When you look at the incredible design of the human body, you can’t help notice how perfectly we are crafted to move. We have feet that are engineered to evenly support our body weight and absorb shock when we walk, dance, run and jump. Our muscle fibers are built to respond to stress when we lift heavy objects, then rebuild themselves to become stronger for next time. Our lung capacity has the potential to increase, and so does the size of our heart by performing cardiovascular-type exercises. Your spine has many tiny receptors in each individual joint, and when they are stimulated by movement, it literally charges your brain and gives you energy. Your body is a truly amazing organism that is constantly being redesigned and molded through use.
However, most of us spend a great deal of our time in office cubicles, cars, school desks, and on living room couches. It is for this reason that we must supplement exercise in our daily routine to stay healthy and avoid movement deficiency. Most people are aware that exercise is a necessity, but are confused about what kind of movement they are supposed to be doing. Let’s clear up the confusion.
If you are regularly committing time to exercise, give yourself a pat on the back. That is the first and most important step. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors, who shaped our genetic requirements for movement, moved their bodies every day for survival. The concept of supplementing exercise to them would have been ridiculous. Our ancestors played, ran, hunted, gathered, lifted heavy objects, walked long distances, and exerted all-out efforts on occasion (when there was danger or combat). This means that they were always ready for dynamic challenges of the unknown and the unknowable. And so, you should be too.
Your regular activities should include:
• Daily movements where you can hold your pace for a sustained period of time, such as walking, stair climbing, hiking, gardening, shoveling, etc.
• Lifting something heavy once in a while
• Occasional high interval, short intensity efforts
• Learning new skills and sports or activities
This varied approach to your fitness is what you need for optimal health and to stay functional throughout your entire life. Make varied fitness a priority.