Use it or lose it

Use it or lose it

Lynsey Kemlo, CAPA improvement adviser talks about how important it is to stay active so that people can keep doing what they like to do.

The saying “use it or lose it” is well known but what does it actually mean?  How much attention do we give it after hearing a lone voice shout it from a corner? More commonly the saying is used in relation to movement.   If you don’t move you will lose the ability to move. Another saying, “you don’t appreciate something until it is gone” suggests that we don’t appreciate the ability to move until we cannot move or moving is difficult.  Then we think of very little else.  These sayings may just prove to be words of wisdom when considering the infinite value of moving.

A total of 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week gives more health benefits collectively than any one tablet.  It has both a preventative and promotive benefit to our health and wellbeing.  Evidence suggests that by being physically active, our risk of osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity, depression, anxiety and certain types of cancer is reduced. It also helps us to sleep better, think better and feel better.  Being physically active for 22 minutes a day can lower our risk of illness and help us recover from illness.  If we want good health and wellbeing, investing 22 minutes out of 24 hours sounds like a worthwhile choice.

Most people, when asked, know the health benefits of physical activity.  However, a large percentage of our population are regarded as physically inactive. Exploring the gap between knowing and doing may just bring about a change which will allow more people to enjoy good health and wellbeing through physical activity. Although we appear to know the benefits of physical activity, how often do we think about them or discuss them? The idea of constantly thinking about the benefits of physical activity will probably not be met with a standing ovation but being mindful and giving attention to the positive impact of movement may be the first step in bridging the gap between knowing and doing. So, is it time to appreciate our abilities and choices before they deteriorate?