The idea of having a dog is very appealing until I think about pooper-scooping!! I used to joke that I would love a dog that didn’t poop, smell or lose hair. J
I have now got a new pet, whom I have named Pedro. He’s not a dog. Instead, he is a poop-free, smell-free and hairless pedometer!!
He only does external steps. He’s lazy indoors and snoozes in my coat pocket when at home, so no going up and down stairs.
He’s faithful. He refuses to go out with Don, who would provide him with far more steps!
On a regular sort of day, we tend to notch up about 7K steps. This is the bare minimum which I allow myself to do in a day and I realise that to aim at 10K a day (my ideal) is in fact quite a time commitment, one which is reserved mainly for weekends.
I also treat myself to a daily mish-mash of Tai Chi, Qi Gong and stretching, and now that the weather is perking up, I like to do this barefoot on the lawn.
The result? I’m getting fitter and I feel generally better in myself, have more energy and I sleep better too.
Exercise is SO important. You can be a juice-sipping, smoothie Goddess (or God) but if you aren’t moving your body, you are only doing half a job. Likewise, if you are a yoga Goddess or running marathons, but ignoring your cells’ need for health-giving nutrients. To enjoy the best health possible, exercise and good diet go hand in hand – or should that be step in hand? And let’s not forget healthy positive thoughts too.
There are countless articles on the web dedicated to the science behind the benefits of regular exercise. I started making notes about all this but soon started to drown in all of them. I decided instead to look at the commonsense reasons why it’s essential to exercise EVERY day.
- We were designed to MOVE. Cave-dwelling homo sapiens probably did a fair bit of sitting around fires, but he also notched up a lot of exercise too. We weren’t meant to be sitting on our bottoms all day (typical day = car, PC, car, TV). I’ve never fully understood the advice to exercise just a couple or so days a week only. Common sense says we need to move daily!! If you don’t get into the habit / routine of exercise each day, it’s so easy to let it slip one day, then another, and before you know it, a week has gone by without doing any!!
- If you do find yourself glued to a PC all day, it’s recommended to get up every 10 mins or so, move around, and stretch. (When I was in IT, I used to get up, go to the loo, get a cup of water en route back to my desk, which necessitated another trip to the loo not long after ….. and so on, until home time. It worked a treat!)
- Clearer thinking, clearer skin, better functioning cells all round (and healthier big toes). Movement helps to pump blood around the body which means that our cells get nourished by a good flow of nutrients and oxygen, both of which travel in the bloodstream to each and every cell. That’s brain cells, skin cells, big toe cells etc.
- Movement helps to boost our immune system. When we move, our lymph (which is an integral part of the immune system) is also pumped round the body. It’s good to move all year round, but lymph tends to be more sluggish in cold weather, so it’s extra important to move during the winter (despite the cold!!) to keep pesky colds and flu at bay.
- Movement helps to detox our bodies. The lymph and bowels both play a part in eliminating toxins. I have running friends who report that they never get constipated. Smooth-running digestion has to be one of the greatest health boosters going!!
- Modern man spends a silly amount of time in his head. Stale thoughts, analysis-paralysis, worry, and dithering over a decision can all be shifted to a certain extent by moving our body!! Movement can be a great way to calm the mind down, especially if you take a walk in nature. I was surprised to read that Dr Mercola reads his Kindle whilst walking each day. I’m not sure if that’s on a treadmill (which to me is a waste of a good walk in itself), but if not, I know that I would trip up within a few yards – done that, got the tee shirt and bad knee (now better)! Tripping up apart, walking or other forms of exercise are a great opportunity to get out of your head for a while. To pause, take a breather, allow the fresh air to blow away the cobwebs…… ah lovely! As a result, exercise is a great de-stressor and sleep-aid.
- Movement generates more feel-good chemicals, so is a great mood enhancer. Self-confidence gets a boost too as we enjoy a healthier weight, glowing skin etc!! Get that body moving!! EVERY Day. And don’t forget to drink water too !!
Get that body moving!! EVERY Day. And don’t forget to drink water too !!