Did You Know ?
Almost two thirds (64%) of adults spend their waking hours sitting. This is confirmed by a research paper from Ball State University. At the same time, scientists have found that sports activities are no longer sufficient to keep our bodies healthy. So it is important to go beyond the usual to create a balance in relation to the many sedentary activities we partake in daily. If you keep your body moving, your brain remains clear and healthy. According to a study in the journal Neurology, physical activity can even slow down brain aging by up to 10 years. It can also enhance your memory and your cognitive abilities. So movement isn’t just healthy for your body but for your mind as well.
Our body is constantly in motion. Even now your eyes are moving left to right as you read this.
Nerve impulses travel from your eyes to your brain, which in turn process these letters. Your heart muscles circulate your blood through your body – right here and now. Your lung capillaries absorb the vital oxygen from the air while you inhale and exhale. Even your digestive system is busy transforming the nutrients from the last meal you ate so your cells receive energy and can renew themselves.
These processes happen naturally, automatically, even when we don’t realize it, because everything is in motion, everything needs movement. This is reminiscent of the famous quote by Albert Einstein:
“Nothing happens in the universe, until something moves.” This also applies to us humans. Staying on the move is essential for obtaining or renewing our body functions and flexibility, vitality and quality of life.
“Sitting kills, movement heals.” With this message NASA scientist Dr Joan Vernikos goes one step further and wants to wake people up. A statement that initially frightened the world and simultaneously is a solution. Through her extensive research she has concluded that obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, muscle wasting and osteoporosis can all be caused by a sedentary lifestyle. As a result of her studies, she proclaims that one should lead an active lifestyle, with normal daily activities that involve light, slow and natural movement. These types of activities can be as simple as walking around the block or up a flight of stairs. So next time you are in a shopping mall or multi-level building and have the option, take the stairs.
The meditative movement system Zhineng Qigong involves exactly these everyday, light, slow and natural movements, in which the entire musculoskeletal system is awakened through its tendons, ligaments, bones and joints. All 656 muscles of the body, with their muscle fibres, are trained and stretched in a natural way, while the cardiovascular system is activated through this momentum.
Regular exercise in the form of Qigong elevates your mood and can prevent or resolve even depression. It has been proven that your flexibility increases, your blood pressure is positively influenced, and cholesterol is lowered. The production of your body’s chemical messengers, like serotonin and endorphins, will also increase. So what are you waiting for? Get up, get moving and live a healthy life.
At Harvard University, it was found that people who sit in an upright position for two minutes with their hands behind their heads have a greater ability to take risks and find inner peace.
When was the last time you sat in such a position? Practise this the next time you need to present something or speak in public and you will find you are more confident.