In the west we spend an average of 8 hours sitting, whether in office, in transportation, even in our leisure hours. Every day more studies indicate that physical exercise is a key factor, as important or more important than food, to achieve good health and quality of life. We do not just want to live more years, we want to enjoy them more!
What can we do to achieve that goal?
Crocodiles are able to remain totally unmoving for hours and hours waiting for their prey, they have evolved for that task and their bodies have adapted to that existence, however, we are primates and our realm is the movement.
To remain still means to die, in the savanna at the hands of the predators and in the modern world by our own metabolism. This forced stillness has profound effects on our metabolism, our immune system and the locomotive apparatus with effects similar to those suffered by astronauts in space. Some researchers even say that spending days sitting increases the risk of suffering cardiovascular disease as much as smoking.
We need to move, but is the solution in gyms, group classes or outdoor activities? With good luck, the average user trains 3 times a week, which, being very optimistic, means about 5 hours per week. If we subtract the hours of sleep, what happens with the other 112 hours that the week has? It’s like trying to stop a flood with a few handfuls of sand. Yes, some exercise is better than nothing but it is not the final solution either.
The picture looks bleak but our body has a great capacity for adaptation and can be terribly “grateful” if we treat it properly. If you integrate some movement in your day to day life you can change that trend. According to a study, it is enough 5 minutes of slow walk to reverse the damage of sitting for an hour.
Getting up and walking a little every hour is a relief for your body and can save you back problems, so it is increasingly common to see how adjustable height workstations are installed in work places. But if you manage to integrate more movement in your day to day life you can get even more benefits.
You do not need a specialized program or a specific sport, the real secret is in turning the movement into a game, not into an obligation. When you park the car, do not look for the nearest square, park farther and walk to your destination; always use the stairs and if there are too many floors, get off early and climb the remaining floors on foot. Try to climb the steps two by two, look for new routes to go from place to place, even if they are a little longer or with more unevenness and enjoy the trip.
With practice and time you will see that your perception of the world changes, you will detect more options of movement in the same path and more fun. Do not see an alley, see a trampoline, jump to pass an obstacle and a do not be lazy to overcome a fence.
It is not necessary to practice that discipline, do it if you like, but to be able to see the world from a more movement-based perspective will help you lose weight, improve your health and, more importantly, enrich your life. Author: reviewtique.com.