Why Movement Matters

Why does movement matter?

I have always been a person who loves to move and see it as a natural trait I possess, but for some people hearing the word exercise, they get bogged down and would rather have their teeth pulled.

Okay, maybe that is an exaggeration, but it is often not people’s first choice. As a PE teacher, coach, and athlete I hope to share with people why movement—notice, I used a different word—does not have to be extravagant or a complicated affair and is very beneficial to all human beings. If we know why we move and how it affects us directly maybe we can engage in it more.

Without knowledge, action is useless, and knowledge without action is futile.

-Abu Bakr.

I hope to lend some knowledge that will hopefully call you to action so that you can have power!

Movement positively affects these four areas: stress, sleep, school, and flexibility.

1. Stress

Stress and anxiety are feelings that many people deal with on a daily basis, and movement helps with stress and anxiety because it allows your brain to take a break: to be present and focused on something other than your own thoughts. It also allows you to sweat and release toxins that circulate throughout your body every day. It wakes up your endorphins and gives you the sensation of feeling good.

2. Sleep

Movement improves sleep. Sleep is always repeated to be super important, but do you know why? It is the time during which your body recovers from the day. Think about it: your body is running on all cylinders all day long being attacked by foreign entities, bacteria, illness, and pumping blood—we never think that it, too, needs rest.

Sleep allows our body’s immune system to recharge and stay strong, so when fall flu and spring allergies come around your body is given the chance to be equipped to fight it off—a chance your body does not have without sleep. For growing children the suggested amount of sleep is 8-10 hours a night. Give yourself the gift of sleep to turn your mind off from the stimulus of the day; give your body the recovery time to do maintenance; and give your immune system a fighting chance to maximize your school and work time.

3. School

Movement helps with school and productivity. When you move and are active, your blood circulates throughout your body, supplying blood to your brain so you can think better. Studies show the correlation that movement positively benefits students and their schoolwork—hurray for recess and PE!

By integrating 5 minutes every hour of walking, going outside to get some sun, or doing some quick exercises such as squats or jumping jacks in your school or work space, you will increase your productivity. Movement gives your body a chance to refocus. Most likely, you will be able to sit down and finish work more quickly and more efficiently than if you sat through the whole day. When your circulation moves, your brain is reenergized and you feel more motivated to get things done.

4. Flexibility

The flexibility component is important for everyone. Stretching allows your muscles, joints, and bones to stay strong and protect against injury. Although stretching is sometimes uncomfortable, push yourself to stretch a little every day—there is key in consistency, and it will also get your blood flowing. 

I hope this gives you the “why” behind why exercise, movement, recess, or PE is a vital part of our everyday lives. Get moving—your body will thank you!

Featured Image: “Basketball Superstars” by Leroy Neiman