Our bodies are made for a full range of motions, and sitting all day isn’t good for them. Movement seems like the simplest thing in the world. Our bodies are designed to walk, run and jump among other wonders of motion. The human body is an amazing and fascinating organism, which works best when it’s active. Long school and work days, difficult commutes along with family and social obligations leave many of us exhausted, with little energy for anything more demanding than sinking into the couch and surfing through primetime television. The energy that we experience daily is linked to our activity level. An active lifestyle or daily movement may be the tools needed to fight fatigue and restore energy levels. Movement is essential for every aspect of our health. At a very basic level, we are all simply energy in motion. It’s difficult to separate the difference between moving and living. The more sedentary our life is, the more important it is to purposefully move.
In our busy, car-oriented, online culture, hurdles to exercise can seem overwhelming and validation for an “I’ll do it tomorrow” attitude. Excess sitting can be linked with diseases and conditions, like obesity, hypertension, back pain, cancer, cardiovascular disease and depression. Unfortunately, as we get older we approach movement with an aversion. As children we didn’t feel this way about moving our bodies. For the first few years of our lives we roll, crawl, and climb. Then as we reach the school years in our lives we begin to loose all the movement we had. We spend our days sitting down learning, which is the equivalent to our body sitting watching television. Unfortunately many of us never modify this habit. Kids typically see physical activities like skipping; jumping and running as exciting play to be enjoyed. That’s the importance of making movement fun, taking the “work” out of workout and observing exercise as gratifying play. Some of us simply don’t like to exercise, that’s why it’s so important to find activities that we enjoy in order to continue to be active throughout our lifetime.
Even with this perspective adjustment, becoming active in our sitting society can be a task. Maintaining a healthy body weight is a balance between the calories we consume versus calories we burn. If we lead a sedentary lifestyle there’s very little calories burned, leading to a surplus in the body. This surplus of calories forces our body to store it as fat. Overtime, leading to an increase in body weight. Ensuring a balance between good nutrition and exercise will help to maintain caloric balance allowing the body to maintain its optimal body weight.
The human body contains more than 600 muscles, which is an indication that the body was fashioned for amazing physical capabilities. It’s clear that the human body functions best when it is active, there’s power in motion. Movement can be a form of meditation in motion. When we move our minds focus on our bodies, leaving little time for thoughts of our lives hectic events. Movement has also been proven to decrease levels of depression, anxiety and improve self-esteem. Yoga, or stretching movements in general, have been associated with a decrease in tension and anxiety. Movement is so important because it’s what our bodies were designed to do. With every movement, intricate arrangements are put into place; it’s not just one muscle that makes our body move.
If we don’t use our muscles regularly, they’ll begin to deteriorate and not work for us as well as needed. When there’s a lack of movement we’ll typically experience motion that becomes more deliberate, difficult, stiffer, heavier, and weaker or movement that is accompanied by pain and discomfort. It’s mandatory that we recognize that our body needs movement to be healthy. All types of activity contribute to improved physical health, a positive mood and stress reduction. Find the joy in movement. Make the active choice; remember that doing something is better than doing nothing, and when faced with the choice of moving more or moving less, move more.