by Dr. Richard Powers
The human body has evolved over hundreds of thousands of years to move. If we moved, we survived. If we didn’t move, we didn’t survive. This reality hasn’t changed, as without regular exercise our healthspan and lifespan are both significantly reduced.
From our early days as hunter-gatherers, humans have relied on movement to sustain a thriving and healthy life. Their survival depended on movement—moving for shelter, water, and food – to either gather or get (hunt for) food or to avoid becoming (hunted as) food!
Exercise is Unnatural but Necessary
Most of us live a rather sedentary lifestyle – sitting behind desks, in front of computer screens, flatscreens, scanning our tablets and cell phones, watching television (3-4 hours/day, on average), and opting to drive rather than walk (or peddle) to our destinations.
And although technology has provided us with efficiencies and conveniences, our human health hasn’t adapted to sedentary ways of living nor have we evolved to thrive on less movement.
Even when optimizing restorative rest and a wholesome diet we cannot experience robust health, infection resistance, stress adaptability, and live our best lives without incorporating regular, daily, exercise. Movement is not optional!
Beyond building fitness and muscle, exercise has a plethora of benefits for the human body.
However, if you exercise incorrectly – which most people often do – not only will you be sabotaging your potential benefits, but you may very well be accelerating your aging process and setting yourself up for injuries.
Types of Exercise (and benefits)
There are many different types of exercise, each with a different set of benefits, like stretching exercises (help minimize injuries) and balance exercises (help reduce risk of falls). Low-intensity and high-intensity exercises are two types that are fundamental to getting and staying well.
Since it is unlikely that our work in this technological-oriented world will shift towards a more labor-intensive direction, we need to tend to our fundamental need to move, to exercise! … and, even more so for those of us whose lives are predominantly sedentary.
(If pain prevents or limits your exercise, read my article, Safer Pain Solutions, to help relieve your pain.)
The key is to exercise correctly and to do it consistently by keeping track of your physical activity and shooting for a little more (or types of) movement every few weeks.
Check out my book Foundations for Creating Optimal Health, which includes a HomeBuddy™ to make it easier for you to establish new or better healthy habits and sustain them, and a HealthTracker™ to track your health progress!
Optimize your exercise with Dr. Powers Foundational Formulas!