Movement for Health

Movement is absolutely essential for life. Without movement many of our biological processes don’t take place. Notice how I am not talking about going to the gym but rather movement as a whole that includes lot of things like going for a walk, running around with your kids, playing with your dog, dancing your heart out to Justin Bieber’s ‘Sorry’ (my current jam and I’m not ashamed!).

We all know that you need to move and exercise if you want to be healthy and maintain a healthy weight but there are many other reasons and motivators for getting out there and doing more movement throughout your day.

Being a Fitness Trainer, I love to see people taking time out of their day to exercise to improve their health and fitness. That is something I think everyone should be doing because there are so many health benefits to weight training and getting your heart pumping. However, I believe this 30 min – 1 hour pattern of exercise has helped to almost promote the inactivity of our society along with technological advancements. We now believe if we go to the gym for a hour every day we have earned the right to be sedentary the rest of the day. Does this sound like you or someone you know – you go to the gym and then sit around the rest of the day at work, at home, at a restaurant, your cars, etc. Where has all the movement gone my friends?

We are creatures that need to move. Obviously, I’m not stating that we need to move around 24/7 (you should be getting around 8 hours of sleep) and you’re allowed to relax during the day but we should be integrating more movement into our days.

Why should we integrate more movement?

Your heart pumps blood around your body all hours of the day but have you ever stopped to think how that blood get back to your heart? When you consider gravity is trying to keep the blood in our legs and not let it back up, we need something to help get it up to our heart. After the oxygen is pulled out of our blood it goes through into our veins to head back up to the heart. In your veins are valves to prevent back flow. What pumps the blood through your veins up to your heart are muscle contractions in your legs. What causes muscle contractions…. you get one guess………if you guessed movement you get a gold star! Being sedentary your legs won’t get the nutrients or oxygen they need and they get stuck with excess metabolic waste. Poor legs 🙁

Another reason to move is for it to help out your lymphatic system. Think of the lymphatic system as your bodies sewage system, it helps rid your body it of toxins. Unlike your circulatory system, your lymphatic system doesn’t pump or move by itself. There is no heart for it. Movement gets our lymphatic system flowing. One of the best movements fir this is rebounding, such as jumping jacks, skipping rope and my personal favourite jumping on a trampoline! Getting these toxins flowing in order to be excreted is essential for health.

Have you ever been on a long plane ride and feel stiff and not fantastic physically after? Well when you are sedentary for long periods of the day you are constantly allowing this to happen maybe not on such a drastic level as the example above but your tissues are getting stiff not allowing full function. The more you move the better your body will feel, your joints and muscles will be more limber and if they feel better it will encourage you to move more, its a positive feedback loop.

When you move, your body sends nutrients to the tissues used in that movement in order to give them the energy they need. That means the more variety of movements you do the more you can help to feed the various tissues around your body. Your body also responds to movement by building tissues according to what you’re asking your body to do. Meaning you should move in a variety of ways throughout your day to encourage new tissue adaptation and promote nutrient flow around your whole body.

How to start? 

Start by doing little things, do ‘movement snacks’ throughout the day! Go for a 5 minute walk, take the stairs, do 20 air squats and 5 burpees, dance your heart out to your favourite song, play with your pet or kids, crawl under a low tree branch, there are so many options out there! Try to add a little more movement to your day and see how your energy levels, health and happiness improve!

Start now!
Josh

Need help?
– Integrating more movement in your day
– Getting your tissues limber again
– Recovering from an injury
– Getting your joints working properly
– Need a exercise program?
Then email us at: Info@CocoonHealth.ca 

Photocredit: Jake Graham Photography