One of our all-time favourite sentences has to be “movement is medicine”. There are a number of reasons this expression hits us hard in all the right places.
Firstly, we love the term “movement” over "exercise". If you’re anything like us, occasionally the word exercise can feel arduous. Don’t get us wrong, for the most part, we love an intense workout but there are days when our bodies call for something softer like a stroll around the neighbourhood or even some light stretching as we binge our current Netflix obsession. Instead of thinking of physical activity as “exercise” and rather as "movement" opens us up to more possibilities and allows us to be both creative and gentle with ourselves -- and sometimes that is exactly the medicine we need.
The other thing that really floats our boat about this perspective is that it’s super empowering. Again, as opposed to just thinking of exercise as something that exists to burn calories or smash goals, thinking of movement as a way to heal ourselves from a range of mental, physical, and emotional conditions is incredibly motivating. Studies have shown that even a short, 20-minute walk can produce anti-inflammatory effects by stimulating the immune system. Equally, we know that exercise in some cases can quite literally be as good as more conventional forms of medicine. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America reports research evidence that regular exercise can work as well as medication for some people who suffer from anxiety and depression. It's nice to know that you don't need to do a lot to keep your body healthy, even shorter consistent movement practices can have huge impacts.
All too often in today’s fast-paced world, we feel guilty about missing a HIIT class or opting for an active rest day over a long run. Similarly, if we’re not striving for better and better performance results, we can feel as if we’re losing. The truth is that one day our perfect medicine might be relieving some of our work stress with a hard session in the gym, and the next it might be a hike with our besties in some fresh air and with a good dose of laughter. Either way, we’re grateful that collectively we’re shifting our mindset around the connection between health and activity to something that prioritises balance over productivity, and always puts our wellbeing first.