Have you ever heard the phrase “Movement is life, stagnation is death”? This phrase has stuck with me ever since I heard it, and I see how true that really is. All you have to do is look around you. Most people are overweight, not many people walk to places if they don’t have to, and there are fast food places on every corner. This basically sets us up to be sedentary and consume way too many calories.
If you don’t know who Jack LaLanne is, you should go look him up. He is referred to as the “Godfather of fitness” and opened the first US fitness club and starred in the first exercise TV program. He also has a juicer brand that I actually have myself. What amazes me the most about him though is his lifestyle choices during a time when doctors reportedly advised their patients no to go to the gym. At the age of 70 he swam a 1.5-mile section of long beach harbor while towing 70 people in 70 boats in 1984. If you look at most 70-year old’s these days, most of them can’t even walk. This alone should show you how important movement is for our health, along with good balanced nutrition.
What is movement? This may sound lame to define but some people may think that they are not capable because they don’t hit the gym. Movement is an act of changing physical location or position or of having this changed. See it’s pretty simple, you don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to get your body moving. Structural engineering is important, especially if we understand how our structures and physical makeup affect our movements. If you are a healthy weight, then you probably can move with ease and not too much pain. If you are overweight your movements can be affected or weighed down. For example, extra belly weight pulls down on the lumbar spine causing back pain, or you can experience ankle or knee stiffness that affects movement in the lower back. Our body is a machine made up of a sophisticated pile of interconnected levers, if we don’t use it we lose it.
Here are some fitness statistics to show you just how much we are lacking exercise and healthy movement in our lives.
- Nearly 30% of US residents are inactive
- More than 97 million adult Americans are grossly overweight
- Half of the people starting an exercise program will drop out in the first 6 months
- Over 90% of U.S high school students don’t get enough exercise to stay fit and healthy
It’s no wonder we’re so unhealthy, and most people have a hard time getting around. Even though this is the case, no matter where you start the more you move the better your body will function. When we move we strengthen our connective tissues and bones, which increase respiration and circulation and release particular hormones and cell signals. Some other benefits that movement has are:
- Embodied cognition – In which the body’s movements influence brain functions like processing information and decision making.
- Lowers oxidative stress
- Helps keep you at a healthy weight
- Helps relieve depression or anxiety
If you are unsure about how to exercise or get more movement in your life you can start off slow with a walk, jog, or swim. If you are not a self- motivated type of person I would suggest finding a cheap gym such as YouFitness, Planet Fitness, or Chuze fitness. They usually offer group classes that will direct you on certain workouts. Our bodies are meant to move and everyday it is a constant fight to take care of your body. We live in a world where we go from sitting in our car to sitting at work to coming home and sitting on our couch. We must go against that and allow our bodies to do what they do best and that is to MOVE. We need to stop being weak in body and mind and push ourselves, if we don’t, we are going to not become the best version of us.
Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash