3 types of movement your body needs

Daily, athletic and social movements for a healthier life

In today’s fast-paced world, many people struggle to find time for physical activity beyond a short walk. Although walking is an excellent form of exercise that provides numerous health benefits, it’s not the only type of movement your body needs.

“Our lives have gotten so busy — we commute, sit all day, then are exhausted at night — that getting a short walk in makes you feel like you’ve done this big, exponential thing,” Melissa Boyd, a certified personal trainer and coach, said to CNN.

However, to achieve optimal health and fitness, Boyd suggests incorporating three distinct forms of movement into your weekly routine.


Activities like walking, stretching and bending help with circulation, digestion and decompression. Aim to include these activities throughout your day, such as taking short walks during work breaks or stretching before bed.


Engage in activities that improve your fitness or train for a specific sport a few times a week. This could include strength training, cardiovascular exercise or sport specific like pickleball. These movements help build muscle, increase endurance and boost overall fitness levels.


Participate in activities you enjoy and that allow you to connect with others, such as dancing or joining a recreational sports league. These social movements not only provide physical benefits but also contribute to your mental well-being and help you maintain a balanced lifestyle.

“It’s important to think of movement in these different categories because not moving throughout the day has become normalized,” Boyd said. “Our lives are so sedentary, many of us are trying to dig ourselves out of a movement deficit. But exercise is different from physical movement.”

In addition to these three forms of movement, Dr. Carl Cirino, a sports medicine surgeon, emphasized the importance of stretching your muscles in various directions to maintain flexibility and prevent injuries. Having loose, pliable muscles also improves balance and stability, which helps prevent falls and injuries in all physical activities, he told CNN.

Remember, creating an exercise plan doesn’t require a drastic lifestyle change. Start slowly, find activities you enjoy, and gradually build on your progress. As you begin to feel the positive effects of regular movement, you’ll likely find yourself motivated to continue and expand your fitness journey.