We all walk to the beat of our own drum, but, there are some things that we just can’t do without. For example the human body can only survive two months without food, only two weeks without water, and for many of us our minds can only go two days without exercise before our rhythm is thrown off. This article will explain just how much regular exercise plays into your overall health.
Time Is Ticking
Have you ever been in a situation where just sitting for a few seconds felt like you have been strapped into the same chair for hours on end? If you answered yes, don’t worry, this is just your body’s internal clock telling you “hey buddy, it is time to get up and move.”
Your body’s internal clock is known as the circadian rhythm, and it does a lot more than just tell you when you’ve become too much of a couch potato. Your circadian rhythm is responsible for regulating your hunger, sleep, hormones, and most importantly (at least to this article) your movement and need for physical activity.
A study conducted by Boston College researchers in 2009 revealed that seemingly sporadic movement of young adults could be tracked and categorized using simple logic. After periods of prolonged movements, such as 8 hour work days or high intensity exercise, the circadian rhythm of young adults will tell them to slow down, or as the kids say “chill out”.
Surprisingly, a similar study conducted by researchers at Harvard University revealed that relatively young animals followed an identical circadian rhythm to that of active young adults.
The research also yielded some surprising results.As age advance many of the tested animals (and humans) began to show a decline in rational movement timing. Instead, they would be active when usually sedentary and sedentary when usually active.
At first this behavior was normal, considering they were older animals with declining brain function, but once researchers removed exercise material from these animals cages, all animals (regardless of age) began to have more sporadic and irrational outburst of movement at unpredictable times of day and night.
Once the exercise material was introduced the younger demographic of animals circadian rhythm re adjusted to its previous standard.
Don’t act your age
The research provided demonstrated some amazing key findings. Firstly, lack of exercise can be dangerous. Sedentary humans, like sedentary animals, will lose their circadian rhythm over time if they remain inactive for more than a few days. Considering your circadian rhythm controls large aspects of your life and health such as sleep and when you eat this could mean a big step back for anyone trying to live a healthy lifestyle.
This research also suggest that by keeping a pattern of regular movement the circadian rhythm of an individual will be able to remain active well into old age.
The benefits of maintaining a regular exercise schedule are boundless not only will you improve your physique, you will be able sleep better, eat better, and overall live a healthier life.
For more information on how important exercise is to your circadian rhythms visit The New York Times.