Move – stay alive and thrive or don’t move – decay and die
A major problem we all experience today is a sedentary lifestyle. Our lives have been designed around sitting more and moving less. Think about how much time you spend each day sitting down… You are probably sitting down right now, and you probably have been for he last hour. We wake up and sit down for breakfast, then we sit in the car/bus to work. It’s sitting all day at the office. Maybe we escape the office at some point only to sit in a reception, boardroom or classroom. Then we sit all the way back home, we sit at the dinner table, then sit on the couch watching TV before we go to sleep. Only to wake up to a seated life and do it all over again…And we all had to sit on the toilet somewhere during the day as well.
It’s sitting all day, everyday. The only movement we make is moving from one seat to another! This is a major contributor to lifestyle related disease and pre-mature death.
Newton’s law of motion states that “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion, unless acted upon by a force.”
In other words : Objects tend to keep on doing what they’re doing.
In fact, it is the natural tendency of objects to resist change. This tendency is called inertia. Inertia comes from the Latin word, iners, meaning idle, sluggish.
Thus, an object will not move until some force causes it to move. We are much more than objects, but can’t the same be said for humans? What force do you need to get you to start moving. What is your reason to move?
Let’s do a quick experiment. Stand up, yes right now stand up. Did you feel that resistance inside to get up? Did your body want to stay seated? That’s called inertia. But as Newton’s law states: once you start moving, it’s much easier to keep moving. It’s instinctive for us to conserve energy by sitting down. From an evolutionary and survival perspective the brain’s primary concern is survival and this is accomplished through energy conservation. And how do we conserve energy? We sit… But due to the fact that we are no longer required to forage or hunt for food and seasonally migrate vast plains to survive, we are not moving enough. Today’s life is way too comfortable.
Research shows that after the age of 25 we experience a decline in resting metabolic rate, this is due to muscle loss. Muscle loss comes with inactivity. If you don’t use your muscles by moving, they literally disappear. This suggests that metabolic decline isn’t age associated. Rather it’s lifestyle related! What we see as “normal” aging is in fact an outcome of inactivity. So do you see the importance of preserving muscle and metabolism by staying in motion?
General daily movement is a neat way to burn calories. Make that a NEAT way. This stands for Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, which is geek speak for “moving around doing stuff that is not sport or exercise.”
Why do I mention this? Because NEAT has the potential to burn substantially more calories per day than exercise for the average person. On average, people go to the gym and use a treadmil for half an hour. Depending on their size, they’re going to burn in the range of 300 calories. To do so, they had to get to the gym, change, exercise, sweat, shower, change again, leave the gym etc. Oh, and don’t forget, they had to pay for that gym experience. With NEAT you can burn between 100 to 700 calories a day, the average is about 300, but if people can get to the point of 700, then that’s quite a bit. No sweating, special clothing, extra showering or gym membership required.
It’s important to get the message out about how powerful a weight-loss tool NEAT is, because many people don’t consider anything short of a vomit-inducing CrossFit class as making a substantial contribution to getting in shape. Movement or exercise does not have to be hard or painful to be beneficial.
Not only is this a neat way to burn more calories but also a great way to offset the damage done by sitting all day. Although exercise is fantastic, going to the gym for an hour a day then siting the rest of the day is not good enough. We need to move more during our waking state. People who go to the gym, rest on their laurels. They think it gives them an excuse to sit. To be healthy, even if you exercise, you need to get up and move with regularity. Even for the exerciser, it can boost weight loss and general health.
What you do is less important than the movement itself. How do you add more NEAT into your day? Park further, have standing meetings, get up every hour, take the stairs, walk, don’t drive if possible, walk to a colleague instead of mailing him, take out the trash. Instead of looking at things like housework and yardwork as unpleasant tasks, look at them as a way to boost your NEAT Look for opportunities to move more, not less.
The best part is how habit-forming regular movement can become. Rather than constantly having to push yourself to do that workout you’d rather not do, NEAT just happens. NEAT begets more NEAT. Your brain adapts to your new state of NEAT and is therefore primed to do more and more. There is also a negative. The more you sit, the more you want to sit.
Movement is not your right; it’s not even a privilege. It’s your responsibility. A responsibility you owe to yourself. The more you sit, the harder it is to move, the less you move, the sooner you’ll die.
There is no tomorrow or yesterday, move more today.
Fight for movement
Fight for this life
Do it today, take that first step.
Start moving and keep-moving.
About the author: Reinhard Korb is a thought leader in the combined application of nutrition, exercise, neuroscience and mindfulness. He helps optimize health, wellness and performance in his clients. As the founder of Thrive, he has facilitated and helped various organisations and individuals actualize their potential and achieve peak performance states. He is a certified Fitness & Nutrition Coach, Meta Coach, Neuro Coach, Stress Management Coach and Wellness Coach.