetes, hypertension, and other types of cardiovascular disease. Adding exercise to the daily routine makes a significant difference in long-term health outcomes.
First, getting older often results in additional stress on the body. The average adult is consistently preoccupied with caring for children, work and may have a lack of adequate time for self-care. The eventual build-up of stress and may lead to depression if left unchecked. Health promotion prevents stress; it involves, self-management which has been defined as, “daily tasks required to maintain health and well-being, to respond to the changing physical, psychological, behavioral, and emotional sequela of the daily demands of life” (Simmons and Noonan, 2021, p. 52). In other words, it is important to consistently make time for exercise and engaging in other types of stress reduction.
Hypertension is a very common diagnosis in adults in which is stress is a contributing factor. Elevated blood pressure levels over an extended time period increase the risk for hypertension, aneurysms and stroke (Miller, 2021). Exercise is a stress relief technique that prevents hypertension and stroke, but also promotes rehab of the body to help to keep the state of health consistent with an ideal balance.
Finally, a common current health issue today is diabetes. It is true, as adults, we are not able to eat whatever we want, whenever we want. If we do, excess weight results that eventually lead to suffering and other health-related consequences. Excessive intake of carbs and sugar, in addition to a sedentary lifestyle, result in weight gain that potentially leads to diabetes.
Cholesterol also needs to be managed. HDL (high-density lipoprotein) is more desirable cholesterol, whereas, LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol contributes to atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, due to plaque accumulation. Exercise helps to increase HDL levels and a plant-based diet with low saturated fats will prevent elevated LDL levels.
The stress we get in life cannot be avoided, but there are ways to improve coping and enhance self-care. Our bodies are as healthy as we invest in healthy behaviors; if we treat our bodies right, they will treat us right. Reserving up to an hour a day for health-related behaviors yields important health-related benefits for the long-term and will help to sustain the many stressors we encounter daily.
Miller, J., M. (2021). Chapter 16. In J.L. Banasik, Pathophysiology (6th ed., p. 346). Elsevier.
Noonan, D., Simmons, L.A. (2021). Self Management, In J.F. Giddens (Ed.), Concepts for
Nursing Practice (3rd ed., p. 52). Elsevier.