We love to watch sports, dance shows, and adventurous human activity because it stimulates and satisfies something very basic in human nature and design. We are born to move, and the more we move the more alive we feel.
Imagine watching a forty-five-minute TV show of someone who did nothing but sit on the couch and watch TV. Maybe they get up to get some popcorn but that’s about the extent of their activity. That would probably be the lowest ranking show in television history because it would be boring, uninteresting; it would not resonate well with human nature.
Movement Improves All Bodily Functions
The more we move, the more fine-tuned and capable the body becomes. Physical activity increases oxygen flow to the lungs, the oxygen molecules are then carried through the blood to every cell in the body. Bodily tissues do not store oxygen so our cells need a consistent supply to function. Oxygen is the fuel that keeps cells alive and doing their job.
Here’s what more movement every day can do:
• lower blood pressure
• lower cholesterol
• improve blood circulation
• strengthen the heart
• lower risk for heart disease and stroke
• increase energy for daily activities
• burn calories to help lose or maintain weight
• strengthen muscles and bones
• relieve stress
• improve sleep
• keep joints flexible
• improve balance
• reduce symptoms of depression
• improve overall quality of life
Lack of movement slows the metabolism because oxygen flow is reduced and muscles are not contracting. When we sit all day we burn less calories, but that’s not the only problem. Sitting for more than an hour causes biochemical changes that allow fat to be deposited in tissues instead of being used for fuel, and this happens regardless of whether you exercise regularly or not. When metabolism slows all body tissues begin to degrade, muscles weaken, and energy declines setting up a cycle that inclines us to disease.
Frequent Activity Improves Health
For people who have to sit for long periods at a desk job, the best plan it to take a short break every 20 to 30 minutes – to get up, stretch and walk around. This does not have to be a long break and the walking does not have to be vigorous. It’s just a matter of keeping the body moving instead of resting for long periods.
Movement is also important to keep the body flexible and joints limber. When the body is stiff and joints ache normal daily activities that include bending, stooping and lifting become difficult and cause us to be less active. Specific exercises can increase flexibility and joint health and improve overall quality of life.
The body needs to be active every day to stay healthy. That doesn’t mean a gym membership or exercise class every day, it means moving around enough on an hourly and daily basis to increase oxygen, blood flow and metabolism. Accumulating 2.5 to 5 hours of moderate exercise throughout the week will help to maintain a normal metabolism. This accumulated movement could happen in 5 minute breaks every hour or in 40-minute exercise routines, or a combination of both.
Get Up and Go!
If you have been living a sedentary lifestyle for a while and are overweight you may have to do a lot more to become physically fit, but you can start out slow and increase gradually. Any amount of increased daily movement is better than none. The important thing to remember is that your body is designed for movement so the more you move the better you will feel. Start exploring the ways you can increase movement today by doing some stretching routines at your desk and taking a 10-minute walk at lunchtime or after work. Visit our Pinterest exercise boards: Active Lifestyles and Easy Exercise, or read the related articles below to learn more: