Fess up! Are you getting enough physical activity or are you chained, intentionally or unintentionally, to your computer all day and even evenings too? Few of us are immune to the lure of cyberspace, however the addiction seems a growing danger among the young who are frequently introduced to computers before kindergarten. Nowadays, you will find a bevy of talented 16-year olds who are professional bloggers and entrepeneurs, and most teens are gathering hundreds of friends on places like Facebook.
But with all this social networking, blogging, online marketing and sales, and other forms of online engagement for the young and old alike, is anyone getting physical too? It’s not a question of ditching the computer or cutting the connection, but rather of creating balance in your life.
Do you need a physical routine?
Would you like to create a new habit of getting physical? I’ve been mentally inclined all my life, but I’m determined to create a new way. These are the activities that I am aiming for about 5 days a week. I’m always sure to pace myself and not push beyond my personal limits.
- Gardening and yard work – 30 to 60 minutes, sometimes more.
- Chi Gong gentle exercise – 20 – to 30 minutes
- Leisurely walk with my husband before dinner – 20 to 30 minutes
You can create a new habit too. Just choose one activity that you enjoy and give it a go beginning with smaller blocks of time a few times a week and gradually building up to a manageable maintenance level. Many people find having a partner helps them stay with a physical routine.
Some benefits of physical activity
You can probably enumerate many more benefits from physical activity, but the ones that standout for me include:
- Deeper respiration, not just during the activity but throughout the day. My body starts breathing more dynamically on its own, bringing vital oxygen to all my cells.
- Fresh air when activities are done outdoors. Did you know that indoor air is often more polluted than outdoor air these days?
- Increased Vitamin D levels from outdoor activity when the sun shines. Vitamin D levels can often be low in those with chronic or immune compromised illnesses.
- Improved flexibility.
- Breaking a sweat helps remove toxins via the skin.
- An opportunity to practice mindfulness by simply paying attention to the activity at hand.
- An overactive mind calms down, mood improves, stress is reduced.
- A sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.
Physical activity and chronic illness or pain
Physical activity is not necessarily easy or even doable for those with chronic illness or chronic pain. Naturally, you should always check with your doctor before beginning an exercise routine. The key is to always start with tiny amounts and increase very, very slowly. ‘Tiny’ means starting with just 1 – 5 minutes a day or just moving your leg up and down in bed. Tune into your body and always respect your limits. Get help from a physical therapist who understands your condition. When done properly and judiciously, physical activity can often bring improvement to chronic conditions.
Do you have trouble unleashing yourself from the computer and getting physical? What solutions work for you?
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