Hello readers and welcome to this week in wellness with Purely Simple Organic Living! If you’re reading along, I want you to stand up wherever you are and MOVE! 1…2…3…get up and move! Nowadays, we are often confined to desk chairs, driver’s seats, or LazyBoy recliners for the better half of our day, and spend 2x more time indoors than the generation before us.
Our body is a beautiful creation that was designed to move freely and frequently…why don’t we utilize it more?! In this post we will discuss the benefits of daily movement versus vigorous exercise, and we’ll even talk about our ideas on the “flu season” and what that has to do with movement (or lack thereof). Let’s get movin’!
Benefits of Daily Movement
Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control found that 1 in 4 Americans sit over 8 hours per day1. A sedentary lifestyle comprised of minimal activity and long hours spent sitting has a negative impact on nearly every aspect of human health!
Studies have found that people who spend more time sitting have higher rates of heart problems, increased risk of certain cancers, increased weight gain, poor circulation, and shorter lifespans than their more active counterparts1. James Levine, a doctor of endocrinology at Mayo Clinic called excessive sitting “a lethal activity”, and some researchers have even referred to sitting as “the new smoking”2.
After sitting for long hours during the day, you would think that incorporating an hour or so of hard-hitting, vigorous exercise would counteract the negative effects of 8 hours at an office desk…right? Well, not exactly. A 2016 study in the United States and Europe found that incorporating more moderate-intensity exercise in one’s day provided more health benefits than that of vigorous-intensity exercise3.
This study showed that moderate-intensity exercise was superior when it came to reducing risk for diabetes, clearing fat deposits in the muscles, improved cardiovascular health, and longer lifespan3. These findings are encouraging as they prove that you don’t have to ‘break your back’ by adding an hour of excruciating exercise to your day to enjoy these health benefits! You can simply incorporate brief walks, yoga, stretching and other light exercises a couple of times a day to enjoy the payoffs.
The “Flu” Season
With the kiddos going back to school soon and with holidays on the horizon, active summer lifestyles often turn to sedentary days spent sitting at the office, driving to pick up kids, and ending your days on the couches out of exhaustion. Then come the holidays, where you and your family indulge in sugary foods and drinks, alcohol, and often ditch outdoor time in the sun due to weather changes. Do you still wonder why the “flu season” is on the heels of all these months of inactivity and sugar consumption? Coincidence? We think not!
At Purely Simple Organic Living, we would like to propose that the “flu season” should actually be called “sugar season”, as all the sugar consumption and sedentary habits are often the culprit of illness. Each time we eat processed, sugary foods, our immune system shuts down and allows for opportunistic virus and bacteria to wreak havoc! As discussed earlier, sitting for long periods of time also limits immune functioning and can lead to acute and chronic conditions.
Getting outside in the sunlight allows your body to make vitamin D, which is an immune booster that helps prevent illness. The last thing you and your family needs is for someone to be out sick with the flu, so consider staying active, getting outside in the sun, and maintaining a healthy diet in the coming months and see how much of a difference it can make in the long-term!
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