What if we stopped thinking about moving our bodies as something we “should” do and started thinking about it as a better source of energy and well-being than drinking a latte ?
The idea that we should value physical movement in this way is gaining momentum.
Our latest research findings about rebranding exercise for its immediate benefits was recently featured by US News & World Report and Fitness Magazine. This message was also warmly received by a packed room of women and clinicians attending a keynote I delivered last month in Wyoming.
In fact, there’s new research showing that physical movement is associated with higher energy and enthusiasm.
A published study in the Journal of Exercise and Sport Psychology investigated the “feel good” effects from physical activity among 190 young adults, 66% of whom were women. The study participants were asked to note their daily physical activity, sleep, and feeling states and return this information at the end of each day for eight days.
They reported that physical activity was associated with increased feelings of energy and enthusiasm. The study also found that these college-aged participants felt even more enthusiastic on the days that they moved their bodies more.
Energy and enthusiasm remained significant even after taking sleep quality into account. This demonstrates that when a bad night’s sleep leaves us feeling exhausted, we can boost our energy level that day by moving our bodies.
These findings have proven accurate in my own life. Last fall I was extremely busy. I didn’t walk as much as usual. Since January, I’ve increased my time walking and I feel more energetic.
If you haven’t paid attention to how you feel even after a short duration of physical movement – try it a few times. Many of my clients are surprised by how a little bit of physicality goes a long way toward vitality.
Want more energy and enthusiasm during your day? Instead of heading to the nearest Starbucks, put your work down, grab a friend or colleague, and take a 15-minute walk. (You’ll save money too.)