Exercise and Movement – UMUSEKE – News indeed
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You’ve probably had enough about nutrition for now!! It’s time to move on to the next component of health: exercise and movement. You might think these terms have the same meaning but they don’t. Movement is the broad category and exercise is a sub category.

Muscle-Exercises
Muscle-Exercises

The body is meant to move. That’s why we have joints like knees, elbows, hips, wrists and ankles. Joints are where the bones come together and need to bend so that we can move about to work and play.

Some people naturally get more movement because of their lifestyle. I think children get the highest marks for movement, especially the younger ones.

It seems that they are always moving about unless they have developed the TV habit. If you want a fun experience of movement, try following a youngster for a few hours doing the same movements they do.

I can promise you that you will find yourself moving more than you have in a long time, even if you do sports regularly!!!

The lifestyle of most people has resulted in what is referred to as ‘sedentary’.  That is sitting a good deal of the day. If you have a vehicle and an office job automatically qualify as one with a sedentary lifestyle and need to pay special attention to giving your body more movement. Even if you don’t have a vehicle and walk from your home to the taxi stop, as I do, and maybe have a hill or two to go up, you still are not getting enough movement.

Getting more movement into your day doesn’t mean you have to spend time at the gym or pool. A little extra can make a big difference.

If you work near or in a building with stairs, you merely need to go up and down a couple of extra times each day. It’s as simple as that. When sitting at your desk, set your phone or computer alarm at 2 hour intervals and stand up, take some deep breaths, and swing your arms around your head for a couple of minutes and go up and down on your toes. Voila, you’ve just added movement of upper body and lower body.

This will keep your blood circulating and the joints mobile. You may have noticed that your knees hurt when sitting too long in a meeting or in a vehicle. This is because they need to move!!! And are letting you know by sending messages of pain.

As I said earlier, exercise is a sub-category of movement. There are 2 kinds of exercise; resistive and aerobic. Resistive exercise is that which uses weights that make the body work. Aerobic is that which causes and increase in heartbeat and breathing. Both are valuable.

You can get a membership at a gym to accomplish these types of movement but it’s not necessary unless you want to be a ‘body builder’. You can even add resistance to the suggestion above about movement by holding a can of food in each hand as you move.

This adds a little extra weight and makes the muscles work a little harder and results in an aerobic effect. As you go up and down the stairs a couple of extra times, you can wear a backpack with some extra weight such as rice or beans (uncooked of course).

It may sound silly but it will give your body what it needs to be healthy without spending extra time and money  and will probably give you an opportunity to share what you’re learning in these articles with someone who wants to improve their health. They’ll probably be jealous of your commitment!!

To get a little more aerobic activity into your lifestyle just pick up the pace of when walking to the taxi stop or around town. It’s that simple.  Any increase is an improvement that you can feel good about.

Of course sports and going to the gym are good ways to increase your activity. However, unless done on a regular basis and with proper techniques can result in muscle soreness and even injury.

One final word about exercise is that scientists have found that exercise is valuable to reduce depression and lift the spirits. I think it’s because it give a person the opportunity to be focused on their self and because it increase circulation to the brain and it can function better.

More on that in the article on mental health.

Most importantly, don’t do anything to excess without building up gradually and stretch your muscles before and after activity which can mean morning and evening. I’ll discuss these principles in the next article.

Joanna

UM– USEKE.RW Voluntieer

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