Is Laziness a True Cause of Inactivity? Or are the Masses too Tired to Exercise because of Poor Nutrition?
Many a New Year resolution have been made about walking the fitness path by abiding strictly to a regular exercise regimen and steering clear of poor nutrition, – almost always only to be broken. With all that has been spoken and written about the benefits of regular exercise, one would think that people would devote enough time and efforts towards keeping fit. However statistics unfortunately show otherwise. According to a report published in the Lancet, around one in three adults are not engaging in sufficient physical activity which is considered to be the single most important factor responsible for the rise in lifestyle related ailments like diabetes and heart disease. The point in question here is why aren’t people able to commit themselves to regular exercise despite being well aware of its myriad health benefits – physiological and psychological?
The cause of inactivity
Most people who don’t exercise attribute it to laziness – they can’t seem to be able to shake off the lethargy and feel motivated enough to push their bodies to sweat it out. More often than not – the intention is there and so is the desire for a fit and shapely body; what is lacking is the determination to continue beyond the first few sessions and sustain the motivation levels to maintain a committed exercise routine. Is this lack of determination really an outcome of pure laziness or could there be other reasons for their passivity?
Could it be that their laziness has more to do with a lack of energy that stems from poor dietary habits? Unless the body is fuelled with an ample supply of all the right nutrients in the correct balance, it is going to be sluggish and resistant to any physical exertion. Considering the incorrect food choices we are prone to making in our present super industrialised era, everything seems to point to the fact that our lethargy has been triggered by our own inability to provide our body with sufficient nourishment in the form of real, fresh, wholesome and health giving food.
The vicious cycle
It’s a vicious cycle really – so swept of our feet are we by the lure of quick, easy, cheap food options that they have slowly become the norm rather than the exception. These foods steadily take a toll on the body, leading to obesity, eating disorders and other digestive problems. This in turn triggers a reaction that involves resorting to starvation or calorie restricting diets that are unnatural and rob the body of its natural vitality. This kind of yo-yo lifestyle results in disrupting the body’s natural rhythm and disturbing the metabolism rate that is vital to maintaining a healthy appetite and ensuring smooth digestion. It comes as no surprise then that people simply don’t feel fired up, sufficiently charged to engage in any physical activity that would require some exertion by the body.
How a bad diet causes fatigue and lethargy
- An unhealthy diet that fails to provide the body with adequate nourishment leads to lowered muscle strength, less efficient oxygen utilisation and poor coordination. The lethargy could therefore be an indication by the body that something is not quite right and needs to be addressed
- Insufficient nutrition also affects memory, attention span and the ability to focus on a task
- When poor dietary choices become a habit it leads to sudden spikes blood sugar levels that over a period of time lower the body’s sensitivity to insulin. As insulin resistance sets in, it’s only a matter of time before other health issues like obesity and diabetes make their presence felt.
- Poor nutrition also triggers mood swings as the chemicals that the brain needs to promote feelings of general optimism and happiness completely depend on the type of foods being eaten. Serotonin and Dopamine are the two major mood boosting substances that stimulate happy emotions – feelings of well-being, optimism and positivity. The absence of these mood boosters translates into a lack of enthusiasm, energy and appetite which are hardly conducive to exercising.
Shaking off the laziness
- Make a commitment to eating healthy by avoiding or limiting processed and instant foods as far as possible
- Avoiding processed grains and sugars completely
- Always start your mornings with a protein rich breakfast that fuels your metabolism and provides the body with all the nourishment needed to maintain high energy levels throughout the day
- Never skip meals or go on crash diets that will cause blood sugar levels to dip abnormally low
- Have enough water , stay away from sweetened beverages (including excessive tea and coffee) and restrict alcohol to the occasional weekend
- Ensure that you get a good night’s sleep so that you can wake up feeling fresh, strong and invigorated
All that may be required to get you pumped up to exercise is a slight tweaking of your food habits. So why not give yourself a fair chance instead of taking for granted your disinclination to sweat it out by attributing it to an excuse as flimsy as laziness?