In May I’ll hit the one-year mark since I started tracking my sleep and day-time movement/activity in a formal manner. How? I’ll tell you.
Don’t remember how I found Jawbone UP, but one of their devices (the UP Move) is the one I have. I bought one last spring, and have been tracking myself since then. In keeping with the project, I’ve thought increasingly about how to integrate being “active” into my every day.
At it’s most basic level, it’s clear to me that if I’m going to be as healthy as I can be, I’ve got to remember the fundamental importance of MOVEMENT — in increasing amounts, and frequently. Not just daily but many times EACH day. It’s about getting UP, staying active throughout the day.
Part of the motivation was from my not being very active since my wife and I started having kids five years back. We had run a handful of half-marathons, my running had progressed nicely, and then BOOM: kid #1 arrived. A MASSIVE blessing for sure (as is #2 and #3 we added over the next three years). But my running all but stopped. I got hurt. Then it stopped completely.
So MOVEMENT. MOTION. MOBILITY. For me, it’s about feeling better physically. And mentally. About the body. How it feels, how it works for you. One of the keys? No surprise really: Work to get to and stay around your ideal body weight. Make your body (and mind) stronger. Two main factors are at play here: Good Diet, and Good Activity Level. Regularly. Every day.
What does that effect? For one thing, “metabolism”. Your own. Revving it up. Get it going. Using the energy you’re consuming. Get the body doing more of what is suppose to be doing. Performing well, propelling you forward. Want a little science? Here.
What else? Being active gets the blood flowing, gets that heart rate up a bit. Get’s the body warm, and loose, and operating more efficiently and effectly. A bi-product? You burn more calories. What’s the result? At least for me (but I think research backs this up), I feel more ENERGIZED. And my body physically feels better. My joints, my back, my whole physical self feels healthier.
There are a few catchy phrases that come to mind to spur motivation.
Here’s one: “Motion is Lotion.” I heard a therapist say that once. Love it. So true.
Here’s another: “Move It or Lose It.” Lose your mobility, lose your skill, lose your independence, lose your…mind. After all, we’re built for MOVEMENT.
USE your body as it was intended. Reference back to our evolutionary ancestors. 200,000 years of motion, activity, chasing, finding our food. We’ve come a long way since then. And NOT to our advantage. Want the Cliff Notes? Here.
All this is even more important as we get older. We’ve got to keep trying, keep after it, keep being open to new stuff to stay active as long as possible.
Here’s one more phrase, maybe not so catchy, but direct and to the point:
“Off Your Butt.” GO. Being more active will result in more happiness. That’s the best reason to get UP and move. NOW. You’ll be glad you did.