Moving your body makes sense for a lot of reasons. We know that exercise is beneficial to our overall health, but what else does movement do for us? It turns out, a lot. Mental health benefits. Just as your mood can impact whether you get up and exercise or hang out on the couch, moving your body can affect your mood. It’s a two-way, mutually beneficial relationship between the body and the brain. And that’s good news! When you’re feeling tired or sad or just feel like you’re in a “funk” (and really want to stay put on that couch), consider going for a walk or engaging in some stretching or yoga. Even actions as simple as changing your posture have an impact on the brain. Physical health benefits. Moving your body on a regular basis (every day!) has many physical benefits. We were made to move and unfortunately, our modern world has made it super easy to just sit still. Sit in the car on the way to and from work. Sit at your desk to work. Sit at the computer to catch up on social media. Sit and relax. But sitting still (sedentary) really does a number on the body. There are numerous physical responses to sitting like weight gain and stiffness, but what is really happening inside the body? Chances are, the one thing you feel in your body immediately is a little (or a lot of) stiffness. Muscles get tight and that makes blood flow difficult. Blood flow impacts just about everything in the body – it affects the bones and can lead to osteoporosis. Joint pain is also common among people who aren’t getting enough movement. Sitting or staying stationary for a long period of time puts pressure on the joints and can cause serious problems – most notably are chronic pain and a decrease in your flexibility. Massage helps! Massage is known to increase blood flow in the body so that your muscles and tissue can recover faster. This is especially true for muscles being used regularly for training and exercise. But the same is true for muscles that have not been used – those sore areas from sitting too long. The increase in blood flow from massaging a painful area in your body helps to reduce pain and tightness, helping your muscles recover from little or no activity. Massage also helps your muscles relax from strain or tension caused by lack of movement. Taking an intentional approach to massage therapy for anyone is essential (and a priority at RuppMassage). Whether you are super active or not, targeting your specific areas of need through massage will help you feel physically and mentally better. Contact me to discuss how we can create a purposeful plan to get (and keep) your body working to your benefit.