How many of you have given up on being healthy because you hate the “E-Word?” To many, exercise sounds like more time and effort than they can afford. After all, you have a full-time job and a household to run. Who has time or energy left for the gym? Here’s some good news, “You don’t have to go to the gym to be healthy.”
Change your thoughts from exercise to MOVE! Yes, just move, a lot! Use your muscles, all of your muscles, throughout the day. In Move your DNA Katy Bowman talks about getting your “movement nutrients.” These nutrients cause biochemical processes in your body that she calls mechanotransductions. In order for your body to be healthy it needs a VARIETY of “inputs” causing a variety of machanotransductions.
Your body adapts to the stresses or inputs it receives each day. Weightlifters gain muscle and runners gain endurance in this manner. But, using the same muscles and bones in the same way day after day will only strengthen those muscles and bones at the points at which the inputs are received. What about the same muscle or bone from another angle? Without similar inputs these parts of our muscles and bones do not strengthen. Very strong muscles and bones next to muscles and bones that have not been stressed and strengthened set up the opportunity for injury.
Let’s talk about being healthy through a variety of movements. Of course, you want to walk from the back of the parking lot and climb the stairs. But you also want to do things like:
- Lift stacks of books, boxes, grocery bags and toys.
- Reach for items on the top shelf.
- Squat down to see what’s in the back of the cabinet.
- Get down on your hands and knees to look under the couch.
- Lie on your stomach and stretch for whatever you find there.
You want to use your ENTIRE body everyday!
You can begin you new healthy routine by paying attention to how many different movements you make during the day. Be conscious of which muscles you are using, both stretching and flexing. Then find ways to use the muscles you’ve been missing.
Bottom line: Use your body in a variety of ways every day.