The average person uses only about a quarter their total muscle potential.
Are you surprised?
It’s mainly due to the amount we sit: 9-5 sitting jobs, getting around (anywhere you go that isn’t on your own two legs), and even entertainment. Sitting for long periods of time make the largest muscles in your body (like the hamstrings and quadriceps) become tight and unyielding, which puts more strain on your joints, and leads to friction and pain.
But your muscles do not just move your body around. Skeletal muscle is the main force for the optimal function of all your body systems: cardiovascular, neurological, digestive, endocrine, reproductive and lymph systems, all or any of which could be functioning at a sub-par level as a result of using so few of your total capability.
We look at animals in a zoo or mammals in a tank and we know that they are not in a natural environment. In fact they show diseases of captivity. Yet we willingly put ourselves in an unnatural environment and we, like the zoo animals, have diseases of captivity.
We can do better: much improvement can be made by changing your habits. Here are a few ideas that cost nothing and are surprisingly effective.
- stop looking for the easiest way to do things, like finding the closest parking spot to wherever you need to go.
- take the stairs when you can.
- walk for errands when you can.
- don’t take the shortcut all the time.
- walk for entertainment.