Move it or lose it – Movement essential

While Exercise is optional, Movement is essential for health and wellbeing.  Sally and I discuss the importance of movement – the long-term health implications and why doing something is better than doing nothing at all. There are so many benefits to moving and exercising from reducing stress and feeling happier – to reducing the risk of osteoporosis or even heart disease.

Movement is important for brain development

Next time you see a baby or a toddler, pay attention to how much they move. They never sit still for long and that’s the way it should be. But our children today have never been less fit or more obese. This is a problem because the body and brain rely on each other and continually communicate with each other. Cognitive development in children relies on regular movement. The way children use and move their bodies has a profound influence on their brain development.

The seductive addiction of smartphones, gaming platforms, and other screens is steadily reducing the amount of time children are moving inside or playing outside. No wonder record numbers of children are overweight and obese. Inadequate movement is one reason why so many children are appearing with symptoms of a disconnected brain.

Experience the joy of movement as you build your brain

Dr. Ron Minson has decades of experience working with adults and children with processing delays, attention and learning differences, as well as brain dysfunction using iLs music and movement therapy. In this video, Dr. Ron (while standing on an iLs balance board!) shares his perspective on the importance of movement for brain development, memory, and learning.

Ron, who is one of my favourite people, explains that babies are always moving because this is essential for their brain development … just as is for yours. Movement and memory are best mates so if you want to remember something, it will help to get up and walk around. Movement helps learning because just like any literacy or numeracy task, it requires organising, sequencing and planning.

Health benefits of regular exercise

  • Controls weight, reduces the risk of obesity
  • Reduce the risk of a range of illnesses including stroke, arthritis, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, some cancers.
  • Improves mood and lessen anxiety and depression
  • Improves strength, endurance and balance and reduces the risk of falls

How much movement is enough? [1]

  • 1-4  years: at least 3 hours a day of varied play, such as running, jumping and twirling spread throughout the day
  • 5–17 years: at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise daily. Include some aerobic and some vigorous exercise
  • 18 – 64 years:  2½ – 5 hours of moderate exercise or  1¼ – 2½ hours of vigorous exercise. Muscle-strengthening exercises twice a week
  • 65 years and older: Be physically active for 30 minutes daily

Yes I get it – you don’t love exercise, so try this

  1. lock the pantry if you are trying to lose weight
  2. Write down why you want to exercise
  3. Ditch the excuses as to why not
  4. Plan what is sustainable for you (i.e. walk 30 minutes every day)
  5. Halve what you identified in point 4
  6. Locate your movement gear where you cannot ignore it
  7. Just do it, rather than thinking about it
  8. Reward yourself when you have

Move and feel younger than your years

At 68, I feel and look younger than some in their 50’s. I can still master and enjoy getting airborne in a “Toyota” jump. Maybe I am blessed with good genes as my mum is now 92.

We have always eaten well and I live an active life. I love walking and often take a walk at lunchtime. As a gardener, dig many holes for plants which max’s out my heart rate in no time at all. It’s my version of interval training. I like walking uphill because it quickly and efficiently raises my heart rate into the target range for my age. Ever since I was a small child, I have loved running downhill, and love the feel of the wind in my hair.

The result of a Sedentary Lifestyle

  • A record 25% of Australians are now obese
  • Life expectancy is dropping in the USA and UK and is plateauing in Australia
  • Chronic diseases of ageing are rising
  • The WHO estimates that physical inactivity causes 1.9 million deaths per year worldwide. And this is the fourth leading cause of death from non-communicable disease [2]

Follow my top  exercise tips and you will have Fun, be Flexible and feel Fabulous

  1. Stretch and breathe before you exercise
  2. Start small – as I did with one push up. Then after a few days two and now I can do 25 every day before my morning shower
  3. Make it fun – exercise in a way  you enjoy or do it with a friend
  4. Commit to it regularly – I do my push-ups first thing to avoid any distractions or excuses. I also often enjoy a walk at lunchtime
  5. Build bone mass and strength with weights or garden work. This is more important if you have a family history of osteoporosis

If you would like to take the next step with Harry Armytage, complete the listening scorecard here

To find out more about what Sally Estlin does, head here

To find out more about Dr. Ron Minson and the Integrated Listening programs (iLs) which I use, head here

[1]:  Department of health: Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines

[2]: World Health Organisation (2003), Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health.

Photo by Atlas Green on Unsplash