It’s time to stop looking at our bodies as the enemy and starting tuning into the small shifts we can make to look and feel our best. Movement can be apart of that! Next time you walk into a gym, go for a walk with your best friend, or sit down for some deep breathing – remember how powerful your body is. You already have everything you need.
So friend, what form of movement does your body need today to feel good? Breathe deep and lean in to that. Let yourself move in a way that feels fun. Get out there, take up space, and remember: you are enough.
listen to the full episode on:
Hi friend – welcome to The Fit Flamingo Podcast where we believe movement is magic!! Who said movement has to be for weight loss only? I love movement because it’s so fun, healing, and energizing. Our bodies were designed to move! So if you want to feel empowered in your own skin, destress, heal trauma, improve your mental health, brain health or gut health here is the secret: MOVE YOUR BODY.
If you hate working out, this is the episode for you! Friend, I hope this episode convinces you that movement is magic and that there really is no point forcing yourself to do workouts you hate.
With that being said, if weight loss is your goal, I want you to know there are so many other things you can shift and change outside of just exercising more. For example, you can prioritize sleep which helps to balance your hormones and hormones are a big deal when it comes to how much we weigh. Also, things like stress management, your relationship with food, and mindfulness are going to play a role in weight loss too!
That’s why I wanted to share 5 benefits of movement that have nothing to do with weight loss because there really is so much more to the picture. When we focus on weight loss only, we miss out on all the extraordinary benefits movement brings to our body.
So let’s dive below the surface and have a lil girl chat about what makes movement so magic.
01: Movement is FUN
News flash!!! You can enjoy movement! Movement can be fun. It all comes down to your mindset. The way you think and feel towards movement will make all the difference. Instead of dreading movement, you can retrain your brain to love it. Set yourself up for success! If you don’t feel safe going to a gym, that’s okay! Maybe you’re someone who will really love going for outdoor walks at the park or signing up for a pilates class with a friend. There are so many options when it comes to movement and I don’t want you to limit yourself by thinking movement is only weight lifting and running on the treadmill.
When you make movement fun, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to feel joy, express gratitude, and connect deeper with yourself and maybe even other women or people in your life.
I love using movement as an opportunity to connect with other women. That’s seriously my favorite thing about movement. I remember teaching group fitness classes back in college at The University of Texas at Austin feeling so grateful for my clients because after our workouts they would open up to me so much. They would tell me about their insecurities, about their kids and their families and I felt so grateful to feel that sense of community and connection. We need each other. And when we come together to move it really does make things so much more fun.
So friend, blast your favorite music, wear the activewear that helps you feel confident, and start saying YES to movement that helps you have FUN.
02: Movement is Stress Relieving
In the famous words of Elle Woods, “Exercise give your endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.” 😂
Ah, I love that movie. But for real! Movement helps you relieve all the stress and tension you’re carrying in your body. And those stress reliving benefits don’t just apply to yoga and meditation.
Did you know! Exercise and movement in general increases your blood flow and breath rate. That means more oxygenated blood is moving through your body. Your blood is a carrier like a river that brings nutrients and oxygen to every cell in your body. Blood also helps remove toxins. So when we increase blood flow, we’re increasing the rate at which we’re clearing out toxins.
This directly enhances brain function (more on that later!) which helps stimulate a greater production of endorphins. And just like our girl Elle Woods said, endorphins make you happy!
From a cellular perspective, endorphins decrease your sensitivity to stress and pain in the body. Plus, that increased blood flow and breath rate also help you think clearer and feel more energized. How cool is that!
All science aside, something I’ve noticed for myself is that when I’m moving, I usually forget about the emotional and mental stressors in my life. I definitely feel this when I’m teaching a group class or doing a personal training session with one of my clients. When we’re moving together, I stop focusing on fear, worry, anxiety, and my to do list and just find myself being present in the moment. And let me tell you, that feels so good!
It’s so easy to get in our heads. I love that movement gives us the opportunity to check in with our body and press pause on all the mental chatter and comparison happening in our heads and lean more into expression and creativity.
PS – If you experience a lot of pain in your body, stress can make that pain worse. Movement helps us destress and break up all the physical tension we carry. For example, if you are someone who carries a lot of tension in your neck & shoulders (like me!) you’ll love a mobility flow I just posted to my Instagram. If you can’t find it, send me a direct message @thefitflamingo and I’ll share it with you directly 🙂
03: Movement Boosts Brain Health
Movement increases blood flow to the brain! Specifically, meditation is huge for boosting brain health. And maybe you don’t think of meditation as movement but I think it totally counts because meditation helps you breathe deep and that breath is so life giving to your whole body – mind, body, and soul.
Often, I think of movement as meditation in motion because I’m breathing deep, increasing blood flow, and tuning into my body in this really empowering way. I even found this study that shows how meditation increases the amount of gray matter in your brain, which naturally gets less and less as we get older. But through meditation we can actually process emotions and memories and control movement better because of that increase in gray matter.
Similarly, when we’re exercising, as we increase breath rate and blood flow we also see some of the same health benefits in our brain that we get from meditation.
04: Movement Supports Mental Health
Brain health and mental health go hand and hand.
To me, I think it’s so cool how all the different systems and structures in our body work together. If we work on tactics and habits to improve our brain health we’re naturally going to see improvements in our mental health, gut health, and overall wellbeing. Everything is connected!
Here’s a cool wellness fact: movement helps us get better sleep at night. Did you know! Exercising first thing in the morning is proven to help you fall asleep quicker, get deeper sleep, and wake up feeling more rested.
That deep sleep is essential for hormone regulation, mood regulation, cognitive function, and immune system functions, which all directly impact your mental health.
Movement is healing for anxiety, depression, ADHD, PTSD, and just overall stress management.
If you’re curious what forms of exercise are best for anxiety and depression, listen to Episode 6 called, “the best forms of movement for anxiety, depression, and chronic pain.”
05: Movement Enhances Digestion & Gut Health
Lately, I want to touch on the benefits movement has for digestion and gut health. You may have heard it said that the gut is the “second brain.” Recently, it’s been discovered that the gut contains serotonin and melatonin, two chemicals involved in sleep and mood regulation.
Your gut health is impacted by how much good quality sleep you get, what foods you eat, how you move your body, and how you manage stress. If you’re constantly stressed your body will constantly be in a state of “flight or fight.”
That means your sympathetic nervous system is turned on and revved up. That system is essential and needed but we don’t want it to be on all the time. Because if it is on all the time, your parasympathetic nervous system stays shut down.
Your parasympathetic nervous system is essential to help us digest food and absorb nutrients. Better nutrition absorption leads to you having more energy for things like movement, creativity, and enhanced productivity.
In addition to this, if you absorb nutritions and have a healthy gut microbiome, you’ll also have clearer skin, stronger bones, an enhanced immune system to fight off colds and disease, and so much more.
One study even found that exercise promotes the growth of healthy gut bacteria which repair the gut lining, reduce inflammation in the body, and improve the absorption of food.
Bottom line: If you want to get in the best shape of your life, start by focusing on your gut health.
It all just goes to show that movement truly is magic.
When we use movement solely as a tool to lose weight, we miss out on the holistic health benefits that movement has to offer. Not only does move provide an opportunity to have fun and release stress, it also boost brain health, supports our mental health, and enhances digestion and overall gut health.
So friend, if you ask me – daily movement is pretty much a no brainer.
It’s time to stop looking at our bodies as the enemy and starting tuning into all the small shifts we can make to look and feel our best. Movement can be apart of that.
Next time you walk into a gym, go for a walk with your best friend, or sit down to do some deep breathing – remember how powerful your body is. You already have everything you need.
So friend, what form of movement does your body need today to feel good?
Breathe deep and lean in to that. Let yourself move in a way that feels fun.
Get out there, take up space, and remember: you are enough.
Have a specific question? Send me a DM on Instagram!
Friendly reminder: You are enough.
With Love from your Fitness Coach & Wellness Obsessed BFF,
Madison | The Fit Flamingo
Hi, I’m Madison Deaton. As a personal trainer, nutrition and self-love coach, I focus on the inside first, helping you get to the root of why you think and feel the way you do. Then I use things like functional fitness, holistic nutrition, mindset and self-love tools to help you connect with yourself on a deeper level, see things from a new perspective, and unlearn habits that no longer serve you so you can take up space, step into your power, and become the woman of your dreams (friendly reminder: she has been YOU all along). Welcome to The Fit Flamingo! I’m so glad you’re here.