We’ve all heard the phrase, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” right? It’s so catchy and rhyme-y, I sometimes find myself wondering what the saying would be around movement instead of apples. ‘A workout a day keeps diabetes at bay’? Or ‘Movement each day highly reduces the likelihood of premature death’?
Yeah, it doesn’t quite have the same ring to it…
That being said, if you were caught off-guard by the shock value of those attempts at a catchy phrase, keep reading! Because today I’m digging into why movement is so important – even if you are eating your apples.
What is “movement”?
Let’s begin by defining what movement even means. For our purposes, movement is when the body experiences an increase in stimuli that isn’t simply sitting, standing, or laying. What exactly that stimulus (aka movement) is may differ when we take activity level, caloric intake, sleep quality, and injury in to consideration. For example, movement for someone recovering from major surgery will look much different than movement for someone training for a marathon. In either case, though, one form of movement isn’t more or less important than the other.
However you choose to get moving, the benefits can be significant. Here’s just a few examples:
Benefit #1: Health
Movement can combat or prevent certain health conditions or disease. The Mayo Clinic identifies several health problems and concerns – including stroke, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, depression, anxiety, many types of cancer, arthritis and falls – that can be prevented or fought with daily movement. It can also help improve cognitive function and help to lower the risk of death from various causes.
Benefit #2: Sleep
Sleep quality is also impacted by movement. Getting active in the morning or afternoon impacts sleep by raising your body temperature a few degrees. Later in the day, when your internal thermostat drops back to its normal range, this can trigger feelings of drowsiness and help you drop off to sleep. Bonus points if you’re active outdoors, as you’ll be exposed to natural light – an important element in helping your body establish a good sleep-wake cycle.
Benefit #3: Weight Management
The Journal of the American Medical Association found that, compared to 2007, data from 2016 reflects an increase in sitting time of about an hour per day for most Americans. This means the average teenager now spends 8.2 hours sitting, and the average adult sits for 6.4 hours a day. Trends from that study suggest that Americans today are sitting more and more than ever. This reduced movement makes the fact that obesity rates have increased in adults from 30.5% to 39.6% and in youth from 13.9% to 18.5% from 2000 to 2016 a little less shocking – and yet it should be a wake-up call nonetheless.
Whether you’re walking around the block, lifting weights, hiking in the woods or jumping on your bike – movement matters! From improved health to better sleep to weight management, let these boosts be your call-to-action to move more today.
Your body, mind, and spirit will thank you!
This article is a part of our #thrivetoday Fitness Challenge. Visit our website to subscribe to email updates and be a part of future challenges!
In addition to her work as an MJST Success Coach, Christina Schroeder has been actively coaching in the fitness and wellness community for 7 years. Her certifications include: CrossFit Level 1, CrossFit Level 2, Stages Cycling, and Precision Nutrition Level 1. She'll also be beginning her Precision Level 2 certification training in the near future. She is based out of Omaha working for Mark Jewell Speaking & Training and Nerve Health and Fitness.
Note: Please work with your physician or other qualified health professional when addressing your unique fitness, nutritional and health needs. Have questions? Check out the fine print here.