Benefits of Movement for Health & Longevity

Benefits of Movement for Health & LongevityIn today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world, our lifestyles have become increasingly sedentary, leaving little room for physical activity. So much so, that sitting has become the new smoking. A sedentary lifestyle is harming us almost as much as bad habits like smoking and excessive alcohol. Whether it’s a brisk walk in the park, a rigorous workout session, or even simple stretching exercises, incorporating movement into our daily routines has far-reaching benefits for our bodies and minds. 
Regular physical activity has been consistently linked to increased longevity and a reduced risk of chronic diseases. Numerous studies have shown that people who engage in moderate to vigorous exercise tend to live longer and experience a better quality of life. Exercise helps maintain healthy body weight, regulates blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and enhances cardiovascular health, reducing the likelihood of heart disease, stroke, and other life-threatening conditions. Additionally, movement plays a crucial role in preserving bone density and muscle mass, helping to prevent age-related degeneration and frailty. When we get into conditions like osteopenia or osteoporosis one of the best ways to combat the side effects and lessen the severity is by exercise and gentle weight-bearing activity like walking or strength training. 
Beyond its physical benefits, movement also has a profound impact on mental well-being. Regular exercise stimulates the release of endorphins, often referred to as “feel-good” hormones, which alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression. Engaging in physical activity also promotes better sleep patterns and cognitive function, sharpening focus and enhancing memory. As we age, maintaining mental agility becomes increasingly important in preserving our independence and overall quality of life.
Regular movement and activity have a positive impact on our mental health as well. Our daily life has stress from various sources – physical, mental, emotional, occupational, and toxic load. Movement serves as an excellent outlet for stress relief, offering a break from the chaos of daily activities. Whether it’s a mindful yoga session, a powerful run, or dancing to your favorite music, physical activity helps to reduce cortisol levels and promote relaxation.I recommend when you’re under high levels of stress, to take a 20-30 minute uninterrupted walk where you focus on quiet time with yourself. This allows you to take a breather and really focus on yourself.
If you’re someone who struggles with quiet time or doesn’t like to work out alone, participating in group exercises or classes can help hold you accountable and also bring joy from social interactions. Even if you’re miles away from someone who you connect with, maybe do a Zoom workout together or go for your walks together and chat. Community plays a big role in a healthy lifestyle. The more you can get friends and loved ones on board and joining you in your lifestyle, the more likely you are to stick to it. Movement is medicine and should be incorporated every day as a non-negotiable. Not every day has to have a crazy workout, but every day has to have some type of movement to fuel the body. 
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