When I walked into a training session for working with disabled students last week, I didn’t expect it to inspire a blog post. What do wheel chairs have to do with weight loss? But here I am, inspired and blogging.
We were trained to get students up and moving, no matter how disabled they are. The training covered techniques, equipment, and research projects that have been done with students who need help to sit, to stand, and/or to take steps. What blew me away was what happened when students who are used to being sedentary all day every day began to get up and move.
It didn’t surprise me that the students gained muscle strength and stamina.
It didn’t surprise me that their caregivers found it easier to care for their physical needs because they could stand with assistance instead of being lifted, and so forth.
What surprised me were the side effects:
Students began to interact more socially.
Their behavior improved.
They were less anxious.
Their bowel movements became more regular and they were able to successfully use a toilet. (I admit my own particular job does not involve diapers, but I was excited for my fellow trainees who spend part of each day toileting students.)
We know exercise benefits our health but we often think of exercise as something we do at a gym or at least with prolonged effort while wearing sneakers. Let’s not overlook the benefits of movement, even if it’s standing or stretching for a while instead of sitting.
Perhaps sitting less can give us beneficial side effects too. Improve our behavior. Reduce our anxiety. And yes, even regulate our colon.
Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then … I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel. Philippians 1:27
Images courtesy of: moveinternational.org (girl), Maximized Living (chair)