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Mind and body: The benefits of movement

Fanshawe College Student Wellness Centre
Image Credit: Brendan Beamish

When it comes to physical activity, there are lots of benefits that movement brings to your body and mindset. On average, adults spend about eight or more hours each day sitting down, so it is important to get your body moving. When it comes to moving, there are a lot of benefits for you, your physical self and your mental health.

One of the greatest benefits of movement is sharper memory and thinking. Whenever you exercise, whether it be walking, dancing, playing a sport or doing yoga, your brain releases endorphins which not only help your body feel better, but also help you think better too. This can also help improve concentration. Plus, basically every time you exercise you are stimulating new brain cell growth by improving the delivery of oxygen to your brain.

“Movement comes in many forms that all offer such great benefits for not only your body but also your soul.”

Not only does physical activity stimulate sharper memory, it also gives you more energy. Do you ever wonder why you feel more energized after a good workout? Well, that’s because your heart is pumping blood through your body. Not only are you feeling more energized, but you also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Getting just one hour to an hour and a half a week of physical activity can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Movement can also lower your blood pressure and improve your cholesterol levels.

Movement is good for both your body and your soul, but is very important when it comes to your mental health. Movement can help reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression and negative moods by improving your self-esteem and cognitive function. To tie into this, movement can help when it comes to sleeping, and a consistent sleep schedule is pivotal to mental and physical health. Movement and exercise can help you when it comes to deep sleep. Your body will more than likely require a great rest meaning you will sleep a whole lot easier.

Even something as simple as dancing can improve the condition of your heart and lungs and increase your agility and flexibility. Similarly, an activity like yoga could potentially help you manage stress.

Whenever you get up and move you are increasing the functionality of your joints, which allows your body to reach its full potential. Not only are you producing blood flow, but you are also producing some happy endorphins through your body. Physical activity and movement can help keep your thinking and judgment skills sharp.

There are lots of benefits when it comes to getting some movement into your days but these are some of the most common ones. A little bit of movement every day can help achieve sharper memory function, higher energy levels, better sleep, a decrease in cardiovascular health issues and an overall improved mental health.