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Blog 2 August Why movement plays a key role from young to old

A lot has been said about the importance of movements in babies. Whether babies are lifting their heads, rolling over, sitting, crawling, standing and/or walking, these types of movements help with their overall development. Play is a very important aspect which has far more reaching impact on a child’s life than can be imagined. Lack of play / movement may not only lead to developmental shortfalls but also lead to sedentary adults.

According to the Mayo Clinic, movement seems to be one of the easiest and simplest things in the world. Our bodies were designed to walk, run, jump, all of these small miracles of motion. The question however is “How often do we use our body to its fullest potential?”

These days we seem to be masters of the following: Sit – Stay – Repeat.

“We’ve made sitting into an art form,” says James Levine, M.D., Ph.D., director of Obesity Solutions at Mayo Clinic in Arizona and Arizona State University. “Excess sitting is now linked with 35 diseases and conditions, including obesity, hypertension, back pain, cancer, cardiovascular disease and depression,” he says. “Governments such as Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom have identified sedentary life as a catastrophe.”

We need to counter this modern day trend and break the habit of Sit – Stay – Repeat. Sure when you look at it a lot of companies and individuals are trying their best to counter this problem. From Applications that can be downloaded to wearable Fitness trackers with built in reminders, we are still faced with the facts that people are moving less than ever before. Less movement leads to more health problems and more health problems leads to higher health care costs. What can be done to re-energize the so called small miracles of motion?

Here are 5 tips to get back in movement…

  1. Start the morning off by stretching… in bed.

Even before you get out of bed, focus on moving your body. Try and feel what is stiff and tight. Lightly stretch your muscles before rushing into the rest of your day. You will feel more energized and lighter as you approach your morning routine.

  1. Make your bed.

After recently listening to a Navy admiral speak about this in a different context, it makes a whole lot of sense. You’ll feel as if you have accomplished your 1sttask of the day. And guess what – you are moving whilst doing it. Making your bed forms the basis for the rest of your day.

  1. Park further away from your workplace / shops.

A simple yet effective intervention to get you to move; the further away you park from work or your favourite shopping centre, the more you have to move. This would go a long way to break bad habits and put you back on track to moving more.

  1. Get outside more often.

We are confined to our homes, cars and offices more than half our days. Try and get outside on a daily basis. Admire nature, birds, and gardens whilst taking off your shoes. Feel the grass, twigs and dirt underneath your feet whilst moving around. Let the outdoors inspire you to spot something new every time you get outside.

  1. Movement should be fun – play more like a toddler does.

As adults we often forget how much fun babies, infants and/or toddlers have whilst exploring their immediate surroundings. Just sit and watch them move when you have time. If you have a baby, infant or toddler at home, join them on the ground. Move with them and see what they see. And if you don’t have a bundle of joy at home, well – that shouldn’t stop you – get out and explore new ways to move. See what is available in your area, watch You Tube or live stream any movement session.

Happy moving.

Written by: Reinier van der Ryst


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