Just Keep Moving
Many years ago I saw an interview with a sweet gentleman who was celebrating his 100-and-somethingth birthday. The interviewer asked him, “What is the secret to your longevity?” With a knowing smile, the centenarian replied, “Just keep moving.” Since that time, study after study has revealed that the anecdotal advice of this gentleman has merit: keeping one’s body, and mind, moving, is the key to a healthier, longer life.
Fitness over Fanaticism
In our culture we receive a lot of implied and explicit messages about the importance of looking good: six-pack abs will get you the girl…thin is in…try the latest and greatest weight loss program. At mydietribe we believe that if one’s wellness routine isn’t simple and sustainable, the benefits will never be all that they can be. That’s why we believe – and studies have proven – that regular, moderate physical activity is far better for you than going to extremes. Choose a regular exercise routine that works to keep you fit and you’ll not only enjoy doing it, but you’ll get more out of it.
Stand up to the Sedentary Life
Desk jobs. Long commutes. TV watching. What do these things have in common? In most cases, we sit while engaging in these activities. And how many hours a day do we spend doing them? On average, 10 hours or more. And that sedentary life is killing us: our risk of diabetes, heart conditions and stress-related illnesses go way up, for starters.
Stand up to the sedentary life by using your “down time” to benefit your overall health and wellness. Here are a few simple and sustainable tips.
- Take the stairs.
- Sit up straight in your chair with your shoulders back and your head held high. Good posture does wonders for a body, and it will make your mother happy too.
- Stand up and stretch your arms above your head every twenty minutes.
- While sitting at your desk, lift the lower half of one leg up until it’s parallel to the ground and then pulse it up and down gently 15 times; repeat with the other leg.
- Make an hourly lap around your office – use the time to grab some water, use the restroom and connect with colleagues.
- Go for a walk at lunch at least once a week – even if it’s an indoor walk, it’s still a walk.
The brain is the powerhouse of our bodies. Without a high-functioning brain none of our other systems work optimally, and our overall health and wellness can decline rapidly. So it’s important to keep our brains moving too. How?
- Get plenty of imega-3 fatty acids into your diet (salmon and tuna are good sources).
- Think happy thoughts – yes, really. A positive outlook reduces stress and improves health.
- Expand your knowledge by reading, opening yourself up to new experiences, meeting new people and going outside your comfort zone.
- Play games – everything from reciting the alphabet backwards and doing crossword puzzles to playing chess and games on the Wii can boost your brain power.
The bottom line is that all of the elements of our overall wellness – physical, emotional, mental, financial and spiritual – is interconnected. By keeping our minds and bodies moving, we’re allowing this amazing system known as the body to work optimally, to resist disease and to live in more fulfilling ways.
Catherine Mason is a writer, former educator, and someone who has multiple food allergies. As Tribe Leader & Chief Wellness Coach at www.mydietribe.com, she helps people identify, assimilate and maintain sustainable health and wellness practices in their everyday lives, with a focus on physical, emotional, spiritual, mental and financial wellness. Catherine may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you can follow her on Facebook and Twitter (@mydietribe).
What are your tips for keeping the mind and body moving in positive ways? Share your thoughts here – then go for a walk!