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Movement is Medicine

Posted By Kayla Mattiazzi  
11:00 AM

Old or young, the benefits of movement and physical activity cannot be overstated. There is overwhelming evidence to support the effects of exercise on many of our body systems, including the cardiovascular system (the heart and lungs) and the musculoskeletal system (the bones, joints and muscles). Exercise has also been shown to have positive effects on mental and emotional wellbeing through the release of endorphins (hormones that make you feel good!). When in pain or suffering from an injury, it is common to feel as though you should avoid movement, wrap yourself in cotton wool and take heavy pain relief medication. In most cases, you will actually do yourself a world of good by getting up and moving, whether it be something as simple as gentle stretching or walking. Movement and exercise helps to reduce the number of “pain signals” being sent out to the body from your brain. Keeping mobile and active lets your body know that it is actually okay to move and that you are not doing further damage. Particularly in the elderly population, regular physical activity has been shown to reduce pain and improve function, delaying the deterioration of muscle and joint health that occurs as a natural part of the aging process. However, the younger you start, the better! Participating in regular exercise from an early age has been shown to have immensely beneficial effects on strength, stability, balance and of course, pain. In essence, it doesn’t really matter what your choice of exercise regime is, any movement is better than no movement!