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  • Writer's pictureBeth Abney

20 Reasons Movement is the Best Medicine

Most of the aches and pains we feel on a daily basis is musculoskeletal pain. What that means is our muscles and our joints hurt. The drug of choice for this type of pain is movement. There is nothing that comes in capsule form that will have a greater benefit than movement.

In cases of acute pain, where there is an injury like a broken bone of a sprained ankle, rest is important for recovery; however with most everything else, including chronic pain or pain that is present all the time, not moving is only going to create more problems.

During the great quarantine of 2020, it’s easy to find yourself parked in front of a screen for hours at a time. The first week my business was shut down, I experienced a great deal of low back pain. I was sleeping later into the morning because I had no place to be. I was laying on the couch messing around on my phone. I was spending a lot of time working on my laptop. The result was pain. I woke up in pain, and it lingered most of the day.

Fortunately I knew exactly what the problem was. I wasn’t accustomed to long hours reclining or sitting down, nor was it something that I should get accustomed to. The next two days, I quit the screens. I got outside and tackled all my yard work. I lengthened the amount of time I walked the dog. I deep cleaned my house. I did some yoga. While I admittedly had some sore muscles from the exercise, the back pain I’d had for the past week was gone.

Science has proven the following benefits of staying active.

1. Increased circulation

2. Increased muscle pliability, elasticity and contractility

3. Improves mood

4. Lubricates joints

5. Improves coordination

6. Improves overall health

7. Relieves stress

8. Prevents memory loss

9. Decrease in depression

10. Increase in self esteem

11. Decrease in anxiety

12. Improves mental function and brain health

13. Stronger bones

14. Slows the aging process

15. Relieves pain

16. Lowers blood pressure

17. Good for your heart

18. Helps control weight

19. Improves mobility

20. Reduces falls

That said, you don’t have to go overboard and start an intense workout regimen in order to overcome muscle and joint pain, but you do have to get up and move around regularly. You need to do a variety of movements. You also need to know your limits. Don't do anything that makes your pain worse during the activity. You can incorporate traditional exercises like strength training or stretching, or you can also just do active tasks like walking, gardening and cleaning the garage. Anything that gets you moving counts.

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