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Benefits of Movement for Your Mind + Body

Updated: Dec 13, 2022


You don’t need to run for miles or go to the gym all night to reap the many benefits of working

out and moving your body. Moving your body can be going for a half hour walk, stretching,

standing up, even just holding certain poses and practicing breathwork. When we engage in

regular light physical activity, we are more likely to continue to engage in moving our bodies

and exercising.


People who exercise regularly tend to experience an over-all sense of well-being. They often

sleep better, eat better, have more energy throughout the day and have a stronger sense of self-

confidence and self-worth. Regular exercise has been shown to have profound benefits on

anxiety, depression and ADHD as well.


Studies show that exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant

medication, and of course, without the side effects! The reason for this is due to exercise

promoting changes in our brain including neural growth, a decrease in inflammation, and new

activity patterns that promote feelings of calmness and well-being.


Exercise is also a natural and effective anxiety treatment. Adding mindfulness elements to

moving your body or exercising is also great for anxiety as it is very grounding and can interrupt

the constant worries anxiety holds over us.


Other mental health benefits of exercise are a sharper memory, higher self-esteem, better sleep,

stronger resilience, and more energy.


Don’t have time for a full hour or half-hour work out? Who does! If you start with 5-10 minutes

of moving your body or exercise you will slowly tack on more time. Really, what you are doing

is creating a habit. The key here is CONSISTENCY. Even if you start with doing one stretch a

day for a couple of minutes. If you can do it at the same time every day, or most days, and stay

committed to this it becomes a habit that you can slowly add on to. It is better to set small

realistic expectations that you can meet so that you can build confidence which will in turn create

further consistency.



Here is an example of a subtle body movement/pose you may like to begin with - Forward Bend:



Start standing, with your feet planted firmly on the ground. Notice how your weight is being held

by your pelvis, your hips, and your legs. Be sure to engage your legs. Sweep and reach your arms all the way up to the sky. Image creating separation between your rib cage and your pelvis or hips. As you reach up you should be breathing in, filling up with air. Sweep your arms down, breathing out, and bending at your hips. You should fold over your legs and try your best to touch the ground or your toes. (This will not happen for everyone but the more you practice and incorporate breath work the closer to the ground you will get I promise!) Be sure your legs are engaged, and you are not collapsing over yourself. Make sure your head is dropped looking back behind you. You should feel a decompression of your spine and your neck.


This pose is extremely beneficial for spine health which all of us need today with the amount of sitting we do. Stay here as long as you like. You can play with your breath too. Breathing in and lifting or coming up half-way, hands to knees, breathing our and dropping back down (you should be able to drop a little further than before when you sink your breath like this). While hanging here you can nod your head yes and shake your head no for some extra relief. Bringing mindfulness into

this again, check in on your jaw, if you are clenching, release it, making sure the tip of your

tongue is gently pressed up behind your front teeth. When you are ready come out of this post by

lifting with your legs and bending from your waste. Sweeping your arms up again, creating that

separation between ribs and pelvic area and placing your hands back down by your side.



Let us know how this went for you!

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