Yes, we’ve all heard this hundreds, if not thousands of times! We have to exercise to be healthy, or to get healthy. And exercise should be part of any weight loss program.
Well – it’s right…as much as I don’t like to admit it. I’m not a big fan of exercise in the gym nor am I much of an outdoors person. You don’t exactly have to be at the top of your physical shape, and many can lose weight and get healthier without it.
However, movement enhances all of this. Movement can and should be fun in my mind. When I was a kid, aside from running all over while I was playing, I also enjoyed bike riding, skating, and dancing. Moving into my adult years, I continued to love to dance, even if I didn’t enjoy the other activities so much anymore.
We have over 600 muscles in our bodies which comprise about 40% of our total body weight, although that can vary individually. By moving (enough), we strengthen our muscles which helps improve balance, overall stability, and coordination.
Movement helps build and keep your bones nice and dense. As we grow older, this is something that becomes more crucial to maintain. So, exercising with weights, going jogging, walking, hiking, and doing something like yoga for balance all contribute to bone density.
Joints ache? Yoga, which increases body awareness, helps you realize just how you move, so you can make improvements in being coordinated and more balanced. Yoga also helps improve flexibility, which helps make your joints work better.
Keeping physically fit helps us greatly in our heart health – although I will add that if you consume a very unhealthy diet, you will not realize all the protective effects. But, just by going biking on a regular basis can lower your risk for heart disease by 50%! Definitely worth it!
Movement keeps up our cardiovascular system, getting our lungs going, and it doesn’t have to be at an alarming rate to realize this benefit.
I mentioned above that adding a healthy diet to getting some good, health-building exercise is improving your chances of getting and staying splendidly healthy even more. So, it makes sense to cut down (or out) the junk food (unless you make the healthy versions), increase your intake of fresh produce, especially vegetables (remember that fruits all have varying amounts of sugar which usually works against our health), both raw (as salads) and lightly steamed as side dishes.
When I cook, my sauces and stews are always chock-full of veggies. They add texture and immense flavor to your dishes. While it’s true that you lose some of the nutrients in the cooking process from the heat (that’s why it’s also good to eat salads with diverse vegetables in them), you still reap a ton of nutritional benefits.
You may know that I’m an addiction therapist and prevention specialist here in the state of Ohio, among other things. That’s why I always add some information for those in recovery from drugs. And let’s face it – way too many people have problems with alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
Recovering people usually have emotional issues, especially noticeable when in the earlier stages of recovery. Movement is critical, not only for our physical bodies, but it also helps boost our moods and deal with the world in a clean and sober state in a much more functional, healthy manner. While it’s not as well known, movement has become known in its ability to help those dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder and other trauma disorders. This is just one example.
By the way, I usually clock in a certain number of steps each day to ensure that I’m keeping the juices in my body flowing. I like walking in a nearby park as it’s quite beautiful.
It’s also not unusual to see me putting on some music and dancing around my house.
How would you rate your adherence to movement – of any kind? Is it good, great, or do you need some improvement? Remember to try to make this fun so it adds to your overall health and wellness.
And, as always, please have a happy, holistically healthy day!
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