Spring in many ways is a fresh start! With more sun, we are literally getting our energy back and the days offer us more time to do the things we need to do, like get outside, get fresh air, and yes, MOVING! Yes, our bodies were created to move. Each and every bone, joint, muscle, and tendon in your body is working to keep you mobile, how cool is that? It’s Physical Wellness Month and a reminder to us all to KEEP MOVING!
Did you know that it is a national guideline that all people (unless specifically restricted by their health team) are recommended to exercise? Ok, maybe you don’t like that word. Use a word you are more comfortable with, move, use your body, physical activity, it’s all relative, but the fact is, for us to have the most optimum health possible we know that we need to be moving! At a minimum, we should be doing a focused physical activity (so not running around at work, this is focused, a choice, and a deliberate effort) for 225 minutes a week. One hundred fifty of that should be cardiovascular exercise like walking, dancing, etc. And 75 minutes should be focused on strength training, like lifting weights, using your body weight for resistance training, and other means of growing or maintaining strength. Chances are you are one of two people. You just said to yourself, “I do way more than that!” or you started to make excuses as to the who, what, where why, and how you can’t.
To those looking for a loophole out of physical activity, remember: Your physical wellness matters! How much or how little you physically move can have direct and lasting impacts on your health. We know that people who are not physically active are more likely to suffer in their physical, mental, and emotional well-being, and it’s costly to their lives.
For those of you thinking that 225 minutes is nothing, that’s ok too! We all started somewhere! And, if you are more active than the 225 minutes, you know just how poorly you can feel when you aren’t getting enough activity, and how it impacts your health and well-being.
The truth is, it doesn’t matter how good your excuse is, because no excuse can supplement the benefits of a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Physical Wellness Month is trying to raise awareness around the fact that exercise doesn’t have to be torture, but it does have to be effort. It must be a choice and an investment of your time and energy if you want to reap the rewards.
If you are tired, overwhelmed, and just not feeling great, we get it and we’re sorry. That’s what makes physical wellness so hard. We think that exercise will make it worse. The good news is many doctors will encourage their patients who suffer from fatigue to exercise! In a study published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics in 2008, the University of Georgia researchers found that inactive folks who normally complained of fatigue could increase energy by 20% while decreasing fatigue by as much as 65% by simply participating in regular, low-intensity exercise. How? “Contrary to popular belief, exercising doesn’t make you tired — it literally creates energy in your body. Your body rises up to meet the challenge for more energy by becoming stronger,” says nutritionist Samantha Heller, MS, RD, a nutrition advisor for the Journey for Control Diabetes program.
What can The Wellness Center offer you? We can offer you a safe space and supportive community to help you get started! Seven days a week, we run classes to keep people just like you motivated or for our active all-stars, to keep you challenged. You don’t have to do this alone. If you’ve never considered a group fitness class, now may be the time. All you have to do is show up. The rest will be taken care of.
Physical Wellness is a major contributor to our overall health and well-being. It empowers us to feel independent and present in our own bodies. Every single person deserves to feel powerful, independent, and present in their body because there is no one else who has a body like yours and no one else who ever will. Moving your body isn’t a punishment, it’s a gift! You deserve to feel the absolute best you can in this life and in your body. That feeling doesn’t have a specific shape, size, or weight that matters. All that matters is you, and physical wellness month is a reminder, to keep moving you!
Director of The Wellness Center