The video below was recently passed along to me and it is certainly worthy of a look.
The basic premise does not receive nearly as much attention as it deserves. Whenever health and fitness is discussed, the conversation typically focuses on those activities that are performed as part of a formal workout. Little attention is directed towards the remaining 23+ hours each day. Consequently, there are people in today’s world who exercise more frequently than those from previous generations, yet still perform less overall movement.
I make this point not to diminish the potential of brief workouts, but instead to remind you that there is more to movement than exercise. I know all about being busy with work, parenting, and life in general. I could be the poster child for the effectiveness of short workouts. Much of my training is performed via brief, mini-sessions. Like many busy adults, I don’t always have extended periods of time that I can dedicate to exercise. Thus, during those hectic times, I make the most of shorter blocks at various points throughout the day.
I do not limit my movement to exercise however. I am a big believer in getting up to move as often as possible. Whether I am walking my dog, wrestling with my kids, splitting wood, shoveling snow, raking leaves, or mowing the lawn, there are always opportunities to include movement within the week.
Sadly, regular movement seems to be shifting towards the exception, not the rule. As I stated in past entry, the average person spends 4.4 hours of leisure time in front of a computer, tablet, or phone screen. And unfortunately, the 4.4 hour estimate comes from data collected a few years ago. Call it a hunch, but I’m willing to bet that the time spent in front of a screen has already increased and will continue to do so.
As a parent, I am also seeing more and more kids with smart phones and tablets. Kids learn by watching their parents. If a parent is always browsing his or her phone whenever they have a moment of free time, how can we expect children to act any differently? Kids learn by what you do, not by what you say to do.
When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait to get home from school so I could head outside to play. Nowadays, there are kids who rush home to download a new app. The world has certainly changed, and much of the change has not been for the better. Our population as a whole continues to move less, and that is a problem.
The human body has evolved to move. Let’s not allow technology to change that. Most people could benefit from more movement throughout the day. Even many exercise enthusiasts could benefit by following some of the suggestions presented in the video above. Movement is medicine and everyone needs a regular dose. And please note, I am not suggesting that you live in the woods without electricity. I am simply encouraging you to budget in more time to get up and move. Your body will thank you for it as the years pass.
“Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.” – Plato