Did you know that inactivity accounts for 5% of global mortality and is a greater health risk than being overweight or obese? 70% of adults are sedentary. The simple act of moving, changing physical location or position, can increase your longevity. Daily movement can literally add years to your life. Movement is more than exercise. Did you think this post was going to be about exercise? Yes, getting in at least 90 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity weekly is so important. Feeling your heart rate increase, breathing heavier and breaking a sweat has enormous benefits for the body. But daily movement beyond your 30 minutes of exercise has so many more.
SITTING is the new smoking! 6% of deaths are related to physical inactivity. We are meant to move! Physical movement lowers blood pressure, regulates blood sugar, lowers resting heart rate, controls body fat, improves immunity, increases muscle mass, and flexibility. Many of us receive these benefits by incorporating some form of exercise into our weekly routines. However, what does the rest of your day look like? Do you sit at a desk for the reminder of your day? How much or often do you move once you have checked the exercise box?
I want to encourage you to move more throughout the day, outside of your regular exercise routine. Daily movement looks like: standing instead of sitting at your desk, taking the stairs, taking a 5-minute walk break, doing yard work, planting flowers, parking further away from the store entrance and walking while talking on the phone. I want you to look at movement as frequency, intensity and time. How much are you moving, for how long and what intensity? Movement should be broken down into those 3 factors. In order to optimize your benefits from exercise you do want to add some stress to your body by increasing your heart rate, breaking a sweat and pushing your limits. Depending on your current state of health, this can look different for each person. Outside of the intensity of the movement, think about how much movement you can incorporate into your day? Can you take a 5 –10 minute walk after lunch? Walking after lunch stabilizes your blood sugar and can aid in the digestion process.
Regular movement provides a lot of benefits from reducing primary cancers to giving off anti-inflammatory effects as well as releasing toxic elements from the body through sweat. The more you move then better you feel. Movement helps to maintain muscle mass which regulates hormones and provides your body with stability, balance and coordination. Walking prevents Alzheimer’s and increases cognitive function by increasing the grey matter of the brain. We are all busy, so it is important to add more regular movement throughout our day in order to gain these benefits.
This week I want to challenge you to move more - walk more! Whether you use a fitness tracker or not, set a timer for every hour during your workday, take a 5 minute walk or stand and stretch. Any type of movement is better than no movement at all!