What if you have a power that can increase your overall potential, expand your life span and help prevent diseases.
The extraordinary thing is, that you do! It is the power of motion. Motion is movement, and movement has been conceptualized as physical activity for the human body.
Physical activity refers to any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that require energy expenditure. A subcategory of physical activity is exercise, which refers to an intentional, planned, structured and repetitive movement that aims to improve or maintain physical fitness (World Health Organization, 2018).
Pause for a minute to think about your ordinary day and your routines, and record how many waking hours out of every day you move and are inactive. As you continue reading, fundamentally consider how you could make the power that you actually already possess.
Exercise normally has three primary components: cardiorespiratory, strength and flexibility exercise. Everyone is a part of the overall power equation to positively benefit your health and fitness; in this manner, it is recommended to incorporate three components into a regular workout regimen. However, there really is power in all types of motion to improve your health, regardless of the type, length or intensity. Some movement is always better than none.
The power of motion not only positively impacts the human body, but also the mind (cognition and emotional wellbeing), social well-being, outlook on life and self-perception. The more consistently physical movement is practiced (including intentional exercise), the greater the benefits. For instance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2018) offers the following list of physical activity benefits:
Lowered blood pressure
Improved cholesterol levels
Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
Lowered blood sugar
Increased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol
Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome
Enhanced weight control and improved body-fat percentage
Stronger bones and muscles
Reduced risk of conditions affecting joints (e.g., arthritis)
Reduced risk of some cancers (e.g., colon, breast, endometrial and lung cancer)
Improved mental health and mood
Reduced risk of depression
Maintained thinking, learning and judgment skills with age
Improved ability to perform daily activities and reduced risk of falls
More specifically, the American College of Sports Medicine reports that regular physical activity:
Lowers risk of stroke by 27%
Reduces the incidence of heart disease and high blood pressure by approximately 40%
Reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by approximately 40%
Reduces mortality and risk recurrent breast cancer by approximately 50%
Lowers risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58%
Lowers risk of colon cancer by over 60%
Normal physical activity may also have significant cognitive benefits, with studies showing enhanced performance during and following intermittent exercise. Recent studies show that aerobic fitness may positively contribute to the allocation of attentional resources in childhood. Further, resistance training seems to have a particular benefit related to inhibitory control functions in the brain (i.e., the ability to inhibit or control impulsive responses, changing one response for a better, more thought-out response adapted to the situation).
The human body works best when it is active. The more we ask of our bodies, the more grounded and increasingly fit they become. The more fit we are, the more proficient and effective we will function in all areas of life. The more we put our bodies in motion, the better our minds will work.
Envision what could happen if we started converting sitting hours into moving hours every day. The power of motion has the potential to change your life in incredible ways!