Moving the body moves the mind. As we move, we grow, we become stronger, and we push ourselves to new limits. Adding exercise and movement into your life is not only physical, but it can be mental and spiritual as well. Taking time to exercise can help boost your confidence and improve your motivation in every aspect of your life. It can help you clear your head and think of innovative ideas, or just relieve you of each day’s stressors.
But why does movement have this much of an impact? And how do you start to incorporate it into your life? We’re here to explain.
The science behind movement.
Have you ever noticed that after a bad day at the office you feel better once you walk to your car? Maybe you had a terrible morning, but you find yourself smiling after throwing the frisbee for your dog. Your long walk to class actually made you feel less tired? This is not simply coincidence. It is the movement that is improving your mood.
Regular exercise tends to make people happier. Not only does it give you a routine and a purpose that you might not find somewhere else, but it also affects the chemicals in your body. Exercise increases endorphins in the body, and it increases proteins in the brain that help nerve fibers grow. It can also help to alleviate stress and prepare you for the day ahead. Exercise is refreshing, and when done regularly it can make you feel good about yourself and have a more positive outlook towards the people and things around you.
What many people do not see, though, is that unscheduled movement can be just as effective. While regular exercise can improve overall mood and decrease stress levels over time, there are solutions to your short-term feel bad moments that do not involve packing up and running straight to the gym.
A lot of times feelings of anxiety, sadness, and angst can come from being in one place, or doing one thing, for too long. When this is the case, the solution is simple. Do something different. If you’ve been sitting at your desk for hours, take a short walk around the building. You feel your body getting tired? Do a couple of jumping jacks before getting back to work. This short amount of movement increases your heart rate and engages an inactive part of your mind, improving your mood and allowing you to feel motivated and get back at it.
Movement of all kinds can be beneficial and know that you do not need to over strain your body to feel the benefits. Exercise and activity should be enjoyable, and it can be really easy! Even just standing up for a minute each hour can make you feel better.
Where to begin.
So, you know that being active is beneficial. But how can you start moving in your everyday life? This may be simpler than you think. You just need to start slow. Move more today than you did yesterday and move more tomorrow than you did today. You may start by setting reminders to get up and walk around during the day. Then, gradually, as this becomes a habit you may want to start doing ten-minute exercises a few times a week. Next, you could try to walk or run a mile in the mornings. Over the span of a few months you will start to see yourself become more active and you will notice yourself feeling better each day.
Starting to engage in an active lifestyle may take time, but it is an easy process if you let it be. Focus on how you feel afterwards and let this relief motivate you to move more!