Movement is Medicine: 7 Ways To Get More Of It

Movement Is Medicine

If you’re looking for something you can add to your life to make it better on every level, then more movement is the first thing to add.

Movement is medicine. And I’m not just saying that to be cute. I read somewhere once that if exercise were a drug it would be the most prescribed drug in the world.

It’s THAT beneficial to your health.

From regulating hormones, increasing bone density, supporting a healthier sleep pattern, and boosting energy levels, movement is essential to living a happier, healthier life.

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of movement, see why it’s such a great habit to incorporate into your lifestyle, and see how we can add more to your life to create a healthier, happier you.

Health benefits of getting more movement

Regular physical activity plays a huge role in increasing our health and well-being.

Let’s take a look at some of the main areas where movement gives us benefits and see why “movement is medicine” is not just a cute little catchphrase.

Improved Body Composition

Body Composition Analysis Chart

When I say body composition I’m talking about the amount of lean muscle mass vs the amount of body fat in your body.

The more we challenge our muscles, the more muscle mass we’ll be able to create.

Not only does movement help to create lean body mass, but it can also help to reduce fat mass. While the reduction of body fat is mainly driven by nutrition programs specifically created for fat loss, extra movement is the second piece of that puzzle.

You have to burn more calories to lose fat, so more movement, no matter the kind or intensity, can help in that regard.

Better Mental Health

This one might be the best argument for creating a more active lifestyle. It’s not hard for us to wrap our heads around the idea that movement creates a better body. But the best benefits, in my opinion, are the mental benefits of exercise.

More movement has been shown to help with depression, improve self-image, reduce anxiety, and increase overall happiness.

If you’ve ever gone outside to take a walk on a beautiful day you’ve experienced a little bit of this.

After that walk, you just feel a little lighter and happier.

Regular exercise has many benefits, but the mental ones are the ones that I feel are the most spectacular.

Better Sleep

Man sleeping in the dark

We’ve known for a while that physical activity plays a role in getting better sleep, but we’re also learning that there is a bidirectional relationship between exercise and sleep.

Exercise helps you sleep better, but poor sleep makes you want to move less the next day. This is actually not a hard idea to grasp.

After a night of bad sleep, we tend to sit down a lot more because we’re tired. If you can just force yourself to get some movement in that day, your chances of sleeping better that night are even better.

Sleep is so important for health and wellness. We should be doing anything we can to improve the quality of it.

More energy

If you’ve ever felt like you were too tired to exercise, you were probably too tired to NOT exercise. While it might seem logical that “not exercising” would save some of your energy, the opposite could actually be true.

It’s been shown, over and over, that exercise can help you to feel more energetic. And the great thing is that you don’t have to push too hard to reap these benefits. In fact, lower-intensity exercise was actually shown to have a more favorable outcome on energy levels.

I officially give you permission to half-ass your workouts!

Reduced risk of disease

Now, this is where “Movement is Medicine” really becomes clear. Exercise reduces the risk of dying prematurely from heart disease, reduces the risk of diabetes, reduces blood pressure in people with high blood pressure, reduces the risk of colon and breast cancer, and these are just some of the areas it helps.

There really is nothing else that you can do that will reduce the risk of practically all chronic conditions as much as movement can.

It’s said that laughter is the best medicine, and while I believe that to be true, exercise is also one of the best medicines available to us. And it’s available all the time, and for free in a lot of cases! It’s a no-brainer.

7 ways to get more physical activity into your life

Before we get into the specifics, I want to make it clear that you don’t have to start with the kind of movement that you think of when you think of traditional exercise and nutrition programs – super hard workouts that turn you into a sweaty mess on the floor.

In fact, you never have to do anything that turns you into a sweaty mess on the floor.

Movement doesn’t have to be super intense. It needs to be easy enough that you’ll actually get up and do it.

As a coach, my mentality is that it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you get up and do something. Just the act of getting up off your butt and moving is what you want to focus on first.

The more you do that, the more movement you’ll want to do. That’s the key: More movement, more often.

Now, let’s look at some ways that you can start adding in more movement.


Older couple walking through the woods

I’ve put this first because it’s the easiest and it’s the best place to start if you don’t know where to start. Humans were made for walking. It’s free, you can do it wherever you are. There really is no excuse.

And the benefits! We’re still discovering just how great walking is for us and how it can improve our health and well-being.

So get up and start walking.


The great thing about yoga, or even just stretching, is that it can be gentle and it’s really great for connecting our breath to movement.

You might look at yogis in these crazy postures and think, “I can’t do that,” and while it’s possible that you can’t do what they’re doing, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a ton of other poses that you could do that could really benefit you.

Find a beginner class or look for a video on YouTube and see if you like it. You might surprise yourself.


This has been my preferred choice of movement my whole life. I never liked working out, but I loved to dance. It was my sport.

Dance has been shown to be really great for the brain.

Learning choreography is not an easy task and that challenge connects the brain and the body in a really unique way. You don’t find it to that degree in many other forms of movement.

Not to mention, it’s just fun.

Animal Flow

Animal Flow Instructor performing a side kickthrough

Ok, you’ve maybe never heard of this one, but Animal Flow is the thing that made me realize the difference between movement and exercise. I hated traditional workouts for most of my life, but I loved to move.

Animal Flow gave me a way to get exercise in a form that I loved. It can look insanely difficult when you see really skilled people doing it at high levels, but I want you to know that Animal Flow is for everybody and every BODY.

There are levels, and everyone starts at the beginning. Check it out!

Animal Flow

30 Min Beginner Class

Give this beginner Animal Flow class a try. Remember, even if this seems too hard, just do what you can. Have fun with it. You might surprise yourself. For more info check out


Gardening is a great way to get more movement without feeling like it’s exercise. Digging, lifting bags of soil, carrying things, bending down, and then standing back up are all great ways to move your body.

Being outside while you do it is an added bonus!

Ride Your Bike

I’m not talking about your Pelaton, although I think that’s great, I’m just talking about riding your bike around the neighborhood, or as far as you feel comfortable going.

It’s a great way to get some movement in, especially for the lower body. Not only that, but it’s fun to go for a leisurely stroll on your bike, especially if the kids or grandkids join in.


Never forget that sports can be a great way to get more movement in. Golf is great, especially if you walk the course. Tennis and Pickle Ball are great for cardio, agility, and athleticism.

These are all sports that you can play for most of your life, so if you used to play them, or you’ve always wanted to, now is the time to start. If tennis seems too difficult, try pickleball.

My Final Thoughts

Movement is Medicine. That’s it.

Just kidding, I’ve got more thoughts than that.

There are so many ways to move more on a daily basis and the more we move, the better we feel. You don’t have to think of it as “working out.” I used to hate working out.

I actually kind of like it now and it started with me just trying to move more. To me, it doesn’t matter how hard I push or how much I do, as long as I move. The more I move, the more I want to move and the harder I want to push.

Get as much gentle movement in as you can and add more when you’re ready. You’ll know when you’re ready.

No matter what you decide to try, know that you’re doing the best thing you can for yourself, and be proud of that!

Now get moving!

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