Stay active after retirement

Moeti Molelekoa - Social Observer
Moeti Molelekoa - Social Observer

I have always asked myself why so many of our sports people no longer keep as active a few years after they have retired as during the period they were employed.

The same trend applies to several others, like the police.

Some sports stars develop big tummies and floppy, flappy bodies soon after retiring from their professional sports.

After wondering what the cause of floppy and flappy bodies could be, I ultimately found my answer in new research that was recently released by Liverpool Univer­sity in the United Kingdom.

The study has revealed that a two-week decrease in physical activity leads to serious metabolic changes.

The study of older and younger adults points to significant health risks, even only a few weeks after cutting back.

One study looking into this matter was published in June this year in the journal Diabetologica.

It involved 45 metabolically healthy, active adult men and woman aged 36, who walked the recommended 10 000 steps or more a day and then reduced their activity levels to below 2 000 steps for two weeks.

The sportsmen I am referring to, who include footballers, athletes, boxers and cyclists, died after years of inactivity.

I always suspected that that change of lifestyle had someting to do with these deaths, but without any conclusive scientific proof.

It does not take many years – two weeks is enough to do damage to one’s health.

The researchers have found out that cutting back on exercise could set people up for an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, even without family history.

The enforced inactivity caused what researchers call metabolic disarrangement.

Research revealed that this inactivity also caused people to lose some muscle mass in their legs and gain fat around their abdominal areas. Experts call that fat visceral, which has the nasty habit of migrating into surrounding areas.

Blood sugar control worsened as their insulin resistance increased.

Most of these inactive sports people moved into full-blown type 2 diabetes after being less active.

In workplaces like that of nursing, policing and teaching, people keep moving on the execution of their duties.

Sitting too much and less movement is as dangerous as smoking.

Going from fit to floppy, flappy physic can endanger one’s health.

However, armed with information from this research, people can reverse the situation by resuming normal activity levels.

Keeping fit and slim does not necessarily require one to go to the gym or to work out at top speed.

One can reverse the scenario or avoid the risk by simply taking daily walks, and through regular exercise.

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