2 More Reasons to Get Up and Move
The Habits of Healthy Motion are a major part of the Habits of Health. If you’ve had any exposure to the Habits of Health system, you know that exercise facilitates a range of health benefits. It helps you reach and maintain a healthy weight, which means that virtually every process in your body works more efficiently and more effectively. You are less likely to get sick. Your brain functions improve. You have more restful sleep. The accumulation of these rewards is the potential to live a longer, more vibrant life.
In fact, all movement—even movement that occurs outside of the gym like pacing when you take a phone call or taking the stairs instead of the elevator—contributes to Habits of Healthy Motion. The news for people that have made exercise a part of their daily habits continues to get better as new study comes out, and if you aren’t exercising regularly, there are even more reasons for you to start.
Two big studies came out this week. The findings aren’t surprising, but knowing what you are working for might make it easier for you to put your workout clothes on in the morning.
1. Lifting twice a week improves brain health. We have known for years that exercise is good for your brain, but we continue to learn new things about that link. A new study out of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver found that resistance training done just twice a week lead to improvements in white matter and a lower number of problematic brain lesions as well improved coordination overall. If you want a healthy brain, you should be exercising regularly!
2. Exercise could prevent osteoarthritis. Put simply, osteoarthritis is a degenerative bone disease that results from friction in the knee joint when the padding providing by cartilage wears away. For a long time, researchers have looked for ways to improve cartilage health as a means of preventing osteoarthritis. A new study found that regular movement from exercises as simple as walking actually improved the health of joint cartilage. The mechanics at work are a bit complicated, but the short explanation is that activity pumps vital fluids through the cartilage which in turn helps to maintain joint integrity over time.
Again, Optimal Health practitioners won’t be surprised by these findings, but this research should help to reinforce the importance of your Habits of Health. The rewards become more and more clear with each passing day, so it should be easier to visualize what you gain each time you hit the gym or step outside for your walk or run. You might even feel a bit excited about the extra time you could have to spend with your loved ones.
And that’s part of the idea. Every time you exercise you are giving a gift to yourself, the gift of health.