Here's the fourth instalment of the SAMM (Super Amazing moveBALL™ Moves) Series. Love, love, love this whole-body cardio training movement. Your heart and lungs work hard to deliver oxygen to every muscle in your body. The lateral shuffle plus side lunging is a very functional movement pattern, and the moveBALL™ makes sure that your upper body is involved as well.
A healthy body weight, strong muscles and overall physical health aren’t the only results gained from regular exercise. There are also many emotional benefits, which are just as important and enticing to get your heart and muscles pumping. Here are five feel-amazing reasons to lace up and get active almost every day of your life.
1. Increased confidence & sense of accomplisment. Every completed workout is a goal that has been set, acted upon and achieved. At times when you feel powerless in your world, a workout is all yours. It’s one hundred percent you making a decision and making it happen. This may seem insignificant in a whirlwind of challenges and adversity, but each small workout is a giant leap toward being in charge of your life.
2. A clear mind & enhanced focus. Exercise increases oxygen and blood flow through your entire body, and it removes you from the hustle bustle of the day. If you have a problem to solve or need a fresh perspective, get exercising. The rhythmic, repetitive movement of a workout is like an active meditation. It removes the clutter of a situation, keeps in you in the present moment, and allows light bulb moments to happen. Your best ideas will come to you while you are chugging along on the treadmill or descending a mountain trail on your bike.
3. Less crankiness & more joy. Do you ever feel like you could make a list of 50 things going sideways in your life? Chances are 49 of those things will correct themselves if you simply head to the gym. Exercise releases a flood of chemicals called endorphins. These neurotransmitters have a similar feel-good effect on the body as opiates but without the addiction. Endorphins stimulate lovely positive feelings and decrease the perception of pain. Beyond day-to-day moodiness, exercise-induced endorphins are also an important component of treating depression.
4. Stress reduction & resilience. In addition to endorphin surges, regular exercise is key for reducing and managing the negative effects of stress on our body systems. Stress releases cortisol and adrenaline, two hormones with the potential to cause a cascade of health problems. Obesity, heart disease, headaches, and gastrointestinal problems are just a few examples of illnesses built on a foundation of stress. One workout at a time you can improve your body’s resilience to stress, decreasing the overall amount of cortisol and adrenaline released.
5. Improved self-identity & social connections. Whether you’re a yogi, dancer, skier, body builder or all of the above, a strong physical body helps you engage in your world with good self-esteem. What you choose to do for exercise is part of who you are, just as is your style of clothing, talents and hobbies. Exercise is also a vehicle for social interactions with others, and current research strongly connects this with overall physical health, happiness and longevity.
In our often-disconnected Western world we try to separate our physical and emotional selves. Really, they are one and the same. Physical and emotional responses to regular exercise, one workout at a time, week after week, can be tracked down to the molecular level in every cell in our body. And since we have 37 trillion cells head to toe, it’s worth taking care of them. Even if your prime motivation for exercising is purely physical, you'll savour the many emotional benefits that join the ride.
Our bodies are masterpieces, expertly engineered to move. So, logically, we should move them every single day, and specifically in ways that match movement patterns that life demands. Essentially every life action is a transfer of energy that links lower body, upper body, and core muscles.
Our musculoskeletal and nervous systems are integrated as we squat, lunge, press, pull, rotate, walk, run, and climb through our days. These are considered ‘primal movement patterns’ since they date back to our hunting and gathering ancestors. We need to get our chair-ridden selves up and moving as our genetics intended.
Whole-body movement training (WBMT) is a workout approach that focuses on joint actions and planes of motion. It diverts from trying to sculpt one body part at a time and instead uses many muscle groups synergistically, since this is how muscles perform in the real world anyway. WBMT is extremely functional, time efficient and key to ‘training for the sport of life.’
Exercises within a WBMT workout involve multiple joints, muscles, and planes of movement. They require substantial oxygen and calories, which improves heart and lung efficiency and boosts post-workout metabolism for up to 72 hours. In other words, WBMT a formidable component of any weight loss endeavor. It’s also perfectly suited for anyone with a busy schedule and who would like maximum ‘bang’ for time invested into fitness… which is just about everybody.
Whole-body movement training balances strength and flexibility at every joint for overall healthy alignment. This prevents joint degeneration, which is critical for our Western society fraught with chronic pain of the knees, hip, low back, shoulders, and neck. Also, WBMT is an excellent cross-training strategy to pair with walking, running, cycling, and other activities that involve small, highly repetitive joint actions. From weekend warrior to elite athlete, WBMT has an important place in everyone’s physical activity regimen.
Examine and consider this full-body movement – Side Drop Lunge Plus Balance using a moveBALL™ – for its functionality and other WBMT attributes. It activates almost every major muscle group and gets your heart pumping at the same time:
Consider what your regular workouts consist of now. You may already being doing some WBMT exercises without realizing it. Could you be doing more? By focusing on continuous, multi-joint movements that require coordinated engagement of lower body, upper body, and core muscles, results are inevitable. Your overall muscle and cardiovascular endurance will improve, and this increased fitness will transfer seamlessly to other life endeavours for optimum performance and injury prevention.
Here's the fourth instalment of the SAMM (Super Amazing moveBALL™ Moves) Series, and if you look back at the previous three (see links below) they are starting to add up into a great workout. In a few weeks I will give you a workout progression, but for now simply incorporate them into what you are already doing. Try this one out... T-balance plus back row. The balance is great training for your ankle stabilizers, hip stabilizers and core. The rowing action is essential for back strength and balanced training across the shoulder joint.
Previous SAMMs: Squat Thrust (burpee!) + Angle Chop; Side Drop Lunge + Balance; Agility Run.
Our October 1st launch date for the TRANSFORM Challenge Kits has come and gone (awaiting just one tiny detail), but we have begun pre-orders at a 10% savings. The new official launch date is November 1, but we anticipate to have all kits mailed out much before that. More details about purchasing your challenge kit here.
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We are Anita Parker & Jamie-Dee Marshall - busy moms, fitness trainers, and founders of Fitness Matters.