Staying online for more than 10 hours, the average time that most Filipinos are connected to the internet, may lead to a number of health risks. This is according to leading sports nutritionist Dr. Dana Ryan, the director for Sports Performance and Education of Herbalife Nutrition.
“Unless you’re doing a physical activity while you’re online, it’s not healthy to stay inactive for long periods of time. In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), insufficient physical activity is one of the leading risk factors for death worldwide. It increases the chances of serious diseases, such as cancer and diabetes,” Dr. Ryan said.
According to the WHO, more than 80% of the world’s adolescent population is “insufficiently physically active” with 1 in 4 adults “not active enough.”
“Not all of us may afford a gym membership, but that doesn’t excuse us from not being physically active on our own,” noted Dr. Ryan. “Take up some physical activity that you love. That way, you won’t see it as a chore, so can do it regularly.”
She added that having a workout buddy would also be helpful as you’ll get to motivate each other. “Find a class or program that you can attend together. It also helps to set a goal for yourself. This way, you’ll stay motivated,” she suggested.
Walking to work, setting reminders to stand up every 30 minutes, standing during breaks, getting up during TV commercials, and using the stairs instead of taking the elevator are also some of the ways one can have a physical activity in a day.
A member of the Herbalife Nutrition Scientific Leadership, which is comprised of leading experts from around the world in nutrition, science, and health, Dr. Ryan likewise advised against cutting certain macronutrients from one’s diet.
“For example, some people believe that they only need protein and cut out carbs from their diet. This is not true. When it comes to keeping healthy, just always remember balance, as the body needs a complex blend of nutrients to remain healthy,” she said. “Indeed, Herbalife Nutrition Philosophy recommends that you get about 40% of your calories in the form of beneficial carbohydrates – whole grains, beans, vegetables and fruits; along with 30% from proteins, and no more than 30% from fats.”
At the same time, Dr. Ryan pointed out the importance of balancing what you eat and what you burn.
“Balance the calories that you take in and what you burn, and your weight would remain stable,” she said.
Dr. Ryan added that staying online is not bad in itself; it’s just that people should remember to be active at times, rather than becoming too absorbed in the online world that they don’t move for hours.
“Also, try to look up helpful tips on how to remain fit from reliable organizations. Look at the celebrity or influencer you admire as an inspiration, but don’t stress yourself into achieving what he or she has. The important thing is to remain active and healthy,” Dr. Ryan concluded.