Riddle of the day: What does a river, a newspaper, and the human body all have in common?
Answer: Things go bad when their circulation drops.
If water were to stop flowing down a river it would eventually dry up and no longer exist. If nobody subscribed to a newspaper the company would end up going out of business. When the human body reduces circulation a whole myriad of problems can ensue. These are the problems you often hear people, or find yourself, complaining about: joint pain, excessive muscle tension, tendinitis, restless legs, arthritis, low energy, shortness of breath, dizziness, neuropathy, numbness, and tingling.
There is a very simple remedy for many of these issues: it’s called movement. In some cases, it might need to be a specific movement, but for most people a simple walk can achieve wonders. Walking is what drives organic function. When we walk, all of the 206 bones, 360 joints, and over 650 muscles move through the full range of motion in three-dimensional space. The muscles create a pumping mechanism that helps circulate fluids (not just blood) throughout the body. It causes a greater uptake of oxygen and improves the overall gas exchange in our respiratory system. It can also help achieve better hormonal balance, digestion, and state of mind.
Try this little experiment some time when you have been inactive (like sitting at a desk for more than thirty minutes). Before getting out of the chair, perform a mental check-in with how your body feels. Are there any areas that ache or feel too much tension? What is your emotional state? How is your energy level? Are you alert or is your mind tending to wander?
Now get up from the chair and go outside for a five-minute brisk walk. Maintain a gentle awareness of your surroundings and if your body experiences any kind of change. After five minutes, head back inside to your chair, but do not sit down. Stand by your chair and perform another mental check-in. Has anything changed? Are there more or less aches? How much tension is experienced? What is your emotional state? How is your energy level? Are you more or less alert?
If you noticed a change in any of these areas, you have proven the point. The body needs to move on a very regular basis. For most people, it needs to move more than it currently does. The cool thing about this little experiment is that it creates a noticeable change in a very short amount of time. The sad part is that the body will also revert back to its previous state if you sit back down for a long time. The key is to break up your time spent being inactive with short bursts of gentle activity. It will not only improve your circulation, but it will also improve your feeling of happiness. So stop reading this rant and go for a walk.