A piece on moving your body and understanding you deserve a healthy one.
Movement is necessary in life. I am a strong believer that it is vital for you to participate in moving your body in some way everyday.
This is a minor portion of the bigger picture. Throughout many years of experience with fitness I learn to embrace it more each day; I could speak about this topic for hours. I am trying to focus this article on the “overall” concept of moving your body without getting into tiny details. This is directed towards those who may be uncomfortable or unmotivated to take part in physical activity or those living with chronic illness (Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, osteoporosis, cancer etc).
For those who are already frequently engaging in movement, I hope to create a series for you on fitness including what you should be doing in the gym, proper nutrition/supplements and why you may not be seeing results, however that will come later. First.. this.
The human body is something I have always been intrigued to learn about. Thankfully that’s what the majority of my schooling is focused on. We get to explore how the body works in diverse ways; How movement makes it able to holistically thrive. Moving your body is good for your mind, your lungs, your hormones, your heart, your spirit and much more. The values of partaking in activity are significant in finding yourself. Finding what you like. Finding what makes your body feel best. You should be grateful of the possibilities we discover through leisurely movement of the human body.
Since I was young, I’ve always known that I want to help others. I wasn’t sure how until finding my passion for movement. My passion for encouraging everyone else to move. An objective of mine is for each of us to observe what our body likes and dislikes. What our body can handle. How we can make it stronger (physically, mentally, emotionally). I want you all to feel your greatest. We have endless opportunities to explore what our body is capable of; However this requires an inner drive to strive for success.
I had a mentor of mine ask me last weekend “What is the most important thing you have learned during your diploma?”. My answer to that was how important it is to engage in moving your body and how many people chose not to. Being active doesn’t limit yourself to treadmills and bikes; It is diverse. It is increasing your heart rate. Ranging from gardening, to cleaning, to walking the dog, to taking the stairs. It can be yoga, walking, swimming, dancing, karate, or sports. You have options.
A common saying many Kinesiologist’s live by is..
"EXERCISE IS MEDICINE."
You may not understand this concept although the scientific evidence is there. Being active aids in solving many issues within the body. An active, balanced healthy lifestyle presents you with the ability to overcome illness. Physical, mental, social and emotional. Moving expands your mind.
Raising your heart rate provides benefits to the whole body. This includes the opportunity to live a life full of longevity and self confidence. Movement can be spiritual. The mind-body connection lets us understand how intelligent our muscles are and how strong our mind is. If you aren’t sure what I am talking about when I relate movement to mindfulness, try going to a yoga class. An hour of only thinking about the way your body can move. How far your lungs can expand. How important it is to be mindful of your attitude. This feels great for the spirit. I promise you won’t feel upset after leaving a yoga class. Your emotions are uplifted and your mind is clear.
Not enough people are doing this. If you aren’t participating in physical activity your body can encounter COUNTLESS negative consequences (Chronic disease, premature death, disability, anxiety and depression, etc.). Our country is spending almost $7 million a year on issues that have the potential to be prevented and possibly solved. Human Kinetics has really opened my eyes to how important taking care of your body is. Movement is crucial for living.
BENEFITS OF BEING PHYSICALLY ACTIVE:
-decreased resting heart rate = healthy cardiovascular system = decreased risk of heart attack and stoke
-increased confidence and self esteem
-improved mood and concentration
-may increase posture and flexibility
-increased bone mineral density = less fractures and lower risk of osteoporosis (very important for adults)
-decreased fat mass and BMI
-stronger muscles and bones
-improved chances of living longer
Sounds appealing, right? The question I ask is, if people know they can live longer and healthier, why aren’t they wanting to move their body? Are we failing to inform individuals of these issues? I could go on about how our society is failing in creating and maintaining healthy lifestyles; that is another topic for another time. We are now in a time where people find it challenging to move but even more challenging to find the motivation to do so. Below are a few simple tips to include more wholesome body movement and less sedentary time in your day.
EASY WAYS TO BE ACTIVE:
-walk or bike to school/work instead of driving (also great for our environment)
-play with children or animals
-take the stairs instead of the elevator
-invest in a standing keyboard for your desk job instead of having to sit all day
-clean your house often, pitter patter around, get those extra steps!
-take part in an exercise class or go to the gym
This is where my part comes in. I am currently taking my test to become a Group Fitness Exercise Leader with the CFES to be able to teach people their body’s full potential. I am so excited for this journey to begin as I aim to host my classes in outdoor settings to use nature’s natural antidepressant effects in combination with movement. A start to wholesome health. I have so many ideas to share with you all in my classes regarding strength, mindfulness and gratefulness.
On the other side, I understand it can be daunting for someone to walk into a gym without any experience but I am here to let you know that nobody is judging you. Everyone starts out a beginner. We were all at the point in our life; With practice and dedication you will one day walk into the gym with confidence. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Being a fitness professional, we are always here to help you.
If you do not feel comfortable participating in exercise, start with small amounts of physical activity. Learn what feels good for your body and embrace that. Remember that EXERCISE IS MEDICINE. Researchers are continually producing evidence on exercise decreasing the symptoms and prevalence of chronic disease, lower risks of obtaining illnesses and reducing obesity.
You only get one body for your entire life… TAKE CARE OF IT. Pushing your body through new challenges in movement is a gift to all of us. Use it as an antidepressant, use it to build courage, to be the best version of yourself. You have the opportunity to change the negative you have associated with your body. You deserve a healthy mind and body. We are extremely blessed to have functioning bodies accompanied with the ability to watch and contribute to their holistic growth.
I want you all to learn what your body needs. Activity can ease your pain, physical or mental. Work on getting stronger, for yourself, nobody else. Try out new activities any chance you get. If it were up to me I would have everybody I know challenging their body daily. 30-60 minutes out of your entire day is a small dent in 24 hours, contributing to the right decision in the long run. We have failed in the past to educate people on the importance of staying physically active throughout life and my goal is to be apart of the revolution that is reversing that. As well as increasing the importance of the mind-body connection. We can all flourish in this area of wellness by stepping over excuses and uncovering our body’s full potential.
If you feel unmotivated, remember you are worthy of feeling the best and only have this lifetime to treat your body with respect and value it’s individuality. We are all meant to be different, why would we want to be the same? Throughout your own movement journey, aim not to compare yourself to others. This is what Human Kinetics has taught me. Movement allows me to expand my consciousness, overcome life’s barriers, and be fearless to challenges. Please consider how this can benefit your life.
I would not be where I am today without finding this passion in movement and the endless possibilities my body provides me with.
Thanks for reading. Please leave me your thoughts or get in contact with me to learn more about this topic. Below I have included some interesting facts about sedentary lifestyles.
In society today, sitting is the new smoking. Meaning more people are dying from sedentary lifestyles than those dying from tobacco-related illnesses (cancer etc). I could go into the numerous concerns of physical inactivity but today I chose instead to focus on the nourishing benefits of movement. You wouldn’t think our province has issues with being inactive considering our adventurous hearts but here are some discouraging statistics about how physically inactive some of us are.
STATISTICS FROM SCHOOL THAT BLEW MY MIND:
-Only 15% of adults and 7% of youth are meeting the weekly physical activity guidelines
- Grade 6-12 kids are spending 7 hours 48 minutes per day in front of screens
-The WHO (World Health Organization) reported in 2015 that physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor of global mortality, estimating 3.2 million deaths globally attributable to inactivity
- the economic impact of physical inactivity in Canada in terms of chronic disease, obesity and health care costs is estimated at CAD $6.8 billion per annum.
Although BC is in the higher range of being active compared to other provinces, we are still struggling.