The Power of Motion

The day has 24 hours and if we are honest, most of us will probably have to admit that the majority of these hours are spent sitting or laying down. Our modern society has designed amazing, convenient ways of mastering daily life that allow us to sit more and move less!

We have remote controls, cell phones, computers and we can practically do everything from our sofa by clicking buttons. Drive-throughs for fast food, pharmacies and banks are supposed to make life ‘easier’ and save us time, allowing us to stay in our cars and not move one step. Most jobs in modern society require many hours of sitting each day and most public schools have had to cut down on Physical Education and recess; the only times that children can move their bodies during their long school days.

The results of this type of daily living are that we move far less than society did, even just a few decades ago. In addition, we eat more unhealthy foods, drink more coffee and lattes and as a result, sleep less. Increasing obesity rates, even among kids, are alarming and we all know that something needs to change. There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of diets, pills, and quick fixes available on the market and many of us have spent quite a bit of money on them. But did they fix anything? Probably not!

Take a moment to reflect on your normal day, your routines, and write down how many hours you think you move per day. Then create a second column writing down, how many hours you sleep and sit. Then consider the following:

What would happen if we started putting our bodies in motion each day, converting sitting hours into moving hours?

What would happen if we stopped sitting so much, depending on so many conveniences and rather use our own body to complete the tasks?

We don’t realize that there is an amazing power in moving our bodies! Regular movement provides the solution to so many of our daily physical ailments. If we started moving intentionally at least 30 minutes per day (brisk walking, biking, playing a sport, fitness classes, gardening, etc.) we would notice free benefits right away:

  • An increased amount of energy throughout the day
  • Higher quality of sleep; a greater sense of feeling rested
  • An improved self-image
  • Positive thoughts
  • Improved mental functioning: increased productivity
  • An automatic desire to eat healthier foods

If we managed to adhere to a regular physical activity routine (daily, intentional movement!), we would continue to experience numerous health benefits (some visible, some invisible):

  • Reduced incidence of heart disease and high blood pressure by approximately 40%.
  • Improved cardio-respiratory functioning
  • Better control of body fat (fat/weight loss)
  • Improved immune function
  • Increased muscular strength and endurance
  • Increased flexibility/better joint health
  • Reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by approximately 40%
  • Reduced risk of mortality
  • Reduced risk of recurrent breast cancer by approximately 50%
  • Lowers the risk of developing type two diabetes by 58%

The list of benefits goes on and on and the best part about it is: moving your body is free! You do not need to purchase expensive gym memberships or equipment. All you need is your own body and engage in simple movements; motion that you enjoy!Inactivity is truly one of the greatest threats of our time. We often focus on terrorist attacks and natural disasters and although, we have witnessed many tragedies, we seem to ignore a large tragedy that is continuously unfolding in front of our eyes, each single day.

Inactivity is killing the people of this earth. According to the World Health Organization, physical inactivity constitutes the fourth leading cause of death globally. That is 3.3 million people per year! This is great cause for concern.Our bodies were created to move! Every second of every day, there is constant movement inside our bodies. Our heart pumps and moves blood throughout our system in order to keep us alive. Our bodies are such a miracle that God made wonderfully.There truly is ‘Power in Motion’, so let’s start moving today and save one life at a time!

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Dominique Wakefield MA, CPT

is the Director for University Health & Wellness and Adjunct Faculty in the Department for Public Health, Nutrition & Wellness at Andrews University in Michigan. She is also a Certified Personal Trainer through the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and a Certified Wellness Practitioner through the National Wellness Institute (NWI). In addition to university teaching, Dominique has worked extensively, as a manager and personal trainer, in the health and wellness sector. Dominique is a PhD candidate in Health and her research centers on physical activity, motivation for exercise, and behavior change strategies. Dominique is a passionate, energetic, and innovative health, wellness, and fitness expert and regularly contributes articles to Life and Health Network and to the American Council on Exercise (ACE). In October 2011, Dominique Wakefield was awarded "Top 11 Personal Trainers to Watch in the U.S." by Life Fitness and the American Council on Exercise.

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