How many of you have seen the movie Madagascar? It is a cartoon but one of those ones that people of all ages can get a kick out of. You needn’t to have seen it to get this post but the theme song from it has been echoing in my brain forever. It is all about moving and seriously when you hear the music, I can’t help but move.
All this is a rather backward way of getting to my subject today, moving and the wellness of our bodies. If you are a regular reader, you know one of my philosophies of wellness (POW, watch the utube clip on my home page if this is new to you) is to simply move. I don’t quantify this since there are too many variables to consider around it. What works for me is different than you…BUT
Traditional advice out there has been things like “…adults aged…require at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity…” blah blah blah. You get the pic right? So not saying this is bad but, I am going to throw a wrench into the mix. If you are dutifully following this exercise “prescription” ( which upon full reading adds up to about maybe 270 minutes, this is from the World Health Organization, WHO) this represents less than 3% of your week. A forty-hour work week represents about 24%.
Are you starting to think whoa how can that small portion of my week have such a positive impact on my life? Well don’t doubt that it can for training your heart and getting stronger but there is something BIG missing here that I put down all those numbers for you to notice. What the heck are we doing the rest of the time and isn’t it possible that it has even more of an impact on my body since there is so much more time spent there?
Short answer is YUP.
There is a lot of literature out there now saying things like “sitting is the new smoking”.(google it tonnes and tonnes of stats and articles). There is a reason it is out there, it is a real problem. I continually hear people around me say things like “getting old so things are breaking down and I hurt”. Well yes aging can impact our bodies but the world abounds with those that have done amazing physical feats long past the “due date” on our cultural expectation of age. (anyone seen the 90+ year old gymnast google 90-year-old anything and you might be surprised).
So back to my original POW of move. Incorporating movement in anyway is a good thing. You don’t need to go hard here (remember you got the heart and strength stuff covered in the WHO recommendation above), just move instead of being stationary. Standing instead of sitting where you can (build stamina slowly), mini movement breaks to stretch or mix up activities. Become a “fidgetier”, be the person in the meeting that says at the start, that you will be moving to stay focused, alert and think. Get a sit/stand desk, wear head phones so you can walk and talk…get creative. Think about ways you can make movement fit in your daily to dos. Embrace squatting low or reaching high to get things, try sitting different ways (work towards the ability to squat if you can). If we all do this then it will become less “odd”.
We are designed to move not to be stationary. Stationary creates muscle imbalances that can’t be easily fixed, and tension and tightness where movement should be. Fasica in the body (connective tissue) will build up to help keep you in your stationary postures making it next to impossible to move or be otherwise. Muscles that don’t get used will become weak, muscles that get over used get tired and break down…hopefully you get the picture.
For the last week I have been really focusing on this. Writing this article, I did it in chunks, moving my computer around as well to incorporate different sitting and standing postures. Where possible I actually sit on the floor and sometimes stretch at the same time. I am really looking to my environment for opportunities to move and stretch. It is taking effort but I also feel a difference. A good difference.
Oh, and a whole bunch of brownie points to those of you out there that realized making this POW work requires use of another POW, awareness. All four POWs (check out the utube clip on my home page to learn them all) really do support each other, it IS that simple.
This blog my challenge to you is to “move it” in any way you can when you can. See if you can bump activity up just being and living your life without scheduled “gym time”. Love to hear how it goes as always!