By David Drinks
When it comes to a discussion of what is good for us and what is not good for us from a long-term health standpoint, everyone has their opinions. To be fair, there are many variables and many right answers to the question of what will allow to you live a longer, healthier life.
However, certain things are tried and true when it comes to maintaining your health, and physical activity is at the top of that list.
Humans are made to move, and we’ve already seen the dramatic effects of what happens to a population when you start taking away everyday movement, making things a little easier, and giving everybody cars and desk jobs…
Not only do we see the negative effects of a lack of movement throughout a population, but we’ve also continued to see more and more evidence to the MANY positive health benefits of physical activity.
However, the key for you to derive all of the benefits of physical activity is to do it today, do it tomorrow, and do it for a lifetime.
Regular physical activity over months and years can produce long-term health benefits.
You know what doesn’t offer the same health benefits? Sitting at a desk all day, and sporadically exercising.
Of course, doing some exercise is always better than nothing. New evidence from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) shows that any physical activity is positive and helps you to derive immediate health benefits, such as reduced anxiety and better sleep quality.
However, as with most things, you get out of physical activity what you put into it. If you want to maximize the long-term health benefits of physical activity, it can’t just be a fad that you try out for a while before taking a break.
You have to move every day in a variety of ways, and you need to do it for a lifetime.
Now, I’m not saying that you need to go to a gym every day of the week.
Of course, we believe that exercise at the gym is a crucial piece of the puzzle, but it can’t stop there. Movement must become an everyday part of your life.
Too often, we allow ourselves to be sedentary during the rest of our lives because we go to the gym a few days/week.
It’s always good to go to the gym, but it also can’t stop there.
Many times, going to the gym is where you start by getting on track with a well-rounded exercise routine. But, I did say that that’s where you START!
From there, think about more ways that you can build movement into your life, and ways that you can make things less efficient for yourself.
That’s right, less efficient.
I know, I know. We’re all about maximizing efficiency, right? Well, one of the best things that you can do for your health is to become less efficient by adding more manual labor and physical movement into your life.
Here are some quick examples:
Instead of driving across the street to get to the store, walk there. Sure, it might take some extra time, but you’ll get a lot more activity.
Rather than riding on a lawnmower, walk behind it and push it!
Instead of taking the elevator, walk up the stairs.
Instead of getting the old chainsaw out, go ahead and chop down that tree with an ax! (Mostly kidding about that one…)
In addition to that, make it a game to think about more ways you can sneak movement into your daily activity. Can you go for a walk in the evening instead of just sitting down to watch TV? Can you get out of the office on your lunch break for a brief stroll?
When you start to think this way, it not only helps you to get more physical activity in your daily life, but it also starts to change your perspective on physical activity. No longer is it such a bad thing to have to walk far or carry heavy things – it’s just another excuse to get some positive, healthy movement!
That shift in your mentality surrounding exercise and movement may be the biggest key to your long-term health. If you view exercise as a negative thing to be avoided, well, you won't do it!
But, if you see exercise from the opposite perspective - the perspective that exercise is something desirable, and the more I add to my life, the better my life will be - you'll build habits around exercise that will change your life.
Many times, we make the excuse to ourselves that we’re too tired at the end of the day to go take that walk, and that’s why we need to sit down and watch TV. We need that recovery time.
However, I’ve found the opposite to be true. The more you move, the more endurance and resilience you will develop.
The more you push yourself to add physical activity to your life, the less you’ll feel like you need to collapse at the end of the day. Your body will be better conditioned to endure stress and it will recover quicker.
We need movement to maintain our health, energy, resilience, and happiness.
So, start thinking about ways you can become less efficient and build more movement into your everyday life!
Once you get used to thinking this way, it won’t just change your perspective on movement, it will begin changing your health and your life.
Want to learn more about training your body to Move Better, Feel Better, and Live Better? Our exercise programs at the Med Gym are custom-made to get you exactly what you need.
Whether you come into the gym or work with us via Med Gym Online, we can help you get on the right track with your movement and fitness.
Contact us here to talk about how we can help you develop an exercise routine to get you started on your journey!