Movement: Nature’s Antidote to AgingMovement: Nature’s Antidote to Aging https://www.bodywhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Active-01-1024x682.jpg 1024 682 BodyWHealth https://www.bodywhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Active-01-1024x682.jpg
There are a few secrets to living a long and healthy life – none more powerful than to keep moving. This is Nature’s antidote to degeneration.
We were designed for movement. Mother Nature customized our biology for a vigorous, active lifestyle. This is easy to understand when you imagine the daily lives of early humans. We roamed the plains, searching for food and escaping danger. We simply had to move, or we and our families perished.
The problem is that our living conditions have changed enormously. The pace of our technological and societal progress has substantially outstripped our ability to adapt biologically. We’re living in yesterday’s body, in today’s world.
We no longer need to walk to work, or to the store. We don’t even have to take the few steps we previously needed to turn the television or lights on and off. We can do this from the comfort of our reclining, massaging, and pampering living room chairs. Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m a fan of a chair that can rock you to sleep and give you a relaxing massage. But we have to understand the price we pay for these modern luxuries.
Scientists from Louisiana State University and Harvard Medical School conducted a study to evaluate just how big the impact of our sedentary lifestyle really is. Using elegant mathematical models, they showed how we lose an average of 2 years of life if we regularly sit for more than 3 hours per day. Similarly, we sacrifice an average of 1.5 years by watching TV for longer than 2 hours per day.
Perhaps these numbers feel relatively small to you, but to a scientist who understands the mechanism and implications of this accelerated biological decay, these numbers are huge. And this is the tip of the iceberg, because measuring lifespan neglects the more important aspects of health and happiness.
Mother Nature’s system is spectacular. When we honor our natural design, she rewards us. Simply stated, when we move, we perpetuate a chemical balance that favors health, happiness and longevity.
The message is clear. Move as much as you can through the day. Avoid sitting for prolonged periods. Limit TV watching, or watch while you exercise. This way, you will enjoy the robust vitality that Mother Nature intended for you, and you will be able to enjoy the fruits of our modern technologically-advanced world!