Move Your Body!
Movement is medicine. It's a simple concept, yet one that is often overlooked in our sedentary modern lives. The human body is designed to move, and regular physical activity is essential for maintaining good health. Many of us have grown accustomed to a sedentary lifestyle and it is important to remember that movement is essential for the mind, body and gut!
Movement, as simple as low impact, and non strenuous such as walking and stretching can help prevent a wide range of health problems, including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. It can also help manage weight, improve mental health and mood, boost energy levels and improve cognitive function. One of the key ways in which physical activity benefits the body is by promoting blood flow. When we move, our muscles contract and relax, which helps to pump blood around the body. This is important for delivering oxygen and nutrients to the cells, and for detoxifying the body.
Movement and consistent physical activity also has a plethora of benefits on mental health. Exercise has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD and to improve mood. This is due to the release of feel-good chemicals in the brain, such as endorphins. A few endorphins can go a long way, especially for those who are suffering from seasonal depression.
In conclusion, movement is medicine, and regular physical activity is essential for maintaining good health and overall longevity. It can help to prevent a wide range of health problems, and improve mental health and stabilize mood. So, make sure to get moving every day and make it a part of your daily routine. A few tips could be going for a 10 minute walk after you eat, a 5 minute stretch in between meetings, or a 10 minute walk in the morning. Instead of telling yourself you don't have time, make it a priority and remember that health is the wealthiest of them all!
It's important to note that movement doesn't have to be intense, or even have to involve going to the gym or lifting a weight. Taking a walk, dancing, cycling, gardening, and even stretching can be considered movement and do wonders for our mental and physical health. (My personal favorite is a little dance party, just put on one of your favorite songs and let it all go).
So, next time you think of exercise, it can be as low impact, non strenuous and therapeutic as you want it to be. Remember that movement is a form of medicine that can help to improve your overall well-being and when you least feel like doing it, I promise you it’s when you need it the most!
That being said we’ve highlighted 3 different styles of movement and a few of their benefits:
Pilates: Pilates offers a variety of holistic benefits beyond just physical fitness. Fundamentally, Pilates is a form of low-impact exercise that focuses on strengthening the core muscles of the body. It was developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates, initially invented for boxers and has since become a popular form of exercise for people of all ages and fitness levels.
One of the main holistic benefits of Pilates is that it helps to improve the mind-body connection. Pilates exercises focus on the connection between the breath, movement and the mind which can help to increase awareness and improve concentration. This can lead to a greater sense of control over the body and a reduction in stress and anxiety.
Pilates also helps to improve posture and alignment. Proper alignment can help to reduce stress and tension on the joints and muscles, which can lead to a reduction in pain and discomfort. This can also help to improve overall balance and stability, which can reduce the risk of injury.
Pilates is also a great form of exercise for those recovering from injury or surgery. It can be low-impact and can be modified to suit all individual needs and abilities, regardless of age or gender. The focus on the core muscles can help to stabilize the body and promote healing. It is a Holistic form of exercise that not only improves physical fitness but also promotes overall well-being by connecting the mind and body, improving posture and alignment, cardiovascular health and can be beneficial for injury recovery. It is a great addition to any exercise routine for those looking for a holistic approach to fitness. The next time you feel like spicing your life up with Pilates, the online and offline community has evolved immensely and you can discover everything from High interval training pilates, cardio dance pilates to hot pilates!
If you’re based in Toronto, we recommend trying Jaybird studios!
Walking: If you haven’t heard of the hot girl walk club yet, well I invite you to join! Hot girl walk is essentially a slang term for daily stroll. Walking is a simple yet effective form of exercise that has an abundance of benefits for overall health and well-being.
3 benefits of walking include:
1. Improving mental health: Walking in nature, or even in a park, has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. A dose of Fresh air and a natural environment can help to clear the mind and promote a sense of calmness.
2. Improving cardiovascular health: Regular walking can help to lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, and improve circulation. It also helps to maintain a healthy weight, which can further reduce the risk of these conditions.
3. Improving overall well-being: Walking can also have a positive impact on overall well-being. It can help to improve sleep quality, boost energy levels, and improve mood. It can also be a great way to get some fresh air, especially when city living gets the best of you. When there is sunlight, some natural vitamin D is crucial for wellness. Opt for 10,000 steps a day! Break this up throughout the day, make a walking playlist and I promise you, a little daily stroll will help you flourish.
Weight training: Weight training, also known as resistance training, is a form of exercise that involves using weights or resistance bands to work the muscles. It is a form of exercise that has many benefits beyond just physical fitness. Weight training not only incorporates weights as little and effective as 3 pounds, but also includes resistance bands which can be used to strengthen, tone and stabilize muscles and joints.
Cognitive Function: Resistance training has been shown to improve cognitive function, including memory, attention, and learning. Studies have found that weight training can increase the size and activity of certain areas of the brain, which can improve cognitive function.
Boost metabolism: Weight training boosts metabolism because muscle tissue is more metabolically active than fat tissue. This means that it burns more calories at rest than fat tissue does. When you engage in weight training, you are building muscle mass, which increases the number of calories your body burns at rest. This means that even when you're not working out, your body will continue to burn calories at a higher rate due to the increased muscle mass. Additionally, muscle tissue also requires more oxygen to function than fat tissue, which can help increase the efficiency of your cardiovascular system, resulting in increased metabolism.
Quality of Life: Weight training can improve overall quality of life by increasing energy levels, improving sleep, and reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. It can also help to improve balance, flexibility, and agility, which are important for overall physical fitness and injury prevention. It also improves bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and other age-related bone conditions.
After you're done moving your body, replenish with a high protein packed Beet Smoothie & nourishing Carrot Cake Bites.
If you are trying to live a healthier and more balanced lifestyle but don’t have much time on your hands, this could be the perfect nourishing snack alternative for you. These Carrot Cake Bites are a good source of plant protein and complex carbs giving you energy that lasts. The fibre in dates help regulate bowel movements and overall digestive health, and the fats fuel the body while keeping you full and satisfied.
Happy Fitness Friday, have a healthy day and Rawc on ;)
-Chloe Tilp, CNP