If you’ve ever seen children at play in the park, you can appreciate the notion that one can get tired just watching them. They run. They climb. They slide. They move from one thing to the next, and they don’t stop for a rest until it is time to go home. Even going home, which means an end to their fun, is often not achieved without some kicking and screaming.
While it is delightful, and sometimes exhausting, to see energetic children at play, it is as necessary as proper nutrition and sleep. Children learn and grow through movement, so allowing them the freedom to be as active as they are designed to be is critical to their well-being.
Even in adulthood, movement serves so many purposes for the human body. Of course, we all know that exercise is important, and that being active can deliver many benefits. Some of the obvious perks that come with regular physical activity include a healthy weight, low blood pressure and improved circulation.
There are many other benefits to staying active that are not as obvious, but no less important. Here are some of the less well-known benefits to keeping your body moving.
A Healthy Brain
Simply put, in order to function at high levels, the brain needs oxygen. Getting the heart pumping through physical movement increases the flow of blood through the body, delivering oxygen to the brain and giving it a boost. Regular exercise, along with taking regular breaks from sedentary behaviours cause improved mental functioning – this can translate into increased creativity, focus and productivity.
Physical activity comes with many psychological benefits. The runner’s high, for example, is a notorious phenomenon that has been described as a feeling of euphoria following a period of long-distance running. But you don’t have to run a marathon to experience the mood-enhancing benefits of movement. Even just 30-minutes of light physical activity per day can help to decrease feelings of depression and increase feelings of positivity and self-esteem.
Active Rest, Deeper Sleep
Just as remaining sedentary can decrease metabolism, getting moving can increase it. Following a workout, the body continues to function at a higher metabolic rate, burning more calories even at rest. Expending energy through regular movement can also help to ensure a higher quality of sleep.
So draw some inspiration from the children around you and find ways to incorporate regular movement into your daily life. In addition to the many obvious health benefits, you can look forward to improved mental clarity, higher self-esteem, and deeper sleep.
About Heather Liemanis:
Heather Lielmanis is the Regional VP, Business Development at Fitneff Inc. Fitneff is dedicated to providing innovative products and solutions that help busy people make their productive time more active. Fitneff offers a full suite of walking desks, sit-stand desks and active accessories that allow you to incorporate movement into your work day.
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Today, on International Women’s Day, I have chosen to profile Laurel Walzak, the female co-founder of Fitneff Inc. Laurel has been successful in so many areas of her career - first as a trailblazer in the sports business industry, then as an entrepreneur and most recently as an Assistant Professor of Sports Media at Ryerson University.
Laurel also spends a great deal of her time and energy outside the office in efforts to advance the careers of young women who are making their start. I asked Laurel some important questions about the role of women in business, and the role that she plays in advocating for other women in her life.