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Feb 2th

Get up and MOVE!

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Spring is on it’s way and as the days get longer and warmer it gives us a good opportunity to come out of hibernation and get moving again. Here are some great reasons to get you and your family up and moving.

Protects against chronic illness- Being physically active can reduce blood pressure, stabilize blood sugar, lower cholesterol, manage obesity and reduce stress. It is widely accepted by both conventional and holistic medical practitioners that being appropriately physical activity can reduce the onset and improve outcome for all chronic conditions.*

Improves energy balance- Feeling tired at your desk by 3pm? Instead of reaching for coffee try taking a brisk walk! Movement stimulates circulation and gives your metabolism a kick, that is why it is more important to incorporate active moments throughout your day rather than putting in an hour at the gym and being stagnant the rest of the time.

Improves concentration- That increase in circulation achieved by getting up from your desk also stimulates your brain flooding it with oxygen rich blood. Maintaining a more stable blood sugar level will also prevent the crashes that can leave us feeling foggy brained. Studies in schools have also reported a decrease in behavioral issues and better classroom performance when kids are allowed to get up and stretch periodically while working. Walking is the most basic and accessible way to get active and is of special interest to parents of children with cognitive or attention disorders. Basically walking allows for better connectivity in the part of our brain used during daydreaming, this in turn allows for a significant decrease in activity in that part of the brain when we need to pay attention to a task.

Improves mood and Sleep- Being active reduces stress and helps us release tension improving both our mood and quality of sleep. Walking shoulders back and head up not only makes you feel confidant but also tones your core muscles and encourages deep breathing which is crucial in stress reduction.

Decreases likelihood of dangerous behaviour in children- A recent study shows children who participate in physical activities and team sports are less likely to participate in risky behaviors like drug use, drinking, sex. Have a decrease in depression and suicide, better self image, and increase self esteem that leads to confidence and better achievement in school.

It’s in our DNA-  Before there were villages, cities and cell phones human were nomadic. Moving together as a family, travelling together around the block or across town reinforces the family unit; it is something in our collective prehistoric DNA. Bonding occurs when we move together. It provides a platform for impromptu and casual conversation away from the distractions. The combination of air, sunshine, movement have a deep impact on our psychological and physiological state. In Italy and many European countries an evening ritual known as the Passaggiata is a way of life, generations walk together every evening just for the pleasure of it. As well as the health benefits to moving this also allows for casual interaction with friends and neighbors building a greater sense of community.

A great way to connect- Austin Gontang, Ph.D. Is a walking/running therapist. Walking therapy is about sharing time and space in a non-threatening way involving mind and body. It success comes from not having something done to you but done with you. Walking together says I am making this time to be present here with you. Because of its non threatening nature children tend to open up when walking with you. You are facing the same way, moving through space together this decreases self-consciousness in teenagers and allows them a safer way to open us and talk about difficult issues.

Movement is much more than a way to maintain physical and emotional health, it is a celebration of our physical body and the sheer joy of using our muscles and expending energy connects us to ourselves in an intense way. In a time when we are increasingly living our lives in virtual environments it is even more important to make time to be physically present in our bodies.

 

 

 

*speak to your health care provider before starting any new exercise program.

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