Move your Body, Speak Life, See Change
This is shocking. I stumbled across this and basically vowed to myself that whatever it takes...I will stick with an exercise routine for as long as I have control over my limbs.
An inactive lifestyle is directly related to (and often is the leading factor in) troubling issues such as insomnia, anxiety, depression, cognitive dysfunction, adrenal/lymph/endocrine dysfunction, atherosclerosis, insulin resistance, prediabetes, Type II diabetes, circulation problems, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attack, stroke, many types of cancer, and a doubled mortality rate.
An article from 2012 in Comprehensive Physiology states, “the body rapidly maladapts to insufficient physical activity, and if continued, results in substantial decreases in both total and quality years of life…[P]hysical activity prevents, or delays, chronic disease…implying that [it] need not be an inevitable outcome during life” (emphasis mine).
But is it really so simple to state that the failure to exercise is a major cause of so many of the emotional struggles and chronic disease plaguing our society?
Like a Dog in a Cage
Think about this for a minute. You don’t have to be a dog lover to understand how keeping a dog in a kennel day and night without walks or space to run around would be animal cruelty. To do the same to a horse in a stall would be even more abusive. Why? Their bodies and emotions would suffer immensely… These animals were not created to be stationary.
And neither were you!
Neither was my husband! A gifted athlete, he lost the ability to do what he did best, and eventually had complications which kept him from even being able to do normal, semi-moderate exercise. Though he didn’t even realize the effects the inactivity was having on him at first, it ended up taking a massive toll emotionally and physically. (I'll share his story below...it has a happy and hopeful ending!)
If it did this to him, still far more active than the average American, I cannot imagine the emotional and physical complications that are suffered daily which are directly related to the inability to exercise consistently.
The Olden Days vs. Today
We all know it's true, but it's worth taking a closer look... There is SO much scientific evidence that the effects of sunlight, fresh air, resistance training, cardio workouts, and even just walking post-meals have life-changing effects on our:
- mental/emotional stability (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
- outlook on life (1, 2)
- sleep quality (1, 2)
- circulation (1)
- bone mass (1, 2)
- heart health (1, 2)
- blood pressure, body fat, cholesterol levels/"metabolic syndrome" (1)
- respiratory health (asthma/sleep apnea- 1)
- blood sugar levels (1, 2) (even for Type 1 diabetics!!)
- length of life (1, 2)
- and so much more!
But the average American’s activity level is sadly sedentary. It stands in stark contrast to the days when all of the human race walked miles to haul tens of pounds of water or grain on their backs, and dug and plowed and had no machines. The majority of us shuffle from bed, to car, to office chair, to car, to couch, and back to our bed in a given day. This phenomenon of “ease” has been unknown to the human race up until the last 60 years, and it comes at a great cost.
Is it any wonder that we are the most privileged, wealthy, free nation in history, yet we are all so sick? Part of it is all the toxic chemicals and fake "food". But a huge part of it is that our bodies are literally wasting away.
Regardless of whether we do some vacuuming, “run” errands, or do a few loads of laundry, we use machines to do all our work, typically only requiring of us about 5000 steps. When the recommended number of steps is 10K-15K for a healthy amount of physical activity (not including regular periods of exercise), we are literally abusing our bodies if we don’t commit to several periods of at the very least moderate exercise throughout our weeks.
Sand Down a Rat Hole?
You can rid your life of toxic food, toxic products, and toxic people (all VERY important, by the way). But all that tender loving care of yourself can be like feeding the highest quality dog food available to a dog locked in a cage. It very well may end up as though you've been packing sand down the proverbial rat hole. Yes - put clean food in you and eliminate toxins...but remember that you must also move if you expect to avoid the diseases plaguing America.
It's quite logical and goes without saying, but there are studies that back it up: BOTH improved diet AND increased moderate exercise make a greater impact on sleep, emotional health, heart health, and metabolic health when combined than when either is implemented by itself. And if you're worried about brain fog or memory loss associated with aging, know that implementing a healthier diet combined with exercise can even prevent the decline in gray matter of the brain, and increase functional brain response!
Refuse to Accept Limitations
I know...I know. You have a good reason for not exercising. If you're like most of the population, your obstacles to getting active are either:
- "Lack" of time
- Painful physical challenges such as aging joints, inflammation, and weakness
...or both. But whichever is the case, you can do something about it. You just have to make the choice.
It’s time to refuse to believe the lie that these limitations are your fixed reality. To refuse that we are "stuck" with no hope of improvement. It's time to resolve to take care of ourselves truly, from the inside out.
Remember this: God designed your body to function perfectly. His medicines were created to help your body function the way it was meant to function. There is always another way, a way besides the one we've been raised to believe is the exclusive, trump-card truth in secular Western Society.
It's time to start supporting our muscular and skeletal systems from the inside out and the outside in! Don’t let aches and pains be what stops you from getting that crucial, fate-changing exercise. There ARE natural solutions...they are literally at your fingertips, at this very moment.
Don’t accept your pains as a fixed reality…start seeking options to heal and support the body God gave you!
My Husband's Story
To my frustration and despair, the year following my husband's surgery unfolded just as I'd feared since the night I got the call that he'd snapped his ACL. The surgery was a difficult one, the "rehab" did more harm to the area than good, and his knee did not heal the way it should have. After the surgery, he was unable to play the sport he'd played his entire life at a highly competitive level. He had sustained the injury playing the last game he would play for 7 years.
It was excruciating enough that he could not play the sport of his life, the means by which he earned his high school and college scholarships, the sport he'd built an entire youth organization around, and the sport he'd hoped to pursue as a professional athlete.
The professional dream-crushing effect was bad enough. But the condition deteriorated so significantly that he was unable to scrimmage at practice with the youth teams he coached without painful consequences afterwards. My physically fit, perpetually active, seemingly indestructible high school sweetheart now had a 75 year-old-feeling knee that eventually kept him from jogging, or even being able to work out his lower body.
It was emotionally devastating for me to watch him become more and more sedentary, against his own will. His energy levels dropped, his sleep became challenged (for the first time in his life), and his immunity went down significantly...all connected to the lack of exercise.
The worst part was that his spirits were brought so low. His optimism, confidence, and resiliency were significantly less than before the injury. He just gave up.
And no doctor was able to do anything to restore his knee back to normal.
But...6 1/2 years later, we were shown another way. Click here for Part 2 of "Move your Body, Speak Life, See Change" (and an unbelievable video that will change the way you speak!).