Young woman jumping high in the air with canyon and river in background

A healthy body and healthy mind go hand in hand.

In other words, if your body feels good you will too.

Which means it’s time to get moving.

“That doesn’t mean you need to train for a marathon or the next Ironman competition,” said Mary Atkinson, director of Connected Health and Wellness at Tucson Medical Center. “You’ll benefit from simply moving more a few times a week, whether that’s taking up a dance class, a yoga practice or a nice walk outside.

author taking photo of her shadow on bridgeHealthy and in a better mood

Moving more pumps up your endorphins, which are your brain’s feel-good transmitters, so you’ll feel healthier and you’ll be in a better mood.

“Exercise can improve your self-esteem, relax you and can lower symptoms of mild depression and anxiety,” Atkinson said. “It can also improve your sleep. Combined, these benefits can ease your stress and give you a sense of control over your health and life.”

We know it can be hard to start and stick to an exercise plan, so Atkinson shared a few ways to help make it easier.

Break it up

If you can’t squeeze a 30-minute walk into your day all at once, try three 10-minute walks instead. It’s about making physical activity a regular part of your lifestyle.

Mix it up

Change your routine so you don’t get bored. Try a Zumba class or try yoga. The Core offers a variety of classes you can try for $5 and less. Go here for a schedule.

Find an exercise buddy

There’s something to be said for accountability. If someone is depending on you to show up at the gym or at the park for a walk, you’re less likely to bail. You will get in a workout and social time with friends, both of which are excellent for your mental well-being.

Do what you enjoy

The key to staying active is to find something that you enjoy doing. We live in a city that offers us access to trails, paths and community pools that give you an abundance of options. Maybe a climate controlled environment with classes to motivate you is more your thing. Whichever it is, do what brings you some oy along with your activity.