It’s a fact – the modern “civilised” lifestyle is simply too sedentary and this is dangerous for health. We are spending far too much time not moving. We are sitting or standing in one place at work for hours at a time. Sitting in the car or public transport getting to and from work. Sitting at home after work, “relaxing”. Body systems are in stagnation, struggling to perform their natural functions – stiffening through lack of use. Metabolism is slowing down, arteries are clogging up, waste products getting trapped in cells and intracellular spaces, nutrition not getting to cells. All those niggling pains and discomforts are the body’s attempts to get you to pay attention!
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that physical inactivity is associated with 3.2 million deaths worldwide each year.1 The WHO recommendations encourage adults to do 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (e.g. running, brisk walking, swimming; any movement that makes you feel warm and slightly out of breath). Children should spend at least 60 minutes being physically active each day. This activity reduces the risk of non-communicable diseases, including breast and colon cancers, diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD).1
However, it is simply not sufficient to be sedentary all day and just chuck in an hour of exercise. If you want to optimise your health you have to ensure you are doing regular movements throughout the waking hours. If you can’t leave your desk, then try 5-10minute movement breaks every hour.
- Stand up and stretch your body – raise and then lower your arms in front up to ceiling,again raise and lower out from the sides, rotate each shoulder forwards and backward.
- Gently swing each leg forward and backwards,
- Roll on your feet back and forth from toes to heels,
- Deep Breathing – whilst inhaling imagine the breath filling your whole body all the way down to your feet,exhale and imagine any tension melting away.
- Gently and slowly stretch your neck by moving your head up and down, turning your head to the left and right, and tilting your head to each side (bringing your ear towards the shoulder (be mindful of any pain and don’t do neck stretching if you have recent neck injury or pain)
- Eye exercises these are absolutely necessary to relieve eyestrain and maintain vision health – get yourself this free app or find one that suits your device
“Movement” equals “Improved Circulation” equals “Improved organ function” equals “Better health, naturally”.
Aim to include 1/2 hour walking or swimming or yoga or tai chi or qi gong or Kum Nye – there’s simply no excuse!
Oh, and REMEMBER to drink 6 – 8 glasses of filtered alkaline water to keep your body hydrated.
Can’t get motivated? Try Bach Flowers for that bit of support you need to remove your resistance to change.
Need help to get back on track for a healthier happier you? Michele can help
- WHO | New physical activity guidance can help reduce risk of breast, colon cancers. 4 February 2011