Move Your Body for Enhanced Brain and Spirit Podcast Episode 5-3

Welcome to Season 5! This is Episode 3, which accompanies Chapter 5, Section 3, “Prioritize Movement.” In it, we’ll discuss:

  • tell you why I use the word movement instead of exercise. 
  • share why movement is a win, win, win, win, win endeavor. 
  • go over the benefits of movement, and then 
  • give you a list of some movements that you can engage in that are really fun. 
Exercise And Movement For A Better Body And Mind: Episode 5-3

The fact that movement is essential for overall wellness is not a new concept. We all know it is. Some of you take that to heart, and others are still too sedentary for optimal health. Hopefully, this episode will motivate you to do something about that. 

Your body was designed to move. However, we don’t need to move to survive like our ancestors. This means we must add movement to our daily life to keep us healthy. Healthy means happy. This episode will inspire you to add consistent practices into your life to get stronger, live longer, feel more energy, and stand straighter. Your current self will build confidence, calmness, and clarity, too! Your future self will love that you made this commitment.

“Unfortunately, humans are moving less than they did in past generations because there are fewer activities we have to do to survive in this world. Modern conveniences help us do many chores, and so we move less. In human history, much of our movement was taking care of the things that we needed to take care of, survive, communicate, travel, look for food, and hunt. We had to use movement to do whatever we had to do. Now we have to put movement into our day because our body is meant to move.” – Dr. Jodi Aman

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Transcription of the Prioritize Movement PodcastEpisode

Hey, you’re here with Dr. Jodi, and this is Season 4 of “Anxiety… I’m So Done With You!” This podcast is a teen and young adult guide to ditching toxic stress and hardwiring your brain for happiness. If you’re new here, grab a copy of my book “Anxiety… I’m So Done With You!” because this series goes section by section through it, going a little bit deeper, giving more examples, and telling more stories. In this season, which follows Chapter 4, we’re finally focusing on you making peace with yourself. 

Because you can’t get rid of anxiety when you’re still being your own worst critic. Most likely, you have been your own worst critic, even though you don’t deserve it. You deserve kindness, compassion, and forgiveness. In this season, I will give you the practical tools to do that for yourself. Thank you for listening, subscribing, and leaving me five stars on Apple Podcasts. Please spread the word about this book and series because mental health problems have dire consequences that inflict more pain on young people, their families, and their communities. And I would be grateful if you could help me turn the tide by sharing these tips for embracing self-love.

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Welcome to Chapter 5, Section 3: “Prioritize Movement”

Hey, everybody. Welcome to this episode of “Anxiety… I’m So Done With You!” It’s a podcast. It’s a book. It’s both. We are in Season 5 now, Episode 3. We’re talking about prioritizing movement. In this episode, I

  • tell you why I use the word movement instead of exercise. 
  • share why movement is a win, win, win, win, win endeavor. 
  • go over the benefits of movement, and then 
  • give you a list of some movements that you can engage in that are really fun. 

Well, I think so anyway. And hopefully, I will convince you. 

So this season is an extemporaneous podcast, so I am doing the video live, swiping the audio, and putting it up to the podcast, so it’s a little bit messier, but hopefully, you’re going to get everything that you want out of the episode. I’m going to be as concise as possible so you can get what you need and go on to living your best, awesome life. All right. 

We have many attachments to the word exercise. People often think about exercise as if it is an obligation. Some of you might have a positive connotation to exercise. You know how good it makes you feel. You love doing it. Or, you participate in a sport, you’re with other people. You have a lot of good experiences with exercise. Other people have more of a negative connotation to exercise, like they think it’s something that they have to do or they’re lazy for not doing it. There are all kinds of things that we think about when we use the word “exercise.” But “movement” is a whole other thing altogether because movement is just a description of something that moves. 

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Prioritize Movement

You are something that moves. Your body moves in all many directions. And you can do so many movements that will benefit you. Some that you may not have considered as exercise before. But I lump it in because movement is movement. Your body was made to move. The most important thing to remember here is that your body was made to move. And so, we need to incorporate movement into our daily lives. 

Unfortunately, humans are moving less than they did in past generations because there are fewer activities that we have to do to survive in this world right now. Modern conveniences help us do many chores, and so we move less. In human history, a lot of our movement was taking care of the things that we needed to take care of, survive, communicate, travel, look for food, and hunt. Whatever we had to do, we had to use movement to do it. Now we have to put movement into our day because our body is meant to move.

When it doesn’t move, it begins to shut down over time, especially if we’re sitting in kind of a hunched position. If we’re sitting in that kind of position, we’re crushing all of our vital organs inside our abdomen. It doesn’t feel very good for a long period of time to sit in that position. However, we rarely link that discomfort and exhaustion to sitting, and we sit more. The discomfort and exhaustion make us worry that something is wrong with us. There’s some truth to that.

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Move Your Body

In fact, many studies say that if you sit for extended periods and don’t get up and move around, you die earlier. And that makes a lot of sense because your organs are smushed. They’re not receiving that vital energy or oxygen flow through them. Unable to function at their high level, they begin to die off. I don’t mean tomorrow but over your lifespan. If you’re a young person, that might not trigger you yet, you’re not worried if you die at 80 or 88, but when you’re 80, you will want those extra eight years. Adding movement into your day will help extend that time for yourself. 

The word “Movement” holds fewer attachments. 

Movement benefits the body, whether it is linear or non-linear. Linear movement is like walking or running. It’s back and forth, back and forth. It’s more symmetrical, so you only get the front and the back of your muscles. The same sets of muscles are triggered for that back and forth, so they build up—non-linear movement in all different directions. If you walk on a straight path, you’d have linear movement. When you walk in a path in the woods, and you are up and down and around stumps and those kinds of things, that would be non-linear movement. There are different ways that you’re moving. 

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Non-linear movement is better for your brain, keeping it healthy longer. One of the best activities for people who are growing older is ballroom dancing because it’s non-linear. Their brain has to think about movement in all different ways, and it not only helps them physically and it does, it does help them physically, but it helps them mentally. It keeps them mentally sharp, and that extends their life.

Try to add a movement practice and incorporate non-linear movement into your routine. Linear movement is great; it’s fine; it’s walking. But try to incorporate dancing, hiking, or playing different sports that have your body moving all different ways, utilizing all the muscles and joints. Even if you’re doing an exercise routine, like with weights, try also to use the weights in a non-linear way as well, like carrying them or putting them around your head in an “around the world’ move.

Movement is a win, win, win, win, win endeavor.

Exercise helps physically and mentally, which takes us to my next point: exercise is a win, win, win, win, win endeavor. You know, win-win? That means everybody wins. Well? All movement is so great that it helps you win in five areas. In the book, I list four – physical, mental, relational, and emotional – but I will add spiritual here because the realms of your person, or the realms of your body, are physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual, so it needs to be included. Plus, relational because it’s really pertinent.

However, if someone hurt you and you felt hurt but had compassion for this feeling, there’s no conflict. You are allowed to feel, and the feelings can process, and when they are processed, storied, and understood, it dissipates.

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Physical Benefits

The first way exercise benefits you is physical. When you exercise, you’re putting endorphins and amino acids into your brain, giving you energy. Over time, this energy helps you feel happier and healthier. It builds your muscle, and when you build your muscles, your metabolism increases so it’s easier to stay fit and feel energized. And also, it helps improve your cardiovascular system which helps your heart live longer. Another benefit from having your muscles very strong is that your bones stay really strong. When you lift weights, your bones get very strong, and when your bones are stronger, you have less chance of osteoporosis when you’re older, and you stay healthier longer. You have fewer broken bones, inflammation, and infections. 

And I know, again, you’re young, and you’re not thinking of how do I keep myself healthy later? Listen, I’m using those markers of the fact that it helps you live longer and prevents problems later in life to let you see that it’s healthier now. The benefits now are a little more ethereal. They’re not tangible, you can’t see them as much, but you probably can feel them because it affects everything else when you are stronger physically. 

Mentally, Emotional, and Spiritual Benefits

You are getting stronger mentally whenever you commit to a movement practice and follow up on that commitment. You’re building that trust in yourself, and you’re building that confidence in yourself. Emotionally, it’s going to decrease your anxiety and depression. There are a lot of different reasons for this. One is that frequently, when we’re doing a movement practice, we’re with other people, which helps. That’s the more relational realm. When we’re with other people or playing on a team sport, we have communal goals, or we have a connection with other people in that process. Like if we’re dancing, we might be dancing with somebody else. 

And then spiritual. Spiritual is a little bit of everything. When we feel stronger physically, we can engage more readily in our life purpose. When we have confidence in ourselves, again, it’s the same thing. We feel connected and supported by the world around us, and that gives us a spiritual lift. When we feel well emotionally and not so scared, we feel connected. And relationally, we feel connected to a higher power perhaps, nature and each other. And that gives us a boost spiritually. So it’s win, win, win, win, win. Five wins here! Physical, mental, relational, emotional, and spiritual.

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Movement Practice Ideas

So let’s talk about a list of possible movements. (And I’m just shooting from the hip here. I don’t have these listed in front of me.) Firstly, have you heard of shaking? Every other mammal after they’ve been triggered with their sympathetic nervous system like they had a scare? For example, after being chased by a predator. Animals shake after a chase to release the adrenaline from their body. And so now people have started, it might be considered a yoga practice, but it’s a little bit separate or, aside from that, a shaking practice. People shake different parts of their body or their whole body to release tension held inside it. That’s an enjoyable practice. You could look up some YouTube videos, and I’ll put some in the blog post that goes along with this episode, link in the show notes, and you could do that. 

Also, laughing yoga is very, very popular and is also a way to get out emotions. Another activity is dancing, either in a class or by yourself at home. Any kind of movement is excellent, running, hula hooping, hiking, walking, and swimming. Make sure some of it is non-linear movement! Lifting weights is very important for your bones, and cardiovascular exercise is good for the heart. Cardio exercise is an aerobic exercise, meaning that you’re exercising just enough to raise your heart rate so that your heart and lungs can keep the oxygen going to your muscles during the exercise. 


While it does burn calories, it is a work out for your heart muscles and builds your endurance. When you’re out of shape, your endurance is lower. And as you build up the endurance, your endurance is higher, and you can sustain that higher heart rate longer. Also, your body needs less high of a heart rate to maintain that exercise as you get in shape. And that’s why it’s good for the heart muscle. So those cardio exercises are very important to keep your heart muscle happy. And the strength training is really good for those bones.

Anaerobic, for example, weight lifting, means that you cannot keep up with the oxygen needs of the muscles, and they begin to burn. The burning is a build-up of lactic acid. When you weight lift, you tear the muscles, and they grow back stronger and bigger. 

When you’re out of shape, your endurance is lower. And as you build up your endurance, your endurance is higher, and you can sustain that higher heart rate longer. Also, your body needs less high of a heart rate to maintain that exercise as you get in shape. And that’s why it’s good for the heart muscle. So those cardio exercises are critical to keeping your heart muscle happy. And strength training is good for those bones.

Benefits of Moving Your Body 🏋🏻‍♂️

Movement keeps you feeling good and vital, invigorated, happy, and proud of yourself, which is why it is essential to incorporate some kind of movement into your day. I love walks. I know walks aren’t strength training, nor are they cardio, unless I’m going really quickly up a hill, and I try to do that as much as I can. This means I have to also get some cardio and weight training into my routine. 

Unfortunately, I stopped exercising when I was in my doctorate program, but I’m just on the edge of getting back to that! In fact, I started a new exercise routine today, so it’s perfect that I’m also recording this podcast today. So I’m with you! 

More resources than ever

If you’re trying to commit to doing something different, it is so easy today because people have Fitbits or Apple watches or something that keeps track of what they’re doing. They can track in an app what kind of exercise they do, and keeping track of that helps them stay committed to it.

There are also many exercise videos out there, and some are labeled that they’re energy-giving exercises, which I like. One is that you lift yourself up on your toes and put your arms up and down. I’ll link to that one in there because it’s one of my favorites. It’s a whole-body exercise, but it’s easy to do. You count that many reps, a task is done, and you get it off your to-do list, plus you feel completely different. Start slow, adding movement to your day, and see if it transforms your entire life. Because I bet you it will. 

Having a good posture will change your life.

I want to add here something about posture. Bad posture is a huge problem in the world today. It accompanies sitting or looking at our phones all day and leaning forward. The whole generation of young people and people of my age and all ages are getting increasingly hunched over because we’re doing this. We’re sitting a lot, and we’re looking down at our computers and our phones. 

Again, there are so many resources on TikTok to undo that habit of hunching over. They show stretches or movements to help you stand up straighter. Practicing these will contribute to overall health and wellness because your neck and your head will feel better. Your vagus nerve will function better, energizing you during your day. 

Position your head correctly

When positioning your head correctly, think about a string pulling up from the top back of your head. Most people in the U.S. have their heads much more forward than they’re supposed to be, putting a lot of weight on the neck muscle. That’s why people get headaches so often. So you want to tuck your chin in and back and pull the back of your head up, and then you can have your head on the top of your spinal cord. Try it when you’re standing and walking. But also be aware of it when you’re sitting.

When you’re sitting, your hips should be above your knees so that you can “stand up” in your torso. Right? From your sits bones and bottom all the way up, you’re sitting on your sitz bones instead of curled over, sitting hunched over in a chair when all your organs are getting smushed. So when you’re in a chair, if your hips are above your knees, like I said, and you’re “standing up” (sitting upright) in your seat, your organs have enough room to breathe. They have the same amount of space that they have if you’re actually standing up. That will keep you healthy, which translates to happier. 

P.S. If you widen your legs, you can sit up a little bit straighter, and that should help as well.

Posture when lying down.

Don’t curl your body up in a little ball when you are lying down. It’s the same problem. You’ll spend a lot of time of your day curled in a ball. (1/3 of your life!) When sleeping, ensure your head is aligned with your spine. Put a pillow between your legs or under your arm if you’re lying on your side to keep you straight to keep your spine in neutral. Hopefully, it’ll help you sleep better (a bonus!), but it’ll make you feel a lot better during the day if you use those precautions.

Thank you for reading

Thank you so much for listing to this episode, “Prioritize Movement” of Anxiety… I’m So Done with You! with me, Doctor Jodi. We went over the word movement versus exercise, talked about how movement is a win, win, win, win, win endeavor, reviewed some of the benefits of exercise and the types of movements you can engage in, and discussed posture. 

Thank you so much for listening to this podcast, “Anxiety, I’m So Done With You!” with me, Dr. Jodi. Please comment and share and leave me five stars on Apple Podcasts. I really appreciate you.

I appreciate your subscribing, commenting, and leaving me five stars on Apple Podcasts. The next thing to prioritize is nourishment: Whole nourishment. Read or listen to that, and I will see you there. In the meantime, hang out with me on YouTube and TikTok at Doctor Jodi

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2 thoughts on “Move Your Body for Enhanced Brain and Spirit Podcast Episode 5-3”

  1. I’ve been thinking about finding a yoga studio near my flat because I feel like I need some peace in my life, that only something like yoga can bring. Besides, you said here that every time you make a commitment to a movement practice and follow through on it, your mental strength increases. I just love that both that confidence and faith in yourself are being developed by you. Thanks.

  2. Prioritizing movement over traditional exercise is a fantastic approach to improving overall wellness. Movement is essential for building strength, increasing longevity, and enhancing mental clarity. By incorporating fun and consistent activities into daily life, we can counteract the sedentary nature of modern living and maintain our health. Remember, your body is designed to move, and embracing this will lead to a happier, healthier you.

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