So what are some of the benefits?
- You’re more likely to burn stored fat which is useful for weight management. That is assuming of course you’re not loading up on lots of sugar and other carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, potatoes etc. The body will burn carbohydrates as an energy source first, and if taken in excess will be stored as fat, not good if you are trying to lose weight.
- Regular movement helps reduce aches and pains, motion is lotion.
- Movement enhances brain function, concentration and memory.
- As well as the function of the heart, lungs and vascular system.
- Slow, regular movement helps with stress management and promotes longevity.
Most of us, no matter what our age, need to integrate more basic movement into sedentary nature of modern routines. Even regular structured workouts do not protect against negative health effects of prolonged sitting, desk jobs and long hours sitting in front of a computer, the so called ‘active couch potato syndrome’.
Unfortunately many a devoted fitness enthusiast takes the importance of moving to an extreme and does too many workouts, at too fast or high an intensity, which are too difficult and lead to fatigue, burnout, overuse injuries and systemic inflammation. The ‘chronic cardio’ phenomenon is now well recognised. It’s easy to reach point of diminishing returns, where exercise starts to compromise health.
It’s important to move frequently but lower intensity workouts can convey more health benefits with a lower risk of injury and illness. For cardio type workouts such as cycling, running and swimming a good rule is to work at a heart rate of ‘180 less your age’ according to Dr. Phil Maffetone. Other good options are PhysioPilates, Tai Chi and Yoga.
There are also benefits to intermittent strength training workouts as well as a sprint session now and then which I’ll discuss in a future post.
Until then, please keep moving!