Our body contributes far more to our lives than just physical attributes such as strength, power and endurance.
Your health depends on movement
There is exercise, and there is movement. This is not about smashing out reps and killing yourself, completing a “work-out” to achieve an external goal at the expense of your body’s inner workings. Too often we have extremes of inactivity and lack or over exertion with inappropriate intensities that sends our already stressed bodies over the edge. We ignore the basics we ‘should’ be capable of doing, like touching our toes, squatting to the ground to get something or rest, twisting around even in the car to get something behind us.
Then there’s our inner functioning:
– your heart moves your blood. It’s a muscle and needs daily aid to keep it in better shape than just ok
– unlike blood pumped by your heart, your lymph is fluid between your body tissues that needs movement. It gets rid of waste, transports white blood cells (immunity) and absorbs and transports fatty acids and fats.
– your joints move your body but need movement to remain lubricated
We’re made to move
Having just got off a long haul flight it couldn’t be more obvious to me that I’m not meant to watch four movies in a row!
And not just physically but mentally too. Interestingly, neurological health is not a one-way street with the brain telling the muscles ‘lift,’ ‘walk’. Research shows that using your legs, particularly in weight-bearing exercise, sends signals to the brain that are vital for the production of healthy neural cells, essential for the brain and nervous system. Cutting back on exercise makes it difficult for the body to produce new nerve cells — some of the very building blocks that allow us to handle stress and adapt to challenge in our lives. It’s no accident that we are meant to be active: to walk, run, crouch to sit, and use our leg muscles to lift things.
Oh and getting sunlight into my eyes- first and last thing if the day to reset my sleep, and that essential (non) movement is a whole other blog post.
We have stopped moving
Vehicles, machines and technology now do our moving for us. What we do in our leisure time doesn’t come close to making up for what we’ve lost. We all know this story too well.
What can you do right now
– Just don’t sit.
– First thing out of bed do 5 min of mobility or stretching. Think of cats and dogs when they wake and stretch. Every time. A lot of times, throughout the day.
– Instead of going to the gym for an hour (then being so pooped you’ve to sit on a couch for the next), do something each hour.
– Squat more. Not at the squat rack but put your pots and pans on the bottom shelf of the cupboard, sit on the floor to watch tv or to play with your kids, to send emails, a daily commitment. Oh and get a squatty potty – your body’s internal forces affect your core way more than your outward efforts and knees up physiologically means stuff just drops down and doesn’t need forcing.
You can live without exercise but not without movement. And if what we do in our leisure time doesn’t come close to making up for what we’ve lost, let’s change our leisure time to include movement, daily. That’s more leisure time, every day.