It’s time to bust a move and keep your body healthy. Your body is a wonderful machine of intricate moving parts that let you walk, run, bend, lift, carry, jump, dance, swim, play… and just move. The Quadrants of Wellbeing is all about creating a well-oiled machine that allows you to live your life to the fullest each and every day. The Mechanical Quadrant focuses on the physical body to remind us that our physical body impacts all the other aspects of our lives.
The American Psychological Association reports that 30 percent of adults feel less stressed after exercising. This shows clearly the connection between our mental health and physical health. Our bodies need physical activity for our muscles and bones and for our minds.
Benefits to Movement
- You build muscle strength and bone.
- You increase your stamina and aerobic capacity.
- You release endorphins that make you feel happy.
- You pump the body full of oxygen which it needs to operate.
- You release toxins through your breath and sweat.
- You release stress and tension.
- You support a healthy nervous system and therefore a healthy mind and keep your body healthy.
Most people spend most of their day sitting: sitting in the car, sitting at their desk, sitting in meetings, sitting watching TV or playing video games or on social media. Adding or increasing the movement in your day-to-day life will give you all the benefits above and more.
Whether you are sitting or spending most of your time standing or walking at a slow pace, you will need to incorporate other movement that gets your heart rate up and helps you to build strength and endurance. You can jog, lift weights, swim, or bike to get these additional benefits.
Like most things, you can’t go from zero to 60 overnight. This is something you need to build up over time. If you do no exercise at all right now, don’t start training for a marathon tomorrow. Start with small changes like going for a walk every morning before work and working up to running which will in turn create big shifts before you know it.
Here’s a healthy habit challenge for the Mechanical Quadrant – add more movement into your life. Here are ways to help you make that happen.
Bust a Move and Keep Your Body Healthy
Start small and keep it doable. You can build up your capacity. Do simple things that don’t shake up your daily life.
- Park farther away at work or when you go to a store or the movies. Give yourself extra distance to walk and leave that closer space for someone who needs it.
- Take the stairs.
- Hold walking meetings. If you’re meeting with a colleague at work, have your conversation while taking a lap around the building. If you’re meeting a friend for coffee to catch up, consider meeting at a park instead.
- Move while watching TV. Either march in place or use hand weights while watching your favorite shows. If you have exercise equipment in the house, put it in front of the TV. At the very least get up and move during commercials…do jumping jacks or floor exercises.
Studies have shown that just 30 minutes of walking a few times a week will dramatically improve your health. Start where you are. If 10 minutes down the block and back is what you can do, then start there and build up.
Stretch. Stretching is not only a good preventative measure to keep injuries at bay; it also is supportive of muscular skeletal and nervous system health. Give your body a good stretch each morning and night as well as before and after exercise.
Whether you already have an active life and exercise regularly or not, these tips can help get more movement into your life. If you’ve been sedentary for a long time, start where you are and build from there. If you are already active, shake it up and try something new.
The Quadrants of Wellbeing is all about creating balance in your life with simple daily practices like going on a thirty minute walk, talking kindly to yourself, enjoying the sunshine and grabbing a juice when you’re on the go. These tips may seem overwhelming to some and to others they may be ready to tackle them all at the same time but no matter where you are in your journey just remember that these small movements lead to big possibilities.