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Exercise IS Medicine!

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Shannon MaloolyShannon Malooly

I, along with 1.4 million other people, follow a non-profit organization on Instagram: @discoverocean. I am in complete amazement with each post. The life that lies beneath the sea is incredible. The movement, fluidity and life that exits made me realize something: Nothing about the ocean is still. There is constant movement. The ocean and the life beneath never cease. Even an idle piece of reef life is in motion, drifting and flowing against the current.

This past spring, I was visiting my sister in the Seattle area, and we hiked through Kopachuck State Park. During low tide, we witnessed literally thousands of sand dollars that were just beneath the surface. Sand dollars are not just white shells that are used for coastal living d├ęcor. They are complex creatures in constant movement. Their shell surface is covered by millions of fuzzy cilia, which they use to move, to eat, to survive. Even the shells in the sea move to survive. Their movements from far may appear minuscule, but their function is great. Like people, sand dollars must move to subsist, for their safety and for procreation.

The human body is no different. Our bodies were meant and designed to move. Even in-utero, the body is in constant motion, building muscle, stimulating the nervous system and developing. Static, lack of motion and stillness is beyond detrimental to the human body; it is unnatural and lethal.

Regardless of your opinions of Western Medicine vs. Eastern Medicine or even Holistic vs. Integrative Medicine, one thing is for certain, all forms of medicine can agree that exercise and movement are vital to life. It is the lack of exercise that most often leads to distress and disease, and therefore, the implementation of exercise is the logical treatment thereafter. Preventative exercise shouldn't even be a thing. Moving is something that should be happening all day long, every day.

Watching my 5-year-old daughter and my 2-year-old niece that day at Kopachuck State Park was like watching the awesome Instagram ocean videos. They were digging in the mud to make discoveries, jumping and splashing in the tide, racing across the sand and moving.

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