Some of us are busy all day long, moving from here to there and all around the place. Dancing to some music on the radio while making dinner, bustling about the stores or getting outside to rake the lawn. Those who are active know what I’m saying—somehow, we just keep moving!
Most days finds us up and at it from dawn ‘til dusk and beyond.
But there are also many folks who aren’t that busy (or who are tied to a desk for various reasons) and subsequently don’t move about very much. And that’s not good. They live more sedentary lives and in all likelihood, they’ll eventually pay the price when it comes to their health and fitness level.
If you’re in this latter category, you may want to get moving a lot more, even if it’s to simply take a short walk once a day or to tackle the house/yard work or wheel a grocery cart around the supermarket. Why? Because an inactive body will eventually affect your health. We’re not suggesting you have to get out to the gym or take up some action-filled sport if that doesn’t appeal to you. What we are advocating for you to do is to move, plain and simple. Move around more. Get out of your chair or off the couch and get the blood circulating and your heart pumping a bit more! It may be easier than you think.
Recognize the Signs of Inactivity
If you find you’re not feeling quite up to snuff or as some people like to put it, feeling one degree under, then maybe it’s because you aren’t moving enough. Your body will start to let you know because the following signs will become apparent.
- Stiff or sore joints: A lack of daily exercise slows down the body’s production of synovial fluid that lubricates your joints and surrounding cartilage. Hydration along with good nutrition is also a key player in conjunction with movement when it comes to less joint pain and stiffness.
- Mood changes: Moving your body can do a lot to improve your mood by reducing anxiety, stress and depression. Feel good hormones called endorphins are released which can alter your mood significantly. Getting your daily quota of movement could be as simple as turning on the radio or putting on some music you love and dancing for a half hour—even by yourself!
- Shortness of breath: If you find yourself getting out of breath easily it could be a sign that you’re not moving around enough to exercise your lungs. Like any muscle, our lungs need a little workout to stay in shape. Deep breathing exercises such as meditation can get those lungs moving as can any aerobic activity.
- Constipation: Your colon gets sluggish when you don’t move enough. Why? Because your abdominal muscles and diaphragm begin to lose some of their muscle tone which can cause irregular or difficult bowel movements. That’s because these muscles are the ones that help ‘get things moving’. Plus, aerobic exercise speeds up your breathing and heart rate. This helps to stimulate the natural squeezing (or contractions) of muscles in your intestines. Intestinal muscles that squeeze better will help move stools out quickly.
- Sluggishness: Feeling sluggish – are you slow-moving or inactive, lacking energy? It’s a common complaint from those who don’t get up and move around on a regular basis. Exercise and movement help to deliver oxygen and vital nutrients to our body tissues and organs. Too much time spent sitting and not moving deprives your cells of the fuel they need to keep your body in good running order and you feeling good. If you’re feeling sluggish, are having trouble concentrating, thinking straight and/or experiencing memory issues, moving around more and being less sedentary could help you throw off those sluggish feelings and enable you to clear your head.
As you can see, not getting up and about can lead to physical and mental health issues. And you can also see that the solution is really quite easy. Get moving: dance, walk, run, ride a bike, stretch, climb some stairs, take a hike, skip a rope, play a game, garden, do the vacuuming, walk the dog more often, swim—just start moving more! You’ll be so glad you did.