We celebrated International Yoga Day on June 21 and I am glad to see that many people are now ensuring that they get at least some form of activity or physical movement, Yoga asanas included, because they have understood and observed the importance of exercise for their overall health. For people who do not exercise at all, starting a minimum of 15 to 30 minutes of any exercise—be it a walk or some Yoga every day—has a huge positive impact on the body because it helps improve cardiovascular health, the immune system, brain health, hair, skin, metabolism processes, and our detoxification processes.
Having said that, starting 15 to 30 minutes of exercise daily is ideal. But, we also need to understand that we should not sit in one place for more than an hour. Your one hour of workout is useless if you are resting and being sedentary throughout the day. We all know that sitting is the next smoking. The more we sit, the more we start negatively affecting our blood circulation. Sitting for longer durations starts affecting our posture and also causes lactic acid production and build-up in our muscles, which leads to discomfort, cramping, pain, and stiffness in the muscles as well as in the joints.
People who have a desk job have observed severe back, hip, or shoulder pain due to the same. So, ideally, your morning workout is not helping you overcome the lactic acid production during the rest of the day. That said, at no point am I saying that one should give up on their one hour of morning or evening workouts. Please continue with the same because that helps in improving metabolism and muscle mass in your body. But, also make sure that you are active throughout the day. Try to get up from your desk every hour and move around in your cabin or office.
Visit the washroom or get yourself a glass of water. You could also try some desk stretches or exercises. Do not forget to walk for about 10 minutes post any meal and try to stand and touch your toes at least once every day. Walking or stretching for one or two minutes also falls under activity which helps in improving your body’s digestion capabilities as well as your blood circulation. This can further help in reducing lactic acid production in your body, thus reducing muscle/joint pain and stiffness. As mentioned, our hourly movements also help in improving blood circulation and since our blood carries nutrients from food and oxygen from air to cells, that means we get all the nutrition in each and every cell and that also helps in healing our body.
That is why I always suggest movement and being active as super important in a sedentary lifestyle that can otherwise lead us to various metabolic diseases. Additionally, exercise also helps in releasing the feel good hormone, which automatically helps in controlling stress.
Get moving, already!
Chief Nutrition Officer, Luke Coutinho Holistic Healing Systems.
The writer is a clinical nutritionist with a focus on healthy lifestyle choices.