By Autumn Calabrese
Our bodies are made to move. Activity literally activates our bodies to perform all of its functions. And yet we spend more and more time sitting, not moving.
Physical activity lowers the long-term production of cortisol, the stress hormone. The stress of exercise on the body improves our muscle strength as well as our bone density. It makes our hearts and lungs stronger. The more we move, the more oxygen we take in; this enhances every system in our body on a cellular level. We recover and repair faster with more oxygen, and our blood flows more efficiently. The list goes on and on when it comes to the benefits of exercise and physical activity.
The mechanisms of healing, of optimal health, of brain activation; the production of neurochemicals like serotonin and dopamine; proper sleep; and general outlook on life are all based in activity.
We get energy from movement. If we don’t burn enough energy throughout the day, we aren’t tired at night, and then we turn to sleeping pills. If we don’t get enough sleep, we are tired during the day, and we turn to caffeine and energy drinks. It’s a vicious cycle. Chemical stimulants will fry our adrenals and create metabolic and hormonal imbalances. This results in a whole slew of other problems, like poor sleep, inflammation, and hypertension problems. All of this can be prevented by moving and using your body throughout the day.
We lose a significant amount of our muscle mass if we don’t move or exercise. Working out is not like money in the bank. You don’t reap the benefits when you stop; use it or lose it.
The key to keeping up with your fitness routine is to make it fun! Make it a game, work out with a friend, take a class, compete even if it’s just with yourself. You have to find the fun in it so that you will want to continue doing it.
Movement is a huge component to your health. Make time for it. Challenge yourself. Remember, your physical activity doesn’t have to take place in a gym. We are made to move, so get up, walk, run, bike, swim, climb, throw, play with friends—just move and move often.
Use it or lose it.
Autumn Calabrese is a celebrity fitness trainer, busy mom, and national-level bikini competitor. As creator of 21 Day Fix, the best-selling Beachbody fitness program of 2014, this rising star in the fitness community has made a name for herself by helping people lose weight and get the bodies they’ve always wanted.
Photo: beachbody LLC