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Why You Need to Move to Feel Your Best

By now, we’ve all heard it, sitting is the new smoking.  Countless research studies show you need to move to feel your best.  However, many Americans find themselves in front of televisions, computer screens, or even cellphones daily; experiencing minimal physical movement and almost no creative thinking.

As a result, the obesity crisis in the United States continues to grow.  Poor lifestyle choices such as a diet loaded with sugar and fat, alcohol, and inadequate sleep and stress management all contribute to obesity and its auxiliary health concerns.  Perhaps, more than anything else, lack of physical movement or exercise causes obesity and illness.

 

Why physical activity is important

There are many reasons to exercise that extend far beyond just looking good in your bikini.  Physical exercise affects the entire human being: mind, body, and spirit.  To feel your best, it is important to consider the relationship between your physical health and mental health.

 

Physical health
  • Weight control affects how we look and in turn our self-esteem. Trim and healthy individuals know just counting calories won’t do the trick. We need to move if we want to look and feel good.
  • Health conditions such as high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, and even cancer may be staved off or halted by regular exercise. And, since exercise improves blood flow, it especially helps the heart.
  • More energy results from more efficient systems and muscles. Sure, soreness and fatigue may immediately follow a workout, but soon you will notice a difference in your overall endurance.
  • Sleep generally improves with exercise, especially if some of it takes place outdoors.

 

Mental health

Mental Health - Physical ActivityHave you considered the impact physical exercise plays on your mental health? Rates of depression and anxiety are at their highest recorded levels in countries as diverse as India, China, the U.S., and the United Kingdom.  There is little doubt that many aspects of “modern life” — increasing social isolation, poor diets, a focus on money and image — contribute to this state.  However, inactivity is another key factor.

Depression and anxiety are also at all-time highs in the United States.  This problem with depression also relates to our unwillingness to get off the couch.

Social isolation seems like an odd reason when many of us have over 300 friends on Facebook.  But, the lack of genuine human interaction takes its toll on our psyche.

Lack of proper nutrition does more than make us fat or cause our skin to break out. A poor diet also wreaks havoc on our brains and affects our cognitive abilities and our mood.

Money and materialism and the constant desire for more accounts for the misery of many.

Poor self-image fueled by media and advertising campaigns causes some people to feel unworthy if they don’t look like a Vogue model.

 

How Exercise Helps the Brain:

In his groundbreaking book, “SPARK: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain,” Dr. John J Ratley digs deep into the relationship between our physical body and our brain and why exercise represents an essential part of keeping our minds healthy as well as our bodies.

It turns out physical movement may not only help combat some of the negative things we do to our brains, but exercise comes with other cerebral benefits as well:

  • Reduces inflammation
  • Reduces insulin resistance
  • Promotes cell growth
  • Improves oxygen and nutrient delivery

Especially in older individuals, exercise improves memory and cognitive abilities. Don’t think you need to become a 65-year-old gym rat. Even an hour of physical exercise twice a week may show marked improvements in brain function.

 

Spiritual Well-Being

Needless to say, if you feel and look better, you most likely appreciate life more in general.  However you define your soul or spiritual self, just getting out and moving may help you achieve a whole new level.

  • Social activities and exercise make a great combination.  Partaking in social activities contributes to our longevity and happiness.  If you add a physical component such as dancing or bowling you contribute to the benefit of all parts of your being.
  • No matter how you define romance, a better love life may result with improved physical activity.

 

How to Incorporate Movement in Your Everyday Life:

Exercise outside - Colorado MountainsBelieve it or not, little things add up to make a difference.  Try incorporating just a couple of these small changes into your daily routine and notice how you feel a month later:

  • Take the stairs when possible
  • Ring the bell to get off the train or bus a couple of stops early or park a little further away from the shopping center
  • Take up gardening, even if involves pots on your porch or balcony
  • Do more of your own housework
  • Get outside, walk or bike to errands if possible

 

Exercise for Busy People:

We realize that you may not have the time or desire to join a gym or become a marathon runner.  Fortunately, we carry what you need to keep your body moving whether you want to set up a home gym or just row or ride the stationary bike while watching Game of Thrones.  Our online representatives are ready and happy to help you select the the right fitness equipment to meet your physical fitness goals. Contact us today to start improving your physical and mental health.