The Food of Movement

I read something recently that got me thinking. We expect food to nourish our body, feed our cells, replenish our brain energy, and we may even expect to have a little fun with food, but we rarely think of movement the same way.

Movement is Medicine.  And more than that, it is life.

We literally can go for weeks without food, but we cannot last more than a few minutes without oxygen.

How do we get oxygen?  MOVEMENT.

Our breathing center is in the brainstem which is the reptilian, and most rudimentary part, of our brain.  We have an ongoing message being sent to our respiratory and cardiovascular systems to expand the lungs and diaphragm, signal our heart to beat (about 100,000 times a day!), send depleted blood from our right ventricle into our lungs, take out the carbon dioxide, infuse it with oxygen, send it back to the left atrium and ventricle, and then push it out into every cell in our body through our arteries and capillaries to oxygenate every living cell in our body.  We don't ask it to move.  But for you to have life, you must move to inhale and exhale.

The medicine of movement is expansive.

  • Movement enhances our insulin response to help us utilize glucose more effectively.
  • Movement strengthens our bones to help us avoid fractures and shrinking posture later in life.
  • Movement improves our mood and reduces stress by increasing a chemical release of endorphins (smiling and laughing are movement!)
  • Movement helps us feel at ease and increases our clarity due to a release a protein called BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor) which has a protective and reparative element to your memory neurons and acts as a reset switch.
  • Movement improves our sleep which allows us to feel more rested and energized overall in life.
  • Movement can increase muscular strength in both the heart and skeletal muscles allowing both to handle greater loads of stress more effectively.  This is a really big deal to mitigate heart disease and the overall effects of aging.
  • Movement of any kind has been shown to improve body image.  And a person with a strong body image typically has greater overall self-esteem and will rise up as more of a leader in their world.

The list could go on for days.  I am guessing many of you can totally relate when I say that my body craves movement like some people (I'm not pointing any fingers here) crave chocolate. It is an inherent part of our DNA, we have simply made our lives so easy with automation that we tend to lose touch with what our bodies are telling us.  Just like the body CAN crave vegetables and protein when it is more balanced, it can also crave more movement.  So whether you have been an avid exerciser your whole life, you are trying to get back to moving more again after a long time off, or are moving intentionally for one of the first times in your life.  Grab onto it like your life depended on it.  It really does!

Take out your calendar right now and block out at least 5 times this week that you will move.  Anything will do!  And if you are needed a little hand holding and encouragement, reach out to us, we can help:).