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December 08, 2014

Too Little Physical Activity is Killing You. Here's What to Do.

To me, if life boils down to one thing, it's movement. To live is to keep moving. 
Jerry Seinfeld

For the last 100 years or so things have changed significantly: we no longer get the exercise we need through our daily activities. Most of us sit in offices, watch movies, drive cars, travel, and the money is quite sufficient to sustain this way of life. Your health isn't, though. Even if some of us spend an hour or two a day at the gym, we still lead a generally sedentary way of life. Because, as Marc Hamilton puts it, “sitting too much is not the same thing as working out too little.”

According to the 2009 study by Peter Katzmarzyk, the death rate of those who sit 'almost all of the time' is 50% higher than of those who sit 'almost none of the time', provided that leisure time physical activity, smoking status, and alcohol consumption are all at baseline. A 2010 study from Australia proves that each successive hour you spend sitting before the TV increases the risk of dying by 11%. This, among other things, means that the more frequently you interrupt your sitting, the better: your waist is slimmer, your body mass ratio is lower and your blood lipids are... well, lower too. This study, as well as others, demonstrate the following: it is healthier to interrupt your sitting and walk around as frequently as possible (even if you are out for a smoke, yes) than heavily working out for a couple of hours a day and then sitting through the rest of it with no interruptions whatsoever! Mind-boggling, we know.

As if that alone was not enough, here are some more harmful effects of little physical activity and too much sitting: spending just 1 day without proper movement reduces high density lipoprotein cholesterol (it is a 'good' one) and slows down triglycerides absorption. While five days spent in bed increase triglycerides in blood plasm by 35% and insulin resistance by 50%! This is tremendously bad for our metabolism.
But what are we to do? Keep track of your physical activity, of course.

The only way to fight your sedentary lifestyle is to be constantly on the move; sports and active leisure are essential, too. However, the best result is achieved when you make things personal—you need to understand what your own body needs, how much of physical activity it needs and when exactly. Your age, sex, health and personal fitness are vital. Although it may turn out quite difficult to figure all this out: individual approach to physical activity requires constant systematic control of your body functional state and adjustment.

There are, of course, some basic gadgets (pedometers, G-meters, etc.) these days which provide backbone information on your activity. However, they are not able to keep and sustain the full account of your physical performance. If you are weightlifting, for example, pedometer has no way of telling you that you are currently getting any physical activity—and why would it, since you are standing at one place! In order to fully understand your physical performance, a complex approach is required. This is what the Healbe GoBe Body Manager is about.

First, it uses the built-in accelerometer which measures activity and body movement (counts the steps you have made as well as the distance you have covered). Then, there is also a pulse wave sensor which measures your blood flow and heart rate (and thus can tell you whether the amount of the current exercise load is either too humble or too hard for you).

Finally, it measures your burned off calories. We have already mentioned how the Healbe GoBe Body Manager manages to count your intake calories, but how does it count the number of the burned off energy? Through combining the data provided by the two above mentioned sensors—accelerometer and pulse sensor—and calculating it with the help of special algorithms and data derived from multiple tests. This delivers the 95% accuracy results—just enough for you to control and adjust your diet and exercise program.

It should be noted, by the way, that the number of calories and the time it takes to burn them off both depend on the type of the exercise you are doing. Low-intensity aerobic activity (i.e. walking) lets you burn off a small amount of calories, while a high-intensity activity (i.e. running) can make you burn off more than 600 calories in an hour. To burn off as many calories as possible, you have to keep your pulse low (ideally, it is below 140 bpm) and run for at least 40 minutes for your body to actually start burning calories off. As for a weightlifting workout, you burn off roughly 180 to 266 calories in an hour, according to Harvard Medical School. However, weightlifting as well as other strength-training exercises gradually increase the size of your muscles, which, in turn, lets each pound of muscle tissue on your body burn through about 35 to 38 calories every day. This fact seems more reassuring knowing that U.S. adults, on average, gain about a pound a year. To summarize, you need a minimum of 150 minutes of weekly aerobic activity and 2 days per week of weightlifting or another strength-training exercise to stay completely healthy. But how do you constantly keep this in mind—you already have so much to be conscious of!

Easily: you don't. In fact, you don't need to, because this is exactly why we have created the Healbe GoBe Body Manager: to make you increasingly aware of your current body state and help you achieve better results in improving it—100% automatically!

Please note that Healbe GoBe is not responsible for any content that purports to give medical advice or advice regarding fitness training, exercise, or diet. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and prior to starting a diet or physical fitness program.
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