Movement & Posture | Exercise is an Anti-Depressant | Wellness Inventory
When we see a baby take its first steps we realize the power that movement has in our lives. Moving is one of the ways in which we can exert our will on our environment – if we see a stinging insect, feel too hot, feel too cold, or simply tire of sitting – we can move.
Moving our bodies through space is just one way that we interact with the world around us, and is one of our primary energy outputs.
Continuing with the series of blogs on Wellness, this post will proceed with a spin around the wellness wheel focusing on the 12 dimensions of wellness. We’ll look at the dimension of moving this week.
Exercise is the #1 Anti-Depressant
Now, I know what you are thinking – it will be all about exercise and how that is an important element of wellness. And yes – that is partially true.
Exercise is one of the choices we make in our lives that helps us to maintain well-being. And I do have to put in a pitch for exercise and movement being the best anti-depressant out there.
Exercise helps to regulate neurotransmitters such as serotonin and the stress hormone cortisol. Additionally, If you are familiar with my Insomnia E-Course you will also note the effect that exercise and movement have on helping us get the sleep that we need to wake up refreshed and energized.
But, I actually wanted to take a different trajectory about how our body interacts with the world around us. I want to focus on posture – does that surprise you?
Is posture movement? We usually think of posture as being static. How we hold our bodies might not even have occurred to you as part of movement. Actually, posture is composed of small movements that hold our bodies upright.
Think of a dancer lifting her rib-cage to lengthen her waist. Consider a pianist placing both feet on the floor to better strike the keys.
The Power of Posture in our Everyday Lives
How we hold our bodies has been found to demonstrate the powerful connection between our mind and our body. While I could site numerous studies that illustrate how our mood, energy, or memory is affected by how we hold our bodies, I am going to share with you the one I think is the most startling.
If you haven’t listened to Amy Cuddy’s famous Ted Talk I encourage you to do it. It is amazing. In her talk she explains how power positions can actually help change the hormones in our body.
Holding power positions for as little as two minutes increased levels of testosterone and decreased levels of cortisol, in the brain. This has a potent impact on research participants confidence and assurance.
So, the next time you need a boost of self esteem and confidence assume the power position (you’ll see what it is in the Ted Talk) and allow your brain to infuse you with the hormones to sustain you.
What Else Do I Need to Know About Movement?
The Wellness Inventory also covers more detailed advice on how you can incorporate movement into your life for a better mind body connection. I’ve chosen to touch on two simple pieces of advice here:
Why you should exercise
How posture benefits us
Dr. Ines K. Roe has been helping women in transition rediscover themselves for over 20 years. If you’re been feeling unfulfilled, are frustrated with your sense of accomplishment in midlife, or simply need guidance on your path to holistic well being, join her ecourses.