We all know the discomfort of muscle and joint stiffness, and sometimes pain, we feel after long hours of being inactive. For example long periods of driving, sitting behind a desk, or watching TV. For me personally, I know lengthy duration of sitting or driving leaves my body tense and very achy especially my shoulders, back and neck. Our bodies thrives on movement.
Dr. Joseph Mercola summed up research done by Dr. James Levine, co-director of the Mayo Clinic and the Arizona State University Obesity Initiative, and author of the book Get Up! Why Your Chair Is Killing You and What You Can Do About, perfectly he wrote,
“when you’ve been sitting for a long period of time and then get up, a number of molecular cascades occur.” For example, within 90 seconds of standing up, the muscular and cellular systems that process blood sugar, triglycerides, and cholesterol—which are mediated by insulin—are activated. All of these molecular effects are activated simply by carrying your own bodyweight. These cellular mechanisms are also responsible for pushing fuel into your cells and, if done regularly, will radically decrease your risk of diabetes and obesity.
Aside from muscle and joint stiffness or aches associated with inactivity, other serious illnesses that can occur as a result of prolong sitting are postural problems, type 2 diabetes, higher rates of cancer, and cancer-related deaths, and dementia, especially in very sedentary people.
40% of people who suffer from back issues tend to spend long hours sitting at the computer.
As mentioned earlier movement activates every part of our body even in the molecular layer, including the molecules that maintain the health of the brain. A study found that aerobic exercise, such as swimming ,running, dancing, walking, are low-cost treatment to improving neurocognition without the negative side effects associated with pharmaceutical treatments. This was a randomized controlled trial study with 120 older adults which concluded that moderate intensity walking exercise for one year increased the size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain associated mainly with memory, in particular long-term memory, while the size of the hippocampus for the stretching and toning control group showed a slight reduction. So, a more rigorous exercise routine or activity is the most effective when it comes to the enhancement of the brain.
Exercise enhances learning and improves retention, which is accompanied by increased cell proliferation and survival in the hippocampus of rodent.
Conclusions in another study showed that greater physical activity and higher fitness levels are associated with better brain and cognitive health for both children and older adults. Physical activity enhances learning and our ability to grasp and retain information, as well as improving the overall health of our body. The more active you are, the better you’ll thrive. Feeling down? Exercise changes the level of serotonin in our brain, and increases endorphin levels, the ‘feel good hormones.’
So now that you’re done reading this article, why don’t you get up and move!
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