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Several weeks ago I published a blog post titled “5 Keys to a Better Life.” In subsequent blog posts I’ve been expanding on each recommendation. With a slight detour into COVID territory last week, I’m getting back to these 5 things that I think can make your life better. Today, we talk movement.
Movement cues both our minds and bodies that vitality is still necessary. There’s a reason that once a human or animal becomes immobile, its health can decline quickly. That being said, here are three reasons we humans need to keep moving:
1. Remaining vital
The word vital has two definitions: a) absolutely necessary or important; essential and b) full of energy; lively. Both of these definitions come into play when talking about the vitality needed in order to live a good life.
Look at that first definition: absolutely necessary or important; essential. To me, this is quite profound. The way I look at it, I have to prove to the material universe that I am still essential to the environment I live in. It’s necessary I’m alive. I still have a job to do. It’s important that I’m here. As far out as this sounds, I think there’s something in this universe that senses when a living organism has lost its vitality, and that all the materials it’s made of, down to the atoms, are better used elsewhere.
We see human lives end early, cut short by disease, when regular movement is not habit. I’m not talking about going to the gym or running miles regularly. I’m talking about people who don’t even do the simple things, like walking, or if that isn’t possible, upper body movement. We’re made to move, and the universe knows it.
2. Cleaning house
When we move, we increase the speed and pressure of our blood. We know if blood pressure remains high constantly, long-term damage can be done. But shorter spurts of increased blood pressure can have beneficial effects.
When we force our blood and organs to move faster, we speed up the cleaning processes. Imagine this like water moving quickly and powerfully through a pipe, sweeping sediment away. Now imagine a pipe that only ever has the same trickle of water running through it. Which pipe will be cleaner?
You can apply this to the vascular system of your body. Regularly getting your blood pumping will move “sediment” through, allowing it to be filtered out by your kidneys so it can exit the body, and not build up into a bigger problem.
Granted, your body is constantly circulating your blood, doing it’s best to filter out waste. But without regular movement, that process is getting no assistance from you, and becomes sluggish and less effective. Simply walking can get your blood moving faster.
3. Creating a strong brain
In 2018 the peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Science published a study linking the strength of leg muscles to brain health. The study showed that using the legs for weight bearing exercise sent signals to the brain that are vital (there’s that word again) for producing healthy neural cells.
Think about this from an evolutionary, or survival perspective. When we used to have to move a lot more to secure food, it was highly beneficial for the brain to have new brain cells at the ready to form into memory of where a good food source was found. When we moved, it was because we had to in order to survive, and the brain wanted to make sure we committed the “how” of it all to memory.
Nowadays we get to just hop in our car and drive to the grocery store for food, but obviously the connection between leg strength and brain health has not been abandoned by our bodies.
I think this just goes to show how important movement has been to our past development, and how far humans have come. And it also shows how important it is that we respect that movement is a necessary part of living a balanced, healthy human life.
Work with me
Do you want to get into a habit of movement, but are having a hard time reaching your goal? Believe it or not, you could have some very simple thinking blocking you from making the change. I can help you find those thoughts that are causing you to avoid movement, and teach you how to create new thoughts that will serve you in getting what you want.
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