Although we move our bodies every day from the moment we get out of bed, there are a lot of benefits that we can gain from intentional movement – far more than from necessary movement alone, including improved mood and better sex life!
We all know that exercise is healthy, but for many of us, the mere mention of the word ‘exercise’ has us running for the shelter of our duvet. Sometimes going to the gym, for example, can fill us with feelings of obligation and frustration.
However, the simple act of moving our bodies need not be fraught with emotional stress. Instead, we can help to boost our emotional well-being by making movement laugh out loud fun. For example, by dancing solo in your living room to an 80’s jam when no-one is looking (or judging you hip dance moves)!
Exercise is simply movement
When exactly did the simple act of moving our bodies become something not to be enjoyed? Let’s face it, dancing around in your living room waving your arms over your head can be so much fun, yet a session in the gym can seem such a drag!
At the end of the day, moving your body should never be a burden as it is one of your bodies most basic purposes.
We also fall into the trap of associating exercise with weight loss. We see it as a necessary task to do in order to get the end results we want, but we view it negatively because it is directly associated with an issue we are trying to resolve.
By looking at reasons to keep your body moving and focusing on non-weight related reasons to move your body can help you to change your viewpoint and instead foster feelings of joy and excitement, instead of dread.
The benefits of moving your body
There are many benefits to be gained from moving our bodies including:
- Improved mood: Natural and fun movement can help combat depression, stress and anxiety
- Build a healthier lymphatic system: Our lymphatic system is part of our immune system and contains infection-fighting lymph fluid that flows throughout our body. We need to physically move to keep the lymphatic system healthy as it doesn’t have a pump like our blood (heart).
- Stronger bones: As well as being good for our muscles, movement helps to strengthen our bones and the connective ligaments and tendons that support our muscles.
- Boost to brain health: Physical movement enhances our cognitive performance regardless of our age.
Ways to keep your body moving while home alone
If the thought of going to the gym is out for you, then you can move your body at home in many ways to make you feel good and help to improve your physical, mental and emotional health.
If you have a garden, you can get plenty of exercise outdoors including walking, squatting, reaching, and pushing/pulling. All healthy ways to move!
Stretching your body through yoga, Pilates or just by following a simple stretching routine each morning helps move lymphatic fluid, keep joints flexible and muscles lengthened. You can stretch in bed, while watching TV, listening to some relaxing music, or even while talking with a friend on the phone.
But probably the most fun and enjoyable way to get yourself moving is to dance!
Why dancing while home alone is great fun and so good for your health
Dancing alone at home is the way to go. Put on some of your favourite music, let yourself go and move without anyone watching. The great thing about dancing is that you don’t realise just how good it is for you because you are having too much fun to notice!
Dancing incorporates standing weight-bearing exercises, such as lunging, jumping, hopping or twirling. Your core muscles also get a workout as they stabilise your body while you dance. Your arms and shoulders go through wide range-of-motion exercises such as arm sweeps and air punches.
Rock out to your teen anthems!
Why is it music from our teens stays with us forever? Whatever the reasons, we can let the power of our favourite songs allow us to transcend our everyday surroundings and instantly transport us back to a time where we were carefree teenagers, full of energy and excitement where we had no inhibitions or fear of the world!
The nostalgic sounds of our favourite songs create a psychological phenomenon called the reminiscence bump. According to research, the reminiscence bump is our life story from our teens and twenties that we never forget, no matter how many new life stories we create.
Researchers found there is a key age between the ages of 10 to 30-years-old when the reminiscence bump applies, so we have a natural affinity for recalling events and the music we experienced at that time.
This means that our reminiscence bump allows songs from our teenage years to connect with us through our lives. So what could be better than to pump up the volume, tune in and rock out to our favourite anthems from our teenage years!
Our emotional connection to music
The power of music is deeply connected to our emotional wellbeing, so our favourite tunes become our musical memories safely stored away in an area of the brain which is more resilient. This is why elderly dementia patients often respond so well to listening to popular music that was played during their youth.
When you combine the power of music, memory and emotion with dance, you have an amazing feel-good formula to help keep your body moving while you dance around your living room.
It is no wonder that dancing can release built-up stress and tension. Dancing is an escape from your everyday life and letting your hair down to dance yourself dizzy can bring so many health benefits that it is something that every singleton should do!
Dance like no one is watching!
Paula Adbul released a song called: Dance like there’s no tomorrow. The song lyrics go like this:
“Dance like there’s no tomorrow
Don’t care about the sunrise
Somebody please just hit the lights
All I wanna do is dance like there’s no tomorrow”
It is amazing how spot on those lyrics are! This is exactly why you can lose yourself in the music. Dancing to your favourite music in your living room means that you can enjoy moving your body, release stress and energise your mind.
It doesn’t matter that we are not trained dancers – who is going to see us dancing anyway? Just the sheer love of dancing should be enough to keep us doing it and dance around the room just like we did as a kid.
Managing a few short minutes of dancing can lighten many hours of work-related stress. Dance for yourself and your happiness! When you get home from work, throw off your shoes, put on your favourite tunes and give yourself five minutes to de-stress before dinner. You will be so glad you did!