Today is World Move for Health Day – a global day of awareness and action to get people all around the world to move. If you were going to go for a walk, run with your dog, or climb the stairs – TODAY is the day to do it!
World Move for Health Day was started by the WHO (World Health Organisation) back in 2003 after they found out a shocking number of facts about people who are inactive, according to their World Health Report of 2002. Some of which include the fact that physical inactivity is now the 4th leading risk factor for global mortality. Also, physical inactivity is estimated to be the main cause for approximately 21–25% of breast and colon cancers and 27% of diabetes worldwide.
Isn’t that scary? Not being physically active is the 4th biggest thing in the world that is causing people to die. It sounds harsh and frightening but it’s the truth. And it’s SO easy to stop this from happening.
All you have to do is move.
The WHO makes sure to clarify that physical activity is not intense exercise (so don’t worry – you don’t need to climb onto that spinning bike just yet). Physical activity is any form of movement carried out by your muscles that produces energy – this could be walking to work, doing chores around the house, playing with your dog, running around after your 3-year-old (although that could count as exercise – moms everywhere would agree).
What you read in a lot of magazines is that it is suggested that you do some sort of exercise for 30 minutes, 5 times a week. This is a great tip if you have a non-active day (i.e. you have a desk-job sitting behind your computer and barely move during the day). If this is you – then get that exercise in every day! 30 Minutes is nothing! A brisk walk around a couple of blocks, a quick jog, a fun dance class, playing soccer with your family, attending a cool gym class. The options are endless! Just make sure to schedule it into your day and plan ahead. Every Sunday sit down and schedule in your exercise times for the whole week. Make that commitment to yourself and your health.
A final piece of advice to remember – try and sneak in little active bursts into your day: take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk to work, walk your dog every single day, carry your groceries to the car instead of pushing them in the trolley.
It’s the little changes we make that lead to a change in our health, not the massive leaps we take.
Happy World Move for Health Day!