Can I just take the newest diet pill and not exercise?

No way! There is no pill that will ever take the place of being able to move your body! Believe it or not, there is actually an obesity vaccine in production… Let’s take a step back though, movement is not just about exercise and exercise is not just about weight loss.

The word ‘exercise’ brings up images of gym memberships, yoga studios, dumbbells and CrossFit. Simply put, bodies in motion are beautiful, healthy and dynamic, but you determine which exercise is best for you. By no means is the intention to poke fun at the above methods of exercise but typically the best version is the one you will actually do and the one you find enjoyment out of.

Back in caveman days, they had to hunt and gather their food. Even today many cultures have movement at their core (and have so for thousands of years) in the form of martial arts, dance, and healing practices like yoga, capoeira, qi gong and tai chi.  These cultures inherently included a combination of aerobic and anaerobic activity that resulted in health and well-being. They had to be nimble and stealth which requires balance, coordination and flexibility while at other times, they had to fight and defend themselves requiring great strength and power.

In many cases, these men, women and children would more than likely humble our top athletes today. While today’s athletes hone their craft with daily training, for these  indigenous cultures their whole life was training.

We are in the midst of an epidemic of sedentarism. We aren’t moving enough, we are posted behind our desks beginning at the age of 6 and we literally stay there ALL DAY. Does this mean we have to obsess in the gym, sweat our faces off, and count every calorie we burn? No…  But it does mean our genes expect us to do something everyday for our physical well-being from the day we are born to the day we pass on.

All chronic conditions affecting the human species are actually tied to physical inactivity. Booth et al identified in the Journal of Applied Physiology that “environmental factors  have been identified as 58-91% of causal factors for three of the most dominant chronic health conditions afflicting individuals in modern-day America: Type 2 Diabetes, Coronary Heart Disease, most-site specific cancers.” Their article focused on physical inactivity as the primary environmental factor (defined as less than 30 minutes of brisk walking per day) causing (and preventing) these diseases.

Preventing disease is important and physical activity is one way of primary prevention. However, on the other side of the coin is the ability to experience the grandeur of life. Life is improved when we are mobile, agile and active. As an infant we expend so much effort to learn to crawl, stand and walk. Maintaining and moving in our upright posture is actually a primary priority for our brain and nervous system and is intimately tied to all other functions in our bodies. So, get off your butts and shake ‘em!


Dr. Theresa Larson DPT –