A lot of people spend time ‘exercising’ but have you considered this question……. are you moving enough? It’s so easy to spend time nowadays sitting working at the computer or binge-watching our favourite box sets.
Our bodies actually thrive on moving at low levels for the majority of our day. General daily activities such as vacuuming, playing with your children or grandchildren or just walking. A few years ago I was no different to most people in this respect. Outside of my structured training sessions I didn’t actually move that much, but I was also acutely aware of the fact. As you probably know it is recommended that we should be achieving a step count in excess of 10,000 steps per day and I had a sneaking suspicion I wasn’t so I bought a Fitbit to track my daily movement. My Fitbit encouraged me to move more on a daily basis. It has been an absolute godsend and I am much more aware of how much I move.
You might think when you lead a busy life that 10,000 steps is unattainable but there are a few simple steps (no pun intended) that you can incorporate into your daily life with relative ease.
- Get off the bus/train a few stops early or park further away from the office and walk part of your commute
- Meet friends for a walk in the countryside instead of for a coffee and boost your vitamin D levels as well as your health
- Always use the stairs instead of the lift or escalator
- Try to avoid labour saving things; a few hours of home cooking or doing your own shopping can soon add up.
Whilst it is vital for our health to move regularly on a daily basis it is also important to participate in some form of deliberate physical activity in order to increase lean muscle mass and condition our joints so include some weight bearing or resistance exercise. This is essential for good bone and joint health that is beneficial to our overall health at any age. One of the most common misconceptions, however, with structured exercise is that more is better and people think that the more hours you spend going from class to class in the gym or hours pounding the streets is going to increase health benefits. The converse is actually true and large amounts of exercise increases inflammation within the body, places stress on the digestive system and may disrupt hormonal balance. Hard exercise is catabolic and we only reap the benefits of it when we rest.
It’s a whole lot easier now the days are getting warmer and we have more daylight hours. What are you waiting for? Get outside, love our surrounding countryside and move more. It has fantastic benefits and it’s great for your health.
Your health is your wealth.