Your amazing moving machine
Movement is a fundamental aspect of life. Human bodies were made
to move but it seems we sit more and more these days.
We sit down to travel, at work we sit at our desks, then we come
home, and we sit down to relax until it is time to go to bed. We
have made an art out of sitting still, hunched over computer
screens for hours on end.
Most of us are now working from home so it is easier to forget
to move and some days we may move no further than our desk to the
fridge and back.
Creaky knees, stiff backs and getting breathless from going up
the stairs aren't only signs that we aren't as healthy as we could
be, but also that we aren't getting enough quality daily movement.
We need to remember that our bodies are designed to move.
Our body has 206 bones and more than 600 muscles. These parts
all work together to make our bodies an amazing moving machine.
Like any machine, your body can suffer some wear and tear and it
needs regular care and maintenance to keep moving with ease.
Movement is medicine
Movement promotes healthy joints, strong bones, physical
strength, good circulation, good coordination, improves learning
skills, concentration, and mental well-being.
When we think of exercise we think about our chest, bicep,
tricep or our quads, glutes, hamstrings but just like any other
muscle, the heart needs physical activity too to help it work
properly but we don't have to exercise heavily to get the
Even low to moderate intensity activity reduces the risk of
developing coronary heart disease and can reduce the likelihood of
dying from heart disease.
Simply walking, swimming and stretching can help relieve chronic
pain, even more than bed rest. It helps to maintain good joint and
muscle mobility, promote bone, ligament and tendon strength, and
help prevent major diseases. What's more, it can improve your
posture. Poor posture isn't necessarily down to 'bad habits' as
physical reasons can include inflexible muscles and poor muscular
Regular physical activity also releases feel-good hormones that
make us feel better in ourselves and is effective in reducing the
likelihood of experiencing a period of depression.
Movement is possible, and important, at any
As we get older, regular movement is even more important as it
helps to maintain muscle mass, bone strength, and reduces the pace
of mental decline. We can't stop the clock, but we can slow
its tick by moving and also improve our quality of life.
Take my 91-year-old Grandad for example. I went to see him in
August 2021 and he wasn't able to stand up from his sofa. He said
"it's like this when you're my age, I won't be young again''. My
Mum and I told him of course that "it shouldn't be like that, you
can do better'' we told him this each day. I gave him examples of
some of my more mature clients to demonstrate that it is possible
to move again. My grandad lives in another country, but with the
support of a physiotherapist friend who was incredibly helpful, and
lived close by, we gave him some exercises to get him off the sofa.
I never stopped encouraging him. I am so proud of my Grandad, he
started to move again holding a frame at first but now he uses
sticks. Finally, he too believes he can do it.
Just keep moving
We don't want to move when we suffer from pain but we need to
move if we want to heal and reduce the pain in the longer term.
Slow, regular movement is able to improve our quality of life but
like Grandad, we need to take an action.
Julie, one of my Pilates students, understands getting fit is
important at any age. She told me recently "your classes have made
an enormous difference to me keeping supple and active. Many of my
friends have trouble just getting out of their chair!'', I know
she's not the only client that feels this way.
I am afraid resting is rusting. So, to keep your body as young
as possible, for as long as possible, keep moving.
Active have experienced and qualified instructors that can help
you in your fitness goals, but before starting any new exercise
program it is worth consulting your doctor, you want to be sure you
are medically fit before starting something new.
If you're not ready for the Gym, or a fitness class just
yet, try these simple tips to keep moving:
- go for a walk and get some fresh air on your lunch break.
- take phone calls, standing up, or pace the room while you're
- do some laps of the room during TV ad breaks
- take the stairs rather than the elevator
- get off the bus a stop or two early
- meet friends for a walk in the park instead of sitting in a
café with a coffee
Simple changes can make a big impact on your wellbeing and the
overall quality of your life.
Believe you can move better, motivate yourself to improve your
movement and well-being,
Remember, resting is rusting and movement is medicine.
Jagim,A. 2020. The Importance of Movement available at
Anon, 2019. What are the benefits of movement and physiotherapy
assistance. Aveailable at
Anon, 2020. Just Move: The Six Benefits of Everyday Movement.
Beerkens, C. Why Moving the Body is so important Available