The human body has been designed to move. We are remarkably dexterous: from our fingers’ ability to touch, hold and feel; through to our legs propelling power to run, jump or kick a ball. When early humans fought off enemies, hunted game and worked the ground to feed their families it was both a labour of love and a basic instinct for survival. We move because it gives us life.
You don’t need science to tell you that too much slumber, too little exercise and a sedentary lifestyle will cause you to put on weight and decrease in energy. Our personal experiences and observations are testimony to those facts. But science does, nonetheless, prove beyond any reasonable doubt that an active person is far more likely to live a longer, happier and healthier life. The happier and healthier elements of that equation are incredibly important because, advancements in medical science meant that everyone is living longer (in the Western world at least). So that brings the quality of life question into the discussion.
Does ‘longer’ without ‘happier and healthier’ really sound all that appealing?
Investing in a child’s happy ever after…
Hippocrates, the much celebrated fourth century BC Greek physician, who’s name is still a guiding principle for doctors all over the world today, knew what he was talking about. One of his simplest and wisest pieces of advice is as true today as the day he spoke it: movement is the best medicine. This timeless truth is, of course, the tip of the iceberg to a much broader principle: a body that is designed to move will perform better and last longer if it does that which it has been designed to do.
Modern day communications and job roles have pushed humans into stationary roles that cause our bodies no end of difficulties. From sitting on chairs (which we were never designed to do), through to staring at digital screens for hours on end. The way we live and ‘don’t’ use our bodies is shortening our ‘quality of’ life expectancy. Almost every physical and mental problem in the Western world today can be attributed, in some degree, to lack of movement.
Yes, diet and social problems play their part too – but consider:
- Arthritis, Parkinson’s, back problems, and many other physical conditions (often associated with older age) are symptoms of poor or lack of movement over many years.
- Heart problems, breathing conditions and even some cancers have been linked to poor levels of physical activity in the majority of cases.
- People suffering with depression and associated issues are almost always encouraged to exercise as part of their treatment and recovery programmes.
The real point is that prevention is better than cure – and the sooner the better.
Each advancement in technology is a bigger enticement to laziness
Please don’t misunderstand me here – I am a big fan of technology and the great benefits that it can bring to us all. But it also tends to make us lazy and, from what I read and hear about, this will only increase in the decades and generations to come. As parents, teachers and guardians of our children’s futures, we owe it to them to educate, encourage and warn them of the dangers of not staying true to what we were designed do.
Let’s keep our children moving towards longer, happier and healthier lives by keeping their bodies moving today.