Life is Motion! The Harmful Effects of a Sedentary Lifestyle & How Dance Heals!
by Josie Neglia
Individuals who live completely sedentary lives are experiencing the harmful symptoms derived from motionless days.
Life is motion!
We were designed to move and if we don’t, we pay penalties.
If you are like me, you may think you can get away with relaxing and taking it easy in certain periods of your life, a kind of "cheating the system". You stop going to the gym as often, you decide to stay in and watch Netflix instead of going out. You may look at your body and see that the consequences don't show up immediately. You think,
" Hmm, I din't workout this month, but I still look pretty good." :-)
But one morning you notice that your jeans don't fit like they used to, or you are looking a little thicker around the middle and then you say
"Uh oh, I better get back to moving!".
It has nothing to do with age! It has to do with moving our bodies, period! We need to move, or we start to develop damaging and debilitating effects on our body, mind and spirit.
It’s no surprise that dancing and exercise has numerous benefits, such as keeping off excess weight, making your bones strong and keeping your heart healthy. On the contrary, not exercising can have adverse health effects. It can make your bones weak, cause your organs to malfunction and cause you to gain weight, which might lead to one or more obesity-related medical conditions, such as diabetes or hypertension.
The Effects of Lack of Exercise on the Body
Muscle Atrophy: i.e. Muscles wasting away. According to the American Council on Exercise, not only does this cause you lose lean muscle mass, but it also causes fatty tissue to develop around your muscles. Muscle burns fat, so when your body doesn’t have much muscle, your metabolism slows, and you begin to gain weight
Loss of Flexibility: i.e muscle stiffness. If a person does not keep moving - their muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons will have a tendency to shorten and stiffen.
Cardiac Decline: i.e fatty deposits around heart and arteries. Fatty deposits can also enter the valves and chambers of your heart, which can lead to heart failure or a heart attack. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that heart disease is still one of the leading causes of death in America.
Intestinal Effects: i.e digestion. Lack of exercise can also cause constipation, according to KidsHealth.org. Exercise promotes digestion and helps your body pass solid waste. When you don’t exercise, your body’s digestion process slows. If you have a lot of visceral fat and irregular bowel movements, your risk of developing colon cancer increases.
Mental Stress: i.e anxiety. A lack of movement is actually a cause of anxiety. Many people develop anxiety because they're not exercising, and when you have anxiety, the less you want to move and the more likely you are going to experience anxiety symptoms. A problematic cycle.
Dancing has natural healing powers in our physical, mental, spiritual and social well-being. It facilitates us to connect to our bodies through the power of movement which helps us to get strong, stay flexible, get the natural juices flowing in our joints and organs, release stress by getting out of our heads, and connect to our breath which makes us feel whole and at peace.
Just as many yoga and meditation gurus proclaim, when we shut out the stimuli of the world and connect with our breath and our bodies, we, in turn connect to the people around us and to nature.
It's a natural high and can be enjoyed anywhere and at any age! So let's get dancing today!