Why should we try to keep our bodies in motion? As we age, why do we want to sit and rest more? Can we stop this fatigue? Why does body motion stop? How will staying in motion benefit me? What does body movement mean?
A Body in Motion will Remain in Motion
Objects in motion stay in motion. This has been said over and over again. The momentum that took the body to start moving is accomplished and then the movement continues until acted upon by an outside force to stop the motion. Our bodies are similar. Once we start to move, we can continue to move, and we can increase our movement. However, the same rules apply the opposite way: A body at rest stays at rest. The more we sit….then the more we sit. The greater the momentum needed to get moving.
The World Has Changed- It is Easy to Rest
With television, delivery of everything from clothes, to toys, to groceries, computers, and multiple other electronic, mechanical, and helping devices the daily activity of most people has decreased significantly. People walk less, run less, and just move less in general. It has become so easy to sit- even our couches and chairs are more comfortable than they use to be. Television shows, gaming devices, and hand-held devices suck us in to sitting and watching or playing for hours and hours. Delivery of goods and services makes it so we do not have to get out of our homes, walk to the car, and walk around a store looking for items. We can do so much from the comfort of our cozy couch or bed. What does this do to our bodies?
Why Stay in Motion- How does this Benefit Me
Bodies in motion stay in motion. Does this saying make sense? When the body is in motion it means that all or some part of the body is moving. Movement of the body is so beneficial. When we move our arms and fingers, walk, wiggle our toes, or even just go from sitting to standing, or standing to walking, we are promoting circulation of blood to the cells of our body. The more parts we move, the better the blood flows, and the more effecient the blood can circulate. The more we move, the better our body functions. Think of sitting still, now get up, lift your hands over your head, wiggle your fingers and toes, and march in place. This small amount of movement promoted circulation throughout your body and also promoted muscle use. Blood and oxygen were carried to your brain, organs, and extremities. Movement also helps our body fight fatigue, we get more oxygen which helps awaken us.
Momentum- The First Step
The first step….The hardest part.
This is the initial momentum to start moving our body more. The longer we have been sitting, the more momentum or outward force it is going to take to to get moving. Small steps can be taken to help change a lifestyle of rest to a lifestyle of motion.
1. Set a timer. Set a timer for every 1 hour during the day, when the timer goes off: stand up, march in place, jump, stretch, or do some other movement.
2. Do isometric activity. Isometric activity is performing muscle toning or movement without moving the complete body or part of the body. Sit still, think of your bicep muscle (upper arm), flex that muscle, hold for 10 seconds, release. Repeat with opposite arm. flex your leg muscles. Flex your abdominal muscles. Repeat these steps 3-5 times. This can be done while working, driving, or even watching television or during Saturday night movie time. Small motion…..Is still motion.
3. Plan motion or activities with others. Setting a date, time, or place to be in motion is another great way to help move. You can have Skype dates, or Facetime even, where you do yoga, walking dates, or any other activity to help increase the likeliness of moving every day. Having partners helps keep one accountable. You also benefit your partner by following through.
4. Have standing or walking meetings instead of sitting. Or during the meeting take moments to stand and stretch, squat, or march in place or other movement. This can also increase focus and productivity of the meeting.
5. It is not too late. It is never too late to start moving more. Even if you weigh 600 pounds and have been stuck to a couch or a wheel chair for 5 years…It is not too late. Just need more momentum so likely will need a helper. Even having someone exercise your legs and arms for you can help increase the circulation to every part of your body and improve the muscle function and strength. Slowly build on this. Slowly become more independent in movement.
6. Help Others Move. Honestly, if there is a loved one that you are concerned with not moving enough, make a date with them or help them. If they are not motivated I strongly encourage you to find a way to motivate them. Maybe they are really interested in certain subjects, take a trip to see sites, go to the library, sporting events or think of other ways to get them up walking and moving more. If they are bedridden help them with exercises or check on therapy options. Many health insurances don’t pay for a lot of home care and even in nursing homes and health facilities there is very limited time to help with activity so many people end up getting weaker and weaker and start needing extra assistance for all their daily tasks. Every little bit helps.
Lifestyle of Motion- That’s What I Want
I want to feel my arms move freely and easily, without pain or difficulty. I want to be able to walk where I need to go, or even run so I can get there faster. I do not want to be resigned to sit in a chair, or a bed for the rest of my life. Establishing a lifestyle of motion is the best way to ensure I do not get stuck sitting or laying for the rest of my life. I want my brain to get blood and oxygen easily and frequently so I do not get forgetful or lose my mind when I am older. I want my legs to walk daily so they continue as I age. If something happens and I get weakened, I want to work to strengthen again. I want to move again. If I cannot do it myself, I hope someone will help me. If it is painful I hope someone pushes me to get through the pain. I hope my body motion stays.
I want a lifestyle of motion. I want to start now. But no matter when you start…It is still better to start.