Exercise is so important. It’s not to sport a six pack of abs or Popeye like biceps, but to give your body something it needs. Exercise benefits your body and your brain.

To quote the Rolling Stones, “you gotta move.” When you are healthy, movement helps your body to be healthier (this is easy to Google). Movement helps your body physically, but also mentally. In times of stress, like now, it can help reduce anxiety, depression, and stress, and improve your mood and cognitive functioning. Read that sentence again; movement can help you to be more centered and at peace.

Anyone who has had back pain can tell you how debilitating it can be. Movement helps keep your body loose and helps with your pain. Movement can be stretching or your regular mode of exercise. Of course you may want or need to use ice afterwards to help, but movement, along with heat and ice, work together to ease pain.

I have had back pain and know. Many people lay in bed and do nothing until the paid recedes, which is a good move if that what your doctor recommends. Otherwise, especially with soft tissue pain or injury, the counterintuitive action you should take is to move. For me, using movement (stretching and exercise), heat eat and ice works well.

The combination of these three methods of treatment help me recover faster when my back hurts. I have found the less I move, i.e. not working out and or sitting in my chair at work too long without getting up, the more back pain I have and the longer it lasts. I try to move and walk so that I am doing what I can to keep my back pain at bay.

Exercise also benefits your brain. It provides time think on life issues large and small. It can help clear out detritus you haven’t had a chance to think over. It also can provide the clear mind you need for inspiration. My wife and I hike regularly, and many important life decisions have been made on those hikes or as a result of conversations started on a hike.

The trick is to find something you like to do. You don’t have to go to the gym, but that may be your thing. You know you won’t keep doing something you don’t like to do. If you find something you like to do, you can make it a habit and therefore part of your life. Do this and you will feel better, and what’s better than that?