Movement Is An Essential Nutrient

Ask most people about the essential nutrients their body requires for good health and they’ll probably mention the things we need to get from our diet such as fats, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

Fair enough. And very true. But we’d argue that ‘movement’ should also be included on that list.

After all, our body is designed to move – and needs to move – in order to stay healthy.

In children a lack of movement results in a body that doesn’t physically develop as much as it ideally and otherwise would, and in adults lack of movement contributes to an earlier and accelerated process of decline, during which time we become progressively (and unnecessarily) more weak and frail as each year passes.

In other words – even from a perspective of  general ‘common sense’ – movement really matters!

But we can also consider things a genetic or evolutionary perspective: In that context, centuries of human development (during which time our ancestors usually needed to be much more physically active in order to survive than we tend to need to be in modern times) have resulted in us inheriting a genetic blueprint that actually requires us to engage in a certain minimal amount of physical activity in order for our genes to express healthy physiological function within our body, whereas physical inactivity results in abnormal gene expression that is often a causative factor in most of the chronic lifestyle illnesses that plague so many people (eg type 2 diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and so on).

Again, whichever way we look at it, this  mismatch between how much movement our bodies need and and how much they’re actually getting really does matter.

But here’s the good news: Just as there is strong evidence linking physical inactivity and sedentary lifestyles to many types of illness and ill health, there is also plenty of evidence to show that things go the other way as well (i.e. movement helps to keep you strong and healthy), and this why we think that if we’re talking about the essential nutrients our body requires for good health we can justifiably answer:

Fats, protein, carbohydrate, vitamins, minerals… and movement!

How much have you moved today?

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