Health Tip #5
Move your body every day
Many believe that if people wanted to do one thing that would have an immediate and dramatic impact on health, wellness and longevity and that is simple and easy to do, it is to “move.” Although you may instinctively equate this statement to infer exercise, it does not. Exercise can be a form of movement, but it is not the only form. The most important aspect is to move. Regardless of form, function or purpose, humans need to move. The more the world has changed and adapted to commercial foods with empty sources of energy, the more it is important to move. Every aspect of our self/being can benefit from movement. Strength, blood pressure, intelligence, flexibility, weight control, attitude, circulation, bone density, immunity, endurance. These are all benefitted from activity. Name an aspect of being human and it can be improved or maintained by regular activity.
Let’s tackle this from a weight maintenance perspective. The old adage: calories in equals calories out. In one sense, it’s basically true. In a deeper, metabolic realm, it’s not quite that simple. This piece is not about energy metabolism per se, so I will not go into the details of the physiology here. The important lesson to take away is that when we eat, we use a little of that energy for immediate need and then store the rest for later. It is a basic survival adaptation. When we are active, we require a bit more energy and that’s where the stored fuel comes into play. Our bodies and metabolism work best when this cycle works smoothly and we have a nice efficient storage of energy when we eat and a nice release of energy when we need it. A problem has arisen in this cycle. Typically, the issue is that people are consuming an abundance of energy dense food which stores well, paired with a lack of an energy requirement to facilitate fuel release and use. The result is too much energy in and not enough stimulation of energy release. When we don’t pair food intake with movement, we develop a problem. The more often and efficiently the energy cycle is stimulated, the smoother it operates. In essence, the tip is to keep stimulating the energy cycle.
This is where movement comes in to play, sometimes literally. Moving our bodies can take many shapes, forms or approaches. The most simple is walking. To help reestablish your energy exchange, walking is the easiest thing to do. From a practical standpoint, if you ingest food, it would be best to move around a little bit following that meal. For instance, after dinner, let food digest for a few minutes and then take a walk. As we approach spring and summer, this should be a very easy thing to do. It doesn’t have to be long or intense (in fact too intense can stall digestion), just walk. If you have dogs or kids, perfect for everyone. This is particularly helpful when you eat a big meal or one that is high in carbohydrates. The more you can stimulate muscular use of the energy, the better. Any other movement is fine as well, feel free to do anything that has you moving your body.
From a health and wellness perspective, moving your body is the best thing for keeping your physical self happy. An uncountable number of physiological benefits occur when human move. Inactive people are like stagnant pools of water, and if you put bad stuff in the water, it just sits there. Active people are like streams, flowing constantly, sometimes raging, sometimes trickling, but always flowing, moving everything along. If you happen to put bad things in that water, it gets washed away pretty easily (unless you dump a bunch of junk in there, then it will take a little longer to erode and dispose of). But the lesson to learn is that be active helps out with much of our health and can help us out when we make poor lifestyle choices as well.
So what is movement? Playing with your kids/pets. Dancing. Gardening. Cleaning the house. Climbing a tree. Jogging. Push-ups. Squats. Sports. Whatever you can do to move is ok.
The key is to move. The more you do it the better you get at it and the more natural it becomes. The more you move the more energy you will have to want to move more.
Thanks for reading once again…
For those who like to move in other ways, the world is your playground. Although most people lose the urge to play as they age, it can be one of the best ways to keep you healthy. Don’t put limits on yourself.
We’ve all heard… We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.
I would say this… We don’t stop moving because we grow old, we grow old because we stop moving.
All health and longevity research points to regular daily activity being one of the most important characteristics of a long, healthy, happy lifetime.
Link to an article on exercise and intelligence…