The human body is truly a marvel of engineering. The elegant, complex mechanisms that make us who we are adapt continually to ensure survival. We have the ability to dream about wondrous creations and the desire to go out and make those dreams come true.
When we put our efforts into something, our bodies and brains adapt. We get better and improve with practice, and our physical bodies become fine-tuned machines, guided by minds that are agile and innovative.
Chasing your food was a lot of work
In today's bustling business environment, it can be difficult to keep our physical bodies in peak condition. We don't have to hunt for our food in a difficult outdoor setting; we merely stroll into a grocery store. Food no longer requires long, exhausting hunts fraught with peril.
Most of us do not face physical dangers that require being able to run quickly. Instead, we are adapting to sitting in chairs, lounging on the couch, playing video games or electronic devices, and sipping cocktails.
Moving more is the secret answer to what ails many of us. Our bodies are amazingly complex and unique machines that are dependent on movement to maintain healthy function, not only physically, but mentally.
How can you increase your movement, and in turn, your health?
Try these 3 tips to improve your body's functionality:
1. Get up. Don't sit down for too long
A recent study followed people during a 5-year period. The ones who had the greatest success with weight loss were compliant with the guideline to walk at least 10,000 steps per day.
Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far.
Even if you can't go for a walk, stand up and sit down at your desk. Take the stairs when you walk into the office. If you take public transportation, get off a stop or two early and walk. If you drive, park at the very back of the parking lot or garage.
2. Find something you like
You may start out enthusiastic and gung-ho and ready to run every morning. But then you realize, on the fifth day that you hate running. You despise it. What is the likelihood that you will keep it up?
It's much better to find an activity that you enjoy. Swimming, hiking, roller skating, dancing, yoga, playing a sport, or even playing on a playground are all good for you. You don't need to become a triathlete to have a healthy body, but moving more might just inspire you to want to do more.
If your body isn't a good enough reason to move, think about your brain then. Consider this study that discusses physical and cognitive training, specifically tailored to gait in the elderly. Subjects were asked to complete tasks as they walked, and this dual task training counteracted the age-related decline that inhibits daily living.
3. Put aside the electronics
Yes, it's ironic, because you are likely reading this article on a computer, tablet, or phone. Instead of loafing on the couch, staring at the TV or a video game, move around instead. Go outside and feel the sunlight. Look at the birds and play catch with your children. Leave your phone or tablet behind and let your mind unclutter from the distractions of electronics.
Smith, K. J., Gall, S. L., McNaughton, S. A., Cleland, V. J., Otahal, P., Dwyer, T., & Venn, A. J. (2017)
Lifestyle behaviours associated with 5-year weight gain in a prospective cohort of Australian adults aged 26-36 years at baseline. BMC Public Health, 17, 54. http://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-016-3931-y
Falbo, S., Condello, G., Capranica, L., Forte, R., & Pesce, C. (2016)
Effects of Physical-Cognitive Dual Task Training on Executive Function and Gait Performance in Older Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial. BioMed Research International, 2016, 5812092. http://doi.org/10.1155/2016/5812092