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I like to move it, move it!

I like to move it, move it,

I like to move it, move it,

I like to move it, move it… MOVE IT!

Does anyone else think of Madagascar and dancing lions and zebras when they hear that song??  I don’t know about you, but I can’t help but smile.

Personally, I LOVE to dance and yes, I am one of THOSE people who will start moving to a good beat regardless of where I am – at home, in my car, in the supermarket… 😊   For me, dancing is not just about a love of music and sheer joy at expressing myself, it’s how I like to exercise and move my body.  I’ll be honest, I’m not a gym lover (never have been), running hurts my knees and although I absolutely love swimming, I don’t love having to deal with swimming cap hair. 

Now we all know HOW important exercise is – more on this later – but I also know how important it is to find an exercise or physical activity that you actually enjoy! Let’s be honest, if we don’t enjoy something, we are far less likely to do it or stick to it.  So, for me, dancing ticks all the boxes.

What about you?  When you think of exercise, what comes to mind? I believe that most of us don’t move as much as we should because it somehow feels like a chore.  And of course, everyone’s favourite excuse…’I don’t have time’.  It’s funny how we seem to find or make time to do things we love though right?  So, what if you found an exercise or an activity that gets your body moving that you really love doing?  Would you feel more inclined to do it?

Why is exercise so important?  I’m sure all of you are aware of the many physical benefits of exercise but are you aware of the impact it has on the brain?  It gives our brains a healthy boost.

Physical activity increases blood flow to the brain, stimulates the growth of brain cells and the connections between them, and is associated with larger brain volume.   There is strong evidence that regular physical activity is associated with better brain function, better mental health, and reduced risk of cognitive decline and dementia.  

Research has shown that people who exercise regularly experience fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety and, amazingly, one in seven cases of Alzheimer’s disease could be prevented if everyone who is currently inactive took up exercise. 

Science has long understood that the best brain exercise is physical exercise because it acts directly on the biochemical machinery of the brain.  It increases neurons’ survival and resistance to damage.  Exercise doesn’t just positively impact our brain health, it reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and is also associated with lower levels of inflammatory markers.  Why is this so important to mention?  Because both of these things increase the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. 

We know that exercise works a great stress reliever but it also leaves our bodies and minds stronger and more resilient to future stress. 

The best bit is that any exercise is better than none 😊 So even if you begin with just a 10 minute walk a day, it’s a start!  There are so many options out there from yoga, pilates, tai chi, walking, hiking, swimming, running, boxing, martial arts, dancing and the list goes on. 

Find something you love to do, a physical activity that makes you smile and get moving! 😊

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