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10 Warning Signs Your Body Needs To Move More

A personal trainer uncovers 10 red flags your body needs more movement.

Adding movement to your day is not only beneficial for your fitness goals; it's also imperative to your well-being. Research shows that engaging in regular exercise such as strength training or weight-bearing movements can boost your bone and muscle health. In addition, heading out for a brisk walk or jog can help you lose weight and enhance your mood. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that sitting at your desk all day without any movement breaks or being a "couch potato" is detrimental to your health. We spoke with Daisean Brewster, CPT, Blink Fitness, who calls out 10 warning signs your body needs more movement. This way, you can make any necessary adjustments to your routine.

"To lead a healthy lifestyle, it's recommended to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, which breaks down to about 30 minutes a day, five days a week," explains Brewster. "Daily movement is crucial because our bodies are designed to move. To incorporate more movement into your day, try taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking farther away from your destination, going for a walk during breaks at work, or scheduling outdoor activities with friends and family."

Keep reading to learn all about these 10 crucial red flags. And when you're finished, be sure to check out People Swear by the 'Drunken Monkey' Exercise for Better Sleep: 'You'll Sleep Better, I Promise'.

You're gaining weight.

woman's feet on scale, concept of how to lose one pound

One of the most common warning signs your body needs more movement is if the number on the scale continues to rise. "If you notice your clothes fitting tighter or the number on the scale creeping up, it's a sign that you may not be moving enough," stresses Brewster.

If you're not the best about working "movement snacks" into your day or setting an alarm to take a brisk walk in the afternoon, now is an excellent time to make improvements.

Here's How Long You Need To Walk Every Day for Weight Loss

You're losing muscle.

muscle loss concept

Not moving your body enough can result in muscle loss, which in turn can cause reduced mobility and weakness, explains Brewster.

Remember those "movement snacks" we talked about? Carve out little breaks throughout the day to work with weights and resistance bands and perform bodyweight exercises. After all, muscle is like a fountain of youth!

Your joints are stiff.

muscle pain

Being hunched over a computer or sitting on the couch for an extended period of time without movement can make your joints achy and stiff, says Brewster. Get into the habit of stretching. Performing various stretches can lubricate your joints and help boost and preserve your range of motion, according to the Arthritis Foundation.

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You have poor circulation.

Woman holding ankle

"Sitting or standing in one position for too long can impair blood flow, leading to cold hands and feet or swelling in the legs," explains Brewster.

According to Loma Linda University Health, when your circulation slows from sitting too much, your blood stays in your legs and feet, which essentially decreases overall blood flow. This is especially concerning for individuals with nerve pain because the oxygen and nutrients they get from normal blood flow are reduced.

Your energy levels are low.

woman wondering why am I always tired, yawning at work

Have you been feeling extra tired or sluggish lately? According to Brewster, having low energy levels is another telltale sign you need to get up and get moving.

If you feel too strapped for time during the workday, consider going on a brisk walk or run when you wake up or after your work is done. Or, set your alarm a little earlier and kick off the day with productive morning exercises that will fuel you with all-day energy.

People Swear by the 'Drunken Monkey' Exercise for Better Sleep: 'You'll Sleep Better, I Promise'

You're experiencing mood swings.

woman depressed sitting on bed

"Exercise releases endorphins, which can improve mood and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression," Brewster tells us. In fact, research shows that mood changes and depressive symptoms can be the result of physical inactivity (along with a lack of energy and sleep issues).

You're not sleeping well.

woman insomnia, concept of things that destroy sleep quality

Did you know that engaging in a consistent exercise routine can promote more restful Z's? "Regular movement can help regulate sleep patterns and improve the quality of sleep," Brewster stresses. So if you find yourself tossing and turning at night or unable to fall asleep, a lack of physical activity could be to blame.

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You have digestive issues.


"Lack of movement can slow down digestion, leading to bloating, constipation, and other gastrointestinal problems," Brewster tells us.

Exercise can majorly impact your metabolism. According to research, regular physical activity can lower your chances of becoming obese, along with dealing with the metabolic complications and diseases linked to obesity, such as type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease.

Your posture is suffering.

woman with incorrect posture tying on laptop at desk

Being sedentary can be detrimental to your posture. "Sitting hunched over a desk all day can lead to poor posture, back pain, and muscle imbalances," says Brewster. However, engaging in core exercises to tighten, tone, and strengthen your midsection can help improve your posture and ward off the effects of sitting at a desk.

You're at an increased risk of chronic diseases.

type 2 diabetes

Last but certainly not least, a major warning sign your body needs more movement is that you're at an increased risk of chronic diseases. "Lack of physical activity is linked to a higher risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer," Brewster points out.

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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