The pursuit of health and an improved quality of life relies on our ability to take care of ourselves in as many ways as we can: nutrition, movement, stress management, sleep, et cetera.
Each and every day we have an opportunity to work toward a level of wellness to live a long, full and healthy life; the challenge can be in deciding where to start!
Research that compared movement alone to nutrition alone found that people who change their bodies with movement (rather than dieting) feel better — about their bodies, their capabilities, their health, and their overall quality of life — even if their weight ultimately doesn’t change.
Movement is different from exercise. Movement is ancient — hunting and gathering, walking, climbing, running, jumping, lifting, swimming — these are all movements the human body is designed for.
Our ancestors didn’t need to “work out” when they were walking, climbing, hauling, dancing, digging and squatting every day. We may not hunt for dinner anymore but movement is one of the most basic functions of the human body.
Our bodies are designed to move and move in all different directions; we run, we twist, walk and swim, we bend forward and backward, and more.
Movement has a significant impact on your entire body; it affects everything, from circulation to digestion to metabolism to immunity. It can also boost your mood, improve your sleep and help you deal with depression, anxiety and stress.
And it’s about finding what movement works for you, your body and your lifestyle. Our bodies are all different: ages, injuries, weaknesses, strengths, illnesses and structural makeup.
Regardless of your unique situation there are activities that can work for you, and help you make movement part of your daily life. And the very best movement you can do, is the one you’re going to do.
Find movements you enjoy, pay attention to your body and how it feels to move. The good news is that you can spread your activity out during the week, so you don’t have to do it all at once.
You can even break it up into smaller chunks of time during the day. Take more breaks.
Get out of your seat every half hour to an hour and move or stretch. Take a walk after dinner.
Take the stairs, park further away from the entrance to a store. Walk to the local shops instead of driving.
Every bit of movement helps! And remember, you don’t have to “work out” or “exercise,” you just have to move.
IIN health coach, BCRPA fitness leader and RYT200 yoga teacher Terri Cramb is the manager at Anytime Fitness in Powell River.