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Movement is Medicine

Young lady running in a desert at sunset

“I consider my refusal to go to the gym today as resistance training” ~Author Unknown

Sometimes it can be difficult to get motivated to work out. If so, dig deep and persevere because being regularly active can pack a punch in terms of health benefits. The scientific evidence is compelling AND growing. In the words of Dr Nick Cavill, “If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented.”

Our Movement is Medicine campaign this summer puts the spotlight on the importance of being physically active. Why? Because movement is the miracle cure we’ve all been waiting for. This may sound dramatic but I encourage you to think about it, a regular dose of movement (as per the evidence) can help to; boost your cognitive function and brain plasticity; improve your sleep; reduce stress; support social connectedness; help with anxiety and depression; lower your risk of many chronic diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.  If there was pill for all of the above I know I’d want to take it.

Some of the research is fascinating. Let’s take bowel cancer for example. Many studies from around the world have investigated the link between physical activity and bowel cancer. Overall, the evidence shows that people who do the most physical activity can cut their risk of developing cancer of the large bowel (colon) by about a quarter. Being active seems to cut the risk of cancer developing in any part of the colon which accounts for around two thirds of all bowel cancers. If you consider approximately 17,000 Australians are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year then a more physically active population would certainly help to reduce this figure.

You may have noticed I am just a tad passionate about this subject! It may be my sports science background coming out or just my own experience of staying active, especially for my mental health. So here are some of my movement tips I’d love to share with you:

  •  any movement is better than nothing
  • incidental movement counts
  • change it up as much as you can
  • find the sports/activities you love
  • join a group, PT or encourage a friend to join you.

In summary, whatever your age, there’s strong scientific evidence that being physically active can help you lead a healthier and even happier life. If you haven’t already, it’s time to change into your tights and unleash your fitness this summer.

Brigid-squareArticle by Brigid Walsh, General Manager, Golden Door Health Retreat and Spa Elysia

Please note: This blog is for information purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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