What feels better: watching an hour of TV or swimming laps? I have to admit, the latter sounds tiring and I sometimes have to push myself to go to the pool after a long day. But afterwards, my body is grateful. Strangely enough, I feel fitter!
Advantages of movement
I started looking into the benefits of movement. Did you know, for example, that you come into contact with more toxins during the day than you think? I am talking about exhaust fumes, meat, fish and dairy products containing antibiotics, fruit and vegetables containing pesticides, chemical e-numbers, medicines or cleaning products. Our liver helps to detoxify, but the excess toxins are stored in fat. And when toxins build up in your body you can suffer from fatigue, obesity, food addictions, infertility, menstrual problems and immune system problems. And movement is one of the most powerful ways to detoxify!
But movement has even more benefits:
- Improve blood circulation. Blood circulation is one of the most important functions in the body. It provides oxygen to the brain and other organs. Your blood vessels dilate when you exercise properly. Just 30 minutes of exercise can help improve your blood flow. This also improves the blood flow to your brain, allowing it to work better.
- Reduce stress. Movement and exercise help to reduce stress-related complaints. Movement releases substances that help the brain to inhibit the stress hormone cortisol. In addition, movement helps you to relax and clear your head. You can also take a moment to tune in to your body. Is everything still going well? Your body gives off signals in the form of fatigue, stiffness or pain. If you want to stay healthy, it is important not to ignore these signals.
- Strengthen your immune system. It has been shown that more active people are less likely to get infected. And if they do get an infection, they are sick for less time and the symptoms are milder. This is because movement and exercise strengthen our immune cells. The immune system is your first and best line of defence against harmful viruses and bacteria. "Sport improves the circulation of important immune cells, reducing the risk of infection," says David C. Nieman, Doctor of Public Health, affiliated with the American College of Sports Medicine. Your immune cells are like soldiers patrolling the body. If you are chained to a desk day in and day out, your fighters will be less active. This can lead to your immune system not providing enough protection against bacteria and viruses, such as COVID-19.
Exercise should be fun
Perhaps you start to cringe at the thought of excercising. Or your weekly schedule is so full that it is almost impossible to plan a moment to excercise. Exercise should not put extra pressure on you. No, it should be a relief. It doesn't have to be complicated either. Choose a form of exercise that suits you. Above all, exercise should be fun! A regular walk in the countryside, for example, can make all the difference.
Move also at work
If you work at an office, chances are you don't get much movement during the day. Sitting for long periods of time reduces your blood flow and puts a static strain on large muscles, such as the back and neck and shoulder muscles. In addition, during typing and mousing your hands make repetitive movements, which puts strain on the same small muscles and tendons over and over again. It is good to relax your muscles and tendons in between repetitions and to get moving regularly. Consider online meetings while standing or telephone meetings while walking. Have you ever thought about holding meetings while walking? It makes meetings more productive and creative!
Stay fit with the Fit coach
There are also various stretching exercises that you can easily do during your working day. To help you, we have developed the Fit Coach in cooperation with physiotherapists. The Fit Coach offers you a pop-up on your screen with different stretch exercises. You can personalise the Fit Coach by selecting the type of exercises. You can choose from the following categories:
- Neck and shoulders
- Posture / relaxation
During the exercises you are coached with the help of a video, pictures and a simple description. The Fit coach contains more than 80 exercises. You can decide during which breaks you want to do the exercises and how many exercises you want to be offered per break.
This way you keep moving during your working day!