What do you lose when you don’t move?
1 -First of all, you will lose your health:
All the important systems of the human organism crave for movement to function as they should. When you don’t move your cardiovascular system, your musculoskeletal system, your nervous system, your gastrointestinal system, and your endocrine system starts to go bananas.
Here is a small list (the complete one is much bigger) of what happens due to immobility:
– Your skeletal muscles and cardiac muscle weakens;
– Your bones and connective tissues lose integrity;
– Your chance of having depression and anxiety rises;
– Your digestion gets compromised possibly leading to constipation;
– You have an increased risk of insulin resistance, which is strongly linked with the development of type 2 diabetes.
And the list goes on …
[ REF: LTC Clinical Pearls: Powered by HCPro’s Long-Term Care Nursing Library, November 27, 2012 ]
2 – You will lose your freedom:
This is obviously related to the previous topic. A system that functions as it should allows you to do more things than a system that is failing. To explore this idea of movement freedom I will focus on a basic yet undermined principle: “Use it or lose it”
The human body has an immense potential to learn and adapt to different circumstances. When you expose yourself to different contexts (consistently) new possibilities will unfold and you will have more cards to play in the game of life. When you don’t move, you lose the freedom you already have, as well as the potential freedom you are capable of achieving.
Take the following example: Imagine an infant that is starting to explore the extension mode in the prone position (around 2-3 months). He is exploring the world around him and consequently, he is developing sensorimotor competence. Now let’s say he stops his exploration. What do you think it will happen? All of the motor development milestones ahead (sitting, rolling, crawling, standing and walking) will vanish. And if he stops moving completely the freedom he already achieved to look around and explore the visual field in the prone position will be taken from him.
When you don’t move you lose what you already have, and this change can be so slow and paced that you only notice it when it’s too late. You also lose your potential capacity, which is a projection into the future, nevertheless real in the sense of it being a possibility, as all the development milestones usually are for a “healthy” baby.
So why do we stop exploring?
3 – You will lose yourself:
Each and every one of us has a unique way of moving. This can be noticed for example in the walking pattern. You probably have a friend that does little jumps as he walks, one that drags his feet around and another one that just walks with style. But why? Basically, because we are different and unique. We have different genes, different bone architecture, maybe different parents, different friends, different interests, different experiences that occurred in different surroundings, and so on. All of the possible interactions between your organism and the environment shaped you differently and as a result, the way you move will be different form everyone else.
When you move you are expressing your uniqueness, your special charm. If you stop moving you will not be expressing yourself as you are, you will stop the process of being you. As you move and expose yourself to different contexts, you start noticing your strengths and limitations, and you can know yourself better. Then according to your interests, strengths, and limitations, you can create and sculpt your own path, your own movement practice. But don’t forget to share the process with other human beings, it’s not supposed to be a lonely journey.
You have the privilege to explore the world as a human being and you have tremendous potential when it comes to movement freedom. Honor your body and our capacity to adapt. Be yourself through movement, explore, discover, get lost and rediscover. Keep going, don’t stop this process!
Just be, through movement, as movement.