Move Your Way to Better Health: The Importance of Movement

 

Movement is defined as a physical or abstract change in position, posture, or state. In the physical sense, movement involves the displacement of an object or body part through space. This can include activities such as walking, running, jumping, or dancing.

Movement is crucial for maintaining good health, both physical and mental. There are many reasons why movement is important for health:

Physical health: Movement helps to maintain a healthy weight, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve cardiovascular health. Regular physical activity has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.

Mental health: Movement has also been shown to improve mental health by reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood boosters, and can help to improve self-esteem and cognitive function.

Mobility and flexibility: Movement helps to maintain mobility and flexibility, which can reduce the risk of falls and injuries. Regular movement can also help to maintain joint health and prevent stiffness and pain.

Social benefits: Movement can also have social benefits, such as promoting social interaction and reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness.

There are many benefits to movement such as improving cardiovascular health and reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Movement boosts mental health and mood, increases energy levels, and promotes better sleep quality.

You can incorporate daily movement by finding a form of exercise you enjoy such as aerobic exercise, resistance training, flexibility, balance and coordination exercises; or by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking or biking to work, participating in sports or group fitness classes, working in the garden, or doing household chores. 

Let’s consider some barriers to incorporating movement into your day or week. If finding time for activity is an issue, you might consider taking 10 minutes during your lunch break to walk for 10 minutes; you might try waking up 15 minutes early to do some bodyweight exercises, or maybe you can stretch during commercials while you are watching television.

If you find you’re not motivated to move, what might encourage you to start? Can you offer yourself a reward for reaching a small movement goal? Small wins create momentum and make it easier to build habits.

Do you have physical limitations or financial constraints? If you are dealing with an injury can you find alternate ways to move that avoid the injured area? If you’re dealing with an ankle sprain for example, can you perform simple arm or core exercises? If spending money on a gym membership or group fitness classes isn’t within your budget, can you walk in your neighborhood, at the beach or hike in the woods? 

Overall, movement is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle, and regular physical activity can positively impact both physical and mental health. The best type of movement is the one that you’ll do; the type of movement that fits your lifestyle and is enjoyable.