For almost as long as humans have walked on earth, our physical, mental, and emotional health has been sustained by daily physical movement.
These days, especially in the concrete canyons of the city, we often have to go out of our way to find appropriate environments for movement, let alone healthy exercise in natural surroundings.
Hour-long commutes eat up a major portion of our day.
Grocery stores are no longer within walking distance.
Modern jobs require sitting all day.
Our leisure time is spent socializing via technology or passively watching and listening.
We’re all aware how much our bodies benefit from exercise. All of the leading causes of disability and death can be seriously curtailed by exercise: cancer, cardiovascular disease, premature cognitive decline, diabetes, depression, falls, osteoporosis, musculoskeletal pain, and more.
- Forty-five minutes of daily aerobic exercise promotes beneficial estrogen metabolites and estrogen clearance, decreases the risk of estrogenic conditions, and plays a positive role in the treatment of endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and breast cancer.
- Less than an hour of moderate physical activity can offset hours of desk sitting.
- As little as four hours per week of walking at a moderate pace reduces the risk of heart disease and associated fatal outcomes.
- Three hours per week of high-intensity physical activity correlates with stroke prevention.
- Among hypertensive women, those who exercise experience a huge relative risk reduction for serious consequences – even if systolic blood pressure remains elevated.
- Exercise helps us develop balance, co-ordination, and good posture and decreases the risk of falling.
So what’s preventing us from incorporating exercise into our lives?
Do we lack time? Are we simply choosing to do something else? Are we at a loss for how to get started? Is a physical condition keeping us from our former exercise routine?
Are you unable to think of an exercise that you’d enjoy? Would you be motivated if you could find an exercise buddy or join a group?
As with all change, the first step is to become aware that a change is needed. Next comes committing to change, and envisioning how to make the change happen.
It isn’t all that difficult to get into the idea of moving your body.
- Leave the car at the far end of the parking lot, instead of maneuvering endlessly for a parking space in front of the store.
- Walk and chat with friends instead of meeting for coffee.
- Buy a standing desk.
- Hula hoop on lunch breaks.
- Leave the remote across the room, and get up every time you change the channel.
- If you forget something upstairs, celebrate the opportunity for some vigorous step climbing.
Once your body gets used to moving, you’ll find yourself craving exercise and enthusiastically making time for it.
Take advantage of online yoga and exercise classes.
Do you love dancing? Dance to your own music.
Revisit a sport you once enjoyed.
The benefits will come early.
Several months ago, I joined a twice-weekly one-hour workout group in my community. Between five and fifteen friends at various levels of fitness enjoy supporting each other while w stretch, strengthen, and work on our core strength.
After three weeks, my lower-back pain vanished.
After three months, I was astonished to see that my average systolic blood pressure had dropped 20-30 points.
I started seeing welcome changes in the shape of my body. And I started looking for more ways to exercise.
You, too, can enjoy the benefits of movement. Why not start today – go easy, but go!
“RFP” is an acronym among ultra-marathoners, those who run distances of 30 miles and beyond. The literally meaning is “Relentless Forward Progress.” The subtler meaning is that it doesn’t matter if you’re walking, jogging, bicycling, or sprinting – every least bit of forward progress counts. It’s all good, because it will raise your energy, improve your mood, and lift your spirits.
For information about the services we offer at Pacific Naturopathic, please give us a call at 650-961-1660. You can also use the convenient Contact Form to get in touch or follow the link to: Consultations – Pacific Naturopathic. Thank you!