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PodcastThe Importance of Movement

The Importance of Movement

Washington Post Health and Wellness Columnist Gretchen Reynolds hosts Radio Headspace all week. Today, she talks about how easy exercise can truly be, and the positive health benefits it offers. Learn more about Gretchen's work on washingtonpost.com.

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(air whooshing) (computer mouse clicking) (bright gentle music) Headspace Studios. (light thoughtful music) Hey, everyone. I'm Gretchen Reynolds. Welcome to Radio Headspace and to Monday morning. I'll be guest-hosting Radio Headspace this week, and it's great to be here with you. I'm a journalist, author, and I write about exercise science and fitness in my Washington Post column, "Your Move." My work is all about helping people understand why incorporating movement into your day can benefit your body, mind, and overall well-being. This week, I'm breaking down the science and benefits of exercise. We're gonna dive into how physical movement can improve our mental health, give us a fighting chance against disease, and just help us feel better at any age. (birds chirping) (gentle sparse music) As someone who writes about the science of exercise, probably the most interesting thing to me is how deeply exercise and the need for movement is embedded into our very genetics. We long ago were hunter-gatherers as a species. And when you're a hunter-gatherer, you have to move, either to find food or to avoid being food. And if you didn't move, you didn't survive and pass along your genes. So very early in our evolution, the need for movement became just entwined into our genetics, and because of that, it's very important to our health and it's very important to our mental health. It affects how calm you are. It affects how anxious you are. It affects your blood pressure. It affects how well your brain works. Almost everything about how you feel and how your body is functioning depends on getting up and moving around. (insects chirping) (gentle thoughtful music) Some of the common misconceptions about fitness that keeps so many of us from actually being active are that it has to be hard. It has to be at a gym. You have to have the right shoes. You have to be thin. You have to be coordinated. And the fact of the matter is not one of those have-tos is true. There's very good science that any amount of movement can contribute to better health, and that means 10 seconds of getting up and walking from one end of your office to the other end of your office. That actually begins some of the physiological effects that can end in better health, better endurance, greater strength. Just think of it as doing what your body was born to do, which is move. (rain pattering) (light gentle music) Don't add to the responsibilities you have by thinking you have to exercise. Find a way to reframe this time as a way to give yourself pleasure, a way to give yourself calming. There was a really interesting study that looked at what happened when they told people that they had to go for a walk or that they were spending some time with friends while walking. And when they spent time with friends while walking, they went further. They went faster. They said afterwards that they couldn't...


Duration5 min

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