Science has established we need to keep moving every day, and suggest that 150 minutes a week, or about 25 minutes a day, is the sweet spot for the general population.
Interestingly, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York recommends 30-60 minutes daily exercise for healthy people, and 30 minutes a day for cancer patients. Why is moving so important?
We all know that 30-60 minutes, seven days a week, is a challenge in our busy lives. The movement we do in our daily errands doesn’t count, either – part of the point is to let go of the day and just focus on you.
I wondered why MSKCC’s strong recommendation advocating 30-60 minutes a day and my best conclusion is that our DNA is programmed for us to keep moving a lot more than we do in 21st century labor, which is more intellectual than physical.
It’s only been about 250 years since the Industrial Revolution, and many conveniences we take for granted didn’t exist before then. For our ancestors, chores and travel demanded constant physical effort; physiological evolution doesn’t change as quickly as our world has, so we have to accommodate our body’s needs by moving more.
Moving is one of the main ways to reduce your risk of getting cancer, because where there is blood perfusion, free radicals cannot pile up. When you keep moving regularly, blood perfuses throughout your body preventing cancer – a compelling reason to keep moving!
Regular exercise has many other benefits, including leveling out the stresses encountered in a day.
If you are new to exercise, begin slowly and build up to it. You will find your body will grow stronger quickly, because that what it’s designed to do – to keep moving! Expect some aches and pains as you make progress, but pay attention to the quality of pain to avoid injury (so you can continue working out!). If you overdo it, don’t give up, just take a break and get some bodywork such as acupuncture or massage to speed the healing. Use the jacuzzi at the gym.
We recommend walking, because it is so simple, always available and you can listen to music, a podcast, or catch up on on phone call to pass the time. To get started, simply set the alarm on your phone for 10 or 15 minutes, walk in one direction and turn back when it goes off. In no time you’ll have a sense of how far 10 or 15 minutes takes you and you won’t need to set the alarm.
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