Let’s talk for a moment about our bodies. How do you feel about yours? Are you happy with it overall? Do you nit-pick all of your imperfections? Are you frustrated that maybe it doesn’t look the way you want it to? Or maybe it is not aging the way you had hoped. How about mobility? Are you stiff, sore, and achy? Do you feel your body has been “good to you”? The real question is … have you been good to your body?
There are as many views about bodies and what they “should be”, as there are body differences. Of course, if we pay attention to the media, it’s about our size, what we are wearing, or how “beautiful” we are … on the outside; what we should buy to make us fabulous, etc.
Overall, we need to find peace with ourselves and our bodies, imperfections and all. No matter how we look on the outside, it is the function on the inside, that dictates whether we will have a long and active life.
Many of us are so hung up on the “image” that we have of ourselves and how imperfect we are, that we actually self-sabotage, and our health suffers. In a sense, we are fulfilling our expectations that our bodies are not perfect or are not right in some way.
I read something recently that stated, “Don’t complain about any part of your body that you want to keep.” Good advice! For example, my breasts (too personal? Maybe so!) are not what they were when I was 18, and being that I am 50 now, and have nursed three babies, can I really expect them to be “perfect”? I don’t want them taken away though, so no need to complain and obsess negatively about them. My legs – I have never liked my legs. They are not pretty, shapely “lady legs;” never have been, and never will be. I have been “blessed” with my mother’s and grandmother’s legs (thanks Mom and Nana). BUT with that said, they have put up with a lot from me, and have carried extra weight for MANY years. They support me every day and are still doing so. So, with that in mind … my legs are wonderful!
Now, let’s talk about movement. Our bodies are incredible machines! With only basic maintenance from fuel (food), hydration (water), and protection (not sitting in 105-degree sun for hours on end, or sitting in sub-freezing temperatures), they basically run themselves. They breath for us, pump our blood, allow us to think fabulous thoughts etc. And when we want to get up and do something, our joints and muscles allow us to go and do just that. Why on earth would we want to stay sedentary and let our miraculous machines deteriorate, so they no longer function properly? Too many of us are doing just that – sitting for hours on end, watching TV, browsing the Internet, sitting behind the computer at work, then after arriving at home, we sit some more.
These are only a few examples. We have elevators to take us from floor to floor; escalators so we don’t have to climb that flight or two of stairs; parking spaces that are getting closer and closer to the store entrances. We drop off passengers and sit in “non-parking spaces”, making it difficult for people to pass from their properly parked vehicle, to the actual store front. (Yes, this is a pet-peeve of mine.) Internet shopping – OK I do love internet shopping, but it has created a reason NOT to go out and shop for what we need. In a sense, not moving. Whatever the reasons we have, we are becoming a society of non-movers.
Our bodies were made to move! Yes, actually stand upright, bear our weight and move! Imagine that!
At one time, just a few years ago, I had a non-negotiable task for the day. At least 10,000 steps. In the beginning, it was more difficult than I expected. I had some bad habits, and they were difficult to overcome. But for a period of time, those 10,000 steps daily were a non-negotiable for me. It took time to build up to it, but I eventually achieved a 75,000-step day, which equated to approx. 32 miles. That was a fantastic day for me! I am determined to do it again!
“I have no interest in measuring step count, so why even worry about regular movement?”
Well, here are several benefits of movement:
Helps with Digestion
I could go on and on, quoting study after study. And believe me, there are tons of them out there! But let me just tell you this, move now, or soon, you won’t be able to.
Some of us do not have access to a gym. If you do, fantastic! Access to a personal trainer, even better! Those are not the things I am talking about here. I am talking about simple daily movement.
You will find that I often mention my Fitbit. I love it! It keeps me motivated and tracks my movement. It is a tool that has changed my life … seriously! But no tool will work for you or improve your health, if you don’t use it. Meaning, get up and move.
OK, what type of movement do we NEED to do?
Aerobics? Not a bad idea, get the blood pumping, burn some calories and it makes us feel good.
Strength training? Absolutely! This is extremely important for our overall health. That is for another blog post though.
Running? Some people find it very enjoyable. I personally find it hard on my knees. And my bladder. Anyone who has had a baby knows what I am talking about here. But if you love it and can handle it, absolutely!
Dance, or Zumba etc.? All great workouts and great fun! Each with its own set of benefits.
Overall if you are moving your body, it’s good thing.
What I am focusing on here is basic, everyday movement. Things that people can get in the habit of doing every day, without even thinking about it.
There is a new tip section called, “Let’s Get Moving”. Simple everyday things you can do to increase your daily activity. It is a condensed version of the blog posts and can be found here.
If you have a device like a Fitbit, it is easy to track your progress in steps. It’s not required though. Trust me, you will start to notice a difference in how your body feels sooner than you think.
So, let’s get moving!