Exercise can do wonders for your overall health. It can improve many aspects of overall well-being such as physical, mental and spiritual health.

Purposeful movement feeds our mind, body, spirit and is imperative to a healthy life.

Traditionally, exercise was a way to improve physical health through cardiovascular endurance, strength, flexibility, muscle endurance and overall body composition. All of these aspects are very important as the leading causes of premature death in the modern world are preventable: type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

However, exercise goes beyond that. I’m sure we’ve all experienced other benefits of exercise, especially runners. The euphoria you get after a long bout of exercise is addicting.

Mental health can be improved with exercise because it can improve mood, brain function, quality of sleep and be a healthy distraction from life’s stresses.

Social health can also be improved through exercise because it can facilitate social interactions with the self, community and nature. These interactions can create a sense of belonging to one’s self, community and their surroundings.

The Canadian physical activity guide states that adults between the ages of 18 and 64 should be getting at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per week to fully take advantage of the benefits of exercise.

However, do not let these guidelines hold you back because getting up and moving as much as possible is better than not.

Here are some simple tips and tricks to get moving and keep moving. Pick a time. Pick a place. Plan and move more!

• Join a weekday community running or walking group. Go for a brisk walk around the block after dinner.
• Take a dance class after work.
• Bike or walk to work every day.
• Rake the lawn, and then offer to do the same for a neighbor.
• Train for and participate in a run or walk for charity!
• Take up a favorite sport again or try a new sport.
• Be active with the family on the weekend!