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25 Benefits of Moving Everyday

The real challenge of fitness? Fitting it into daily life.

There’s a lot of resistance to giving up a few hours of the day to get into a gym. But what if you spread it out – move everyday – instead of worrying about long, structured workouts?

Today we’re looking at what moving every day does to your body and mind. You might just find out that this “little and often” approach is the right fit for your fitness and health – so stick with us while we look at 25 benefits of moving every day.


The Challenges of Staying Active


Fitness in modern life involves a lot of logistics that add challenge to the hard work and discipline of diet and exercise.

Working days can be long while other commitments – like family – eat up hours of your schedule. Moving everyday – for less time and in activities – could be the cure to the common schedule, where exercise isn’t a chore or a huge time-commitment.

It sounds counter-intuitive but more regular exercise may be the health, fitness, and lifestyle option that helps make everything easier.


Exercise and Activity: Your Body Doesn’t Know the Difference


The separation between activity and fitness is one that we only made in the past few decades. Back when our lives weren’t so technologically comfortable, activity and exercise bled into each other with things like training for soldiery, farm work, and hard labour jobs building fitness.

In the modern age we’ve forgotten this NEAT: non-exercise activity thermogenesis.

This is the source of up to 70% of your metabolic output – your calorie requirements – per day. When you move for any reason, even just moving your chair across the room, you’re burning calories to move.

So when we say move everyday, we’re opening the door to all kinds of activity: playing physical sports, walking the dogs, riding bikes with the family, or just moving furniture for a friend. You can practice deliberate movement everyday or find joy in activities that are all about movement – they both count.

When you’re spending more time moving, you’re supporting your body and mind just like regular exercise. You can find smaller increments of time – like 10-30 minutes slots – through the day to build up this bank of weekly TOTAL movement and improve your health and wellbeing.

How? Let’s take a look at just what happens when you do build more movement into every day…


Moving Everyday:


So, what should you be doing to move every day?

Fortunately, you don’t need to put in a killer workout where you can hardly walk afterwards. For most people, activity and movement start smaller. All it takes is finding movement that you enjoy and which increases your heart rate. The key is in the versatility: it can be just about anything.

For total beginners, a little hiking or daily walking could be the start of a health and wellness journey. 30 minutes a day walking with a podcast or while talking to a friend, for example, will improve metabolism, hormonal health, and regulate energy levels.

There are countless ways that you can get moving and the idea isn’t a specific amount: the goal is to be more active than you are now. That can occur in countless ways – and here are a few:

  • Hiking
  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Rowing and Canoeing
  • Casual field sports with friends
  • Structured weight training
  • Calisthenics and bodyweight exercise
  • Rock Climbing
  • Dance
  • Yoga and Pilate
  • And any other form of movement

This is the key: exercise is one kind of movement, but there are so many other ways of getting it into your life. From physical labour to sports with friends to the simplest walking or outdoor activities, movement is part of who you are as a human.

  1. Spend at least 20 minutes moving at some intensity – ideally more in the 30-90min range.
  2. More intense means you need less time – intense exercise is for people on a tight schedule.
  3. Get your heart rate up and put some effort in – the more deliberate the better.
  4. Do things you enjoy and find meaningful – build a better relationship with movement.
  5. Progress over time – the key is to move more, move better, and turn up the challenge.

We’re not here to tell you what to do – but think about the types of movement that you find fun, fulfilling, or you can take part in socially. These are the easiest to stick to, the best to invest your time and effort into, and they’ll make you healthier while you build consistency and progress.

Anything you can find that fits these standards is going to provide a way of getting your metabolism up, regulating your hormones, and strengthening the body overall.


25 Benefits Of Moving Everyday

    I. Cardiorespiratory: Building Health In The Heart and Lungs

  1. Heart Function
  2. Regular exercise and activity improve the performance of your heart with every stroke.

    This helps reduce the strain on your heart by lowering the resting heart rate. It needs to pump less often to maintain your needs, which helps reduce the burden and keep you healthier over the years.

  3. Heart Rate Variability
  4. The variability between your heart beats is really important. It’s called heart rate variability (HRV) and a better HRV score helps you deal with stress, anxiety, and fatigue better.

    Not only that but – with regular activity – you can improve HRV massively. It helps to maintain heart health and is great for fitness, too.

  5. Artery and Endothelial health
  6. Regular exercise helps improve endothelial function and artery reactions to blood pressure.

    These combat the risks of things like cholesterol- and plaque-problems in your arteries.

  7. Lung capacity
  8. Obviously, your breathing efficiency and health improve when you move more often.

    Just like the heart, efficiency increases and your lung capacity – as well as ability to get oxygen into the blood – improve rapidly.

    These results come in quickly and really support better health. You’ll also have less difficulty breathing and be less susceptible to shortness of breath.

  9. Reduced fatigue
  10. Obviously, moving more will improve your fitness and improve your endurance!

    This is a great feeling of fitness and will transfer over to every other kind of exercise or activity you want to get better at.


    II. Musculoskeletal: Movement Improves The Body

  11. Muscle mass
  12. Regular movement tells your body that you need to repair/grow your muscles.

    Muscle mass increases with regular movement as long as your diet provides the nutrients necessary for that growth.

    Your body will become the demands that you put on it, with time and recovery. Regular activity produces an athletic physique when the food matches.

  13. Muscle tone
  14. The tone of muscle is the resting excitability – how ready it is to go at a given moment.

    Muscle tone affects how muscles look as well as how they perform. Regular activity maintains a low but important level of muscle tone that makes you look less “soft” and more athletic.

    If you’re looking for a change to your physique, this tone is a huge factor that daily activity provides.

  15. Tendon health
  16. Ligaments hold your bones together and make movement possible.

    Regular daily activity will send signals for strengthening these crucial tissues.

  17. Ligament health
  18. Tendons do a lot of work in movement and – just like muscles – become stronger with activity.

    They are slow to strengthen and daily activity helps speed up this process. This means fewer joint problems as you age and better joint health now.

  19. Bone health
  20. Bones change based on exercise and activity.

    Inactivity causes loss of density while regular exercise and movement improve bone density. This also relies on the diet, where minerals (calcium and potassium) and proteins are key.

  21. Joint control
  22. Joints and safe, healthy movement rely on control and familiarity with movement.

    When you move everyday – especially through your full range of motion in a joint – you build strength, control, and familiarity. This is the leading factor in reducing joint injury risk!


    III. Endocrine and Metabolic: regulating your “big picture” health

  23. Metabolism and hormones
  24. Everyday movement provides a powerful regulating force for key metabolic hormones like insulin and thyroid.

    These manage energy resources so – when you have a reliably higher resting metabolic rate from movement – you’re helping match energy levels with needs.

    In simple terms, everyday exercise sets your metabolism to a regular beat.

  25. Sex hormones
  26. Testosterone and other sex hormones are important for both men and women.

    They’re also regulated by exercise and healthy function is key to things like mood and physical wellbeing. When we move every day, we keep these in check and at healthy levels, improving all kinds of quality-of-life factors!

  27. Better sleep
  28. Everyday movement supports a healthy, hormonally-regular sleep.

    This makes just about everything in your life better, from mental performance to mood to fitness. Win-win.

  29. Long term metabolic health
  30. The long term wellbeing of your metabolism is a huge deal to how you age.

    When you move every day you support the processes we’ve outlined so far and these all help improve your long-term metabolism.

    Right now, you might be thinking of metabolism as a way of keeping in shape or improving fitness. In the long term, though, it really can be make or break for healthy, successful aging.

    Your energy systems support brain health, long-term independent movement, and protect you against illness. An active lifestyle – even just a little every day – adds up over the decades!


    IIII. Psychological: Who Does Regular Activity Turn You Into?

  31. Energy levels
  32. Everyday movement helps support regular and improved energy levels through the day.

    It’s a way of energising yourself, especially these smaller exercise sessions, and especially in the morning. It can be a great way of changing your outlook and mental wellbeing.

  33. Mood
  34. Exercise regulates and improves mood – as well as reducing the risks of mood disorders like depression and anxiety.

    Mood is a huge factor in your own experience of your life, so a little investment of energy and time into daily movement can be a huge deal for your quality of life.

  35. Self-concept and confidence
  36. We feel better about ourselves when we move regularly – especially as that movement adds up to physical change. Feeling fit and competent with movement is a huge boost to the self-confidence.

    This adds up over time, especially when combined with the physical and mental benefits already outlined.

  37. Self-concept and confidence
  38. We feel better about ourselves when we move regularly – especially as that movement adds up to physical change. Feeling fit and competent with movement is a huge boost to the self-confidence.

    This adds up over time, especially when combined with the physical and mental benefits already outlined.

  39. Mental fatigue
  40. Ironically, moving more usually means getting less tired in the bigger picture.

    You build energy reserves and the ability to function well when tired – key for busy, stressful life. This kind of stress-inoculation is a huge benefit to regular movement and keeps you from getting worn down and burnt out so easily.

  41. Circadian rhythm
  42. Your circadian rhythm is how you line up with the day-night cycle.

    You can use exercise to really improve your circadian rhythm as a way of waking up, of switching gears later in the day, and as a source of tiredness for better sleep. Regular exercise regulates!

  43. Habituation
  44. Everyday movement builds a better association and habit of movement/exercise.

    This is obvious but it adds up – if you decide to get more serious with your fitness, it’s easier to switch from this everyday low-intensity exercise into something more structured.

    It helps you get – and stay – in control of your own fitness habits.


Final Thoughts


Exercise and movement are there to be enjoyed and they can be taken on in whatever format suits you best. You don’t need to go to the gym, or go for a run, or anything specific to improve your health.

What matters is getting movement into your life and, hopefully, finding a way to love it. If you’re busy, stressed, and tired, then more often is probably the best way to approach fitness. Move every day – even just a little – and you’ll find that the benefits flow in early on.

Once you’re in the habit, everything else is up to you and you’ll be in charge of your own body and its changes. Start where you can with what you have.

Sian Baker

Medically reviewed by Sian Baker, Dip ION mBANT mCNHC – Written by Beth Giddings

Updated on 1st December 2021