Find Your Inner Monkey and Improve Your Health
One of my favourite things to do when my family goes swimming is to watch the monkey boys playing with each other. You know who the monkey boys are - they flip off the side of the deep pool and off the diving board. They laugh and throw themselves off the sides of the pool and make huge splashes and huge fun at the same time. We all have monkey boys in our lives – the boys who climb trees and jungle gyms, stretch and flip, jump and play and never sit still.
The monkey boys have discovered an important secret in male mental health – boys need to move their bodies to stimulate their brains.
For those of us over 40, we played differently as kids. We were allowed to go outside and find our own fun. We rode bikes and climbed trees and played kick the can for hours. Today, that lifestyle is just not possible, but one of the significant losses in society is that many boys today don’t move their bodies. Television, computers, and Playstations are the biggest reason why our boys are unhealthy and overweight, and I’d really like to take this opportunity to say – if you have a boy in your life, they NEED to move their bodies every day.
Physical movement is just as important for men. As a chiropractor, I treat men who are suffering from lack of movement all day long. Many men commute at least one stressful hour every morning into work, then sit eight hours a day in front of a computer not moving much. After a hard day’s work, they drive an even more stressful hour home to eat supper and collapse in front of a TV screen until bed time. Their whole day was spent sitting… and continual sitting is creating very significant health and posture problems in our adult population.
While I do realize that we need to work to earn our living and that desk jobs are a big part of our lives, there are ways to help overcome the negative effects of sitting throughout your day:
In the end, it’s up to you. If you are fit, keep up the good work. If your health is not where you’d like it to be, movement is the key to improved blood circulation, muscle tone, lung function, energy levels and sleep. Find your inner monkey and just have fun moving your body to improve your life.
Dr. Melanie’s Top 6 ways to find your Inner Monkey
Move your body
Make the effort to move your body throughout your workday.
- Set your phone alarm and once an hour take a quick brisk walk around your office.
- Run stairs every hour to get your heart rate up.
- Get outside and go for a brisk walk during your lunch break.
- Do push ups in your office.
- Institute a twice daily dance break for you and your colleagues, put on some Bee Gees and get your energy up.
Turn off your TV
Turn off your TV and get outside. A 30 minute walk or bike ride helps to clear your mind, it moves your muscles and improves your blood circulation. Walking helps you sleep better.
Exercise your body
Join a gym and work out at least 3 times a week. Have your health assessed and ask your trainer to create a workout that improves your cardiovascular health, muscle strength and flexibility.
Go swimming – your local pool is awesome, have you been there lately? Be a kid again - no one is watching you. Try the diving board and the waterslide. Swing off the rope and play in the lazy river. Treat yourself to a soak in the hot tub afterwards.
Learn Tai Chi
Tai chi is an amazing way to improve your body’s movement, posture and balance. Tai chi is a moving meditation and people who practice tai chi regularly find an inner peace that naturally reduces the negative effects that stress has on their bodies. People who do tai chi regularly move better and sleep better, they have a lowered risk for heart attacks and strokes.
Stand at work
Invest in a sit/stand desk at work. Sit/stand desks allow you to stand as much as possible during working hours. Standing while working is awesome for brain health. It stimulates receptors in the hips, knees and feet, and it provides better blood flow to the brain. These desks are not expensive and can offer many health benefits. They are well worth the investment to get one, even if you have to pay for it yourself.
If you are not moving your body because of back pain, stiff joints or sore muscles, see a chiropractor. Our job is to help get your spine and joints moving in a better range of motion. We help to improve your physical body condition so then you can get out and participate in your life, not watch from the sidelines!