Not everyone needs to exercise. In fact, only 5-6% of the population have a gym membership. Exercise sessions with a personal Trainer or exercise classes are out of reach for most of the population. This is because it takes money for a membership, the ‘right’ clothes, time, travel and many other variables for an exercise session to take place. Why then does society keep pushing exercise sessions on you?
If you are reading this you may be a person who doesn’t want to join an exercise class or you are ‘too busy’ or it just doesn’t fit into your lifestyle. Although, you know you have to do something. You have to move. But how much do you have to do? Do you need to exercise? I would say no.
This is, of course, the opposite to what everyone to date, has told you. Why don’t you have to exercise? Lets face it, it doesn’t fit into your current lifestyle, and money maybe a bit tight at the moment.
Let me define exercise. Exercise – activity requiring physical effort, carried out to sustain or improve health and fitness. Exercise improves your heart and lung power which is an activity carried out for a specific purpose. For the purpose of this paper, I will also define exercise as an activity involving travel, the exchange of money between parties and a chore to be performed every now and then. Now, you may say, what about my 30 minute walk I do twice a week? I regard this as Movement.
Movement can be defined as – an act of moving….that’s it. If you want to live longer and be healthier you need to move and move often. It is estimated that overall, health wise, if you exercise twice a week for an hour and then sit for most of the day, for the rest of the week, the sitting will negate any exercise you have done. You need to move more. Your body is 60 – 70% water. As you age, this percentage decreases.
Imagine your body as a pond. 60% water and 40% dirt. If you don’t have a regular flow of water (movement) into that pond the edges will get dry and crusty. Sound familiar. Even worse than this, if you are obese you can have as little as 45% water in your body. Sticky, sticky mud. Fluid needs to move and movement is health. If you are thinking now that you need to move more, you are right. But, don’t dismiss those exercise sessions just yet. We will get back to those.
Movement is basically not sitting. Or if you have to sit, be an active sitter, that is, adopt different positions and move around often. Walk or ride to work or part thereof. Walking is a natural movement, and we all need to do more of it.
Think about your jaw, does it move and move to its full range very often. Due to our food being more processed these days, your mouth does not chew as much, therefore your jaw does not move as much. Do you drink shakes to lose weight? It is of the worst things you can do for your health, in the long term. No jaw movement. Less overall jaw movement means less energy expenditure which means less bodily range of movement. If you limit the range of your jaw, this in turn will stiffen your neck and upper body.
Similarly, if you limit the movement your hips, upper back and shoulders your body will lock down preventing you from achieving complete health. You need to move more. So where to from here? I have outlined a long term framework for you to move more. This is not a quick fix, this is a plan. More about this soon.