How Movement Can Boost Your Well-Being
Whether or not working out is a regular part of your routine, we all have something to gain from incorporating a little more movement into our lifestyles. Taking a daily walk, going for a bike ride, or even doing some morning stretches can all have powerful impacts on our overall health and well-being. Wondering what a movement practice can do for you? Here are some of the benefits that keep us returning to our mats and making time to move our bodies.
Improves Your Mood
Ever found yourself feeling frustrated and deciding to take a walk to “clear your head?” Studies show that the simple act of moving your body can seriously improve your mood (and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression), and scientists believe this is caused by an increase in blood circulation to the brain. Turns out taking some time to clear your head is a pretty good idea.
Deepens Your Connection With Your Body
Movement can be a form of meditation. With our days often packed full of work, meetings, or errands, it can be easy to feel disconnected from our own bodies and spend too much time in our heads. Simply taking the time to walk or lead the body through a yoga practice can deepen that connection, allowing us to feel more grounded and present in our own lives. Recently, we sat down with athlete and writer Adele Jackson-Gibson about her experience with movement and the freedom she found in creating that practice.
Boosts Focus + Energy Levels
Although many of us may turn to a cup of coffee or tea to try and fight the midday slump, it’s true that consistent movement can also boost focus and energy levels (making that coffee less of a necessity). The best news is that, according to the NIH, you can see these benefits with only 30 minutes of moderate exercise, 3 days a week.
Helps You Sleep Better
A good night’s sleep changes everything, making us much more energized and ready for the day ahead, as well as helping protect us from heart disease, diabetes, and depression. Getting your movement in not only relieves the stress that makes it hard for us to sleep, but also improves sleep quality. And if you go for a run or walk in the morning, try to do so outdoors: the exposure to sunlight helps your body establish a good sleep-wake cycle.
Ultimately, the kind of movement you choose is up to you, and it’s important to pick something that you love. If you don’t like challenging HIIT workouts, but enjoy a nice long walk, you’re more likely to walk consistently than to show up for your workout. Whether it’s pilates, yoga, or whatever else you choose, committing to a movement practice is beyond worth it -- it’s the perfect way to commit to your well-being.