5 Reasons To Move Your Body Beyond Weight Loss
When you think of moving your body, does your mind automatically go to punishing or boring exercise? Because unfortunately the same way we’ve been conditioned by diet culture to think of food as calories, you might have been led to view movement as all about weight loss and fat burning.
But just as food has the power to heal so does having a consistent movement routine support the health of ALL aspects of our being.
Below is a list of some of the wonderful ways that moving on a regular basis benefits you.
My hope is that you find another factor (or two) that motivates you to find YOUR fitness groove for reasons beyond the scale!
1) Boosts Your Immune System – Actvities that promote your body’s circulation like full body movements increase blood and lymph flow. This stimulates immune activity that helps you fight against pathogens that invade your body.
2) Improves Mood and Mental Outlook – Our brains produce endorphins, natural painkillers and feel good hormones in response to moderate to fast paced cardiovascular exercise. When we move our bodies, we gain access to our own built in pharmacy that can help us feel more at ease and even help combat anxiety and depression.
3) Enhances Digestion and Improves Gut Health – Physical activity improves blood flow to the muscles in your gut which relieves constipation, bloating, allows for better nutrient assimilation and builds a healthier gut flora. Regular exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer, gallstones and improve the quality of life for those suffering with IBS.
4) Releases Emotional Stress and Trauma – Because trauma and blocked emotions can live in our mind and body, there is tremendous benefit to incorpoating somatic body based practices exercises like yoga, qigong, tai chi that can help us process painful events and negative emotions more healthfully.
5) Boosts Brain Health – Exercise improves your focus and concentration. It promotes neurogenesis, the growth of new brain cells; and it turns out that your brain is like a muscle; the more workout you put into it, the stronger it becomes by increasing the size of hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, both of which are susceptible to dementia and Alzheimer’s.
For more on the whole body benefits of movement, check out this week’spodcast: Taking Charge Of Your Health With Qigong and Tai Chi.