The Power of Movement.

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Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving. – Albert Einstein

American author and motivational speaker Jim Rohn often said “Life is the struggle to keep death at a respectable distance. Death wants to move in prematurely. Life’s job is to keep pushing back!”. One of the major activities we can engage in to keep death at a respectable distance and give ourselves a fighting chance of staying alive for a longer time is movement/engaging in physical activities. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines physical activity 1 as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure. Physical activity refers to all movement including during leisure time, for transport to get to and from places, or as part of a person’s work. The WHO recommends engaging in at least 150–300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity per week.

“Life is the struggle to keep death at a respectable distance. Death wants to move in prematurely. Life’s job is to keep pushing back!”. – Jim Rohn

Regular physical activity 1 is proven to help prevent and manage non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and several cancers. It also helps prevent hypertension, maintain a healthy body weight, and improve mental health, quality of life, and well-being. Popular ways of staying physically active include walking, jogging, running, cycling, playing racquet sports (lawn tennis, badminton, pickleball, and table tennis), golf, yoga, swimming, active recreation, and deliberate play. According to a recent study by researchers from the National Cancer Institute, a part of the National Institutes of Health. 2, who studied the impact of leisure time activities in lowering death for older adults. They found that Older adults who participate weekly in many different types of leisure time activities, may have a lower risk of death from any cause, as well as death from cardiovascular disease and cancer

Playing racquet sports was associated with the greatest reduction in risk of cardiovascular deaths (27% reduction), while running was associated with the greatest reduction in risk of cancer deaths (19% reduction).

My Personal Experience

One of the positive effects of the COVID-19 lockdown was an increase in physical activity for me. During the lockdown, I started taking regular walks, and running daily was also incorporated into my routine. Before the lockdown, I had participated in over 11 full marathons and multiple half-marathons since 2013. But with the pandemic, I developed a wellness plan which I have gradually moved from consistency to intensity. Exercising and moving is now a big part of my daily routine has I find engaging in physical activities to be fulfilling and joy-inducing. I now average at least 2-3 hours daily engaging in various physical activities such as swimming, basketball, running, weight/strength training, pickleball, badminton, and volleyball.


By engaging in these various activities, I have seen considerable improvement in my mental, emotional, and physical well-being. I try to go to the gym at least six times every week and because I have been able to habit-stack some of my goals to my exercise routine, I have been very consistent with my fitness regimen. It has also taught me various life lessons such as perseverance, endurance, consistency, personal integrity, and goal setting. Here are some strategies that have helped me to stay consistent with my physical movement routine:

  • Start Small: Decide the physical activity you want to engage in, start with light sessions to understand the rules of the game. Increase the intensity and duration as your confidence builds.
  • Habit/Goal Stack: Align a goal you are trying to achieve with your exercise routine/gym time. I use 75% of my exercise time listening to French learning materials, this has helped me in my quest to speak impeccable French.
  • Training for Life: I consider engaging in physical activities as a great metaphor for training for the vicissitudes of life. Exercising regularly has been a great coping mechanism and a release outlet to deal with the rollercoaster challenges of life.
  • Resting: When I first started my fitness journey, I was always training and not resting but I have found with time that resting is also as important as training itself. As the saying goes “There is no such thing as over-training, what we have is under-resting”.
  • From Consistency to Intensity: One of the benefits of engaging in physical activities regularly is that one can become consistent with an activity. With the regular training, I have moved from 1 hour per day to 2-3 hours of intense training which is what is needed for Marathon and Triathalon training.
  • Goal Setting: Achieving one goal begets another goal, and daily movement has enabled us to set bigger goals in the gym and in life. I participated in 9 full marathons and two half marathons in 2023 while reducing my personal best for a marathon from 3:44 to 3:20. By achieving these goals, I have been encouraged to set bigger goals such as participating in a triathlon, qualifying for the Boston Marathon and running a sub 3 hours marathon.

In training, you listen to your body. In competition, you tell your body to shut up.- Rich Froning Jr., CrossFit Games champion


In Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence, author and psychiatrist Dr. Anna Lembke writes about the numerous benefits of engaging in physical activities, movement, and exercising. She writes:

Exercise is immediately toxic to cells, leading to increased temperatures, noxious oxidants, and oxygen and glucose deprivation. Yet the evidence is overwhelming that exercise is health-promoting, and the absence of exercise, especially combined with chronic sedentary feeding—eating too much all day long—is deadly.

Exercise increases many of the neurotransmitters involved in positive mood regulation: dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, epinephrine, endocannabinoids, and endogenous opioid peptides (endorphins). Exercise contributes to the birth of new neurons and supporting glial cells. Exercise even reduces the likelihood of using and getting addicted to drugs.

In humans, high levels of physical activity in junior high, high school, and early adulthood predict lower levels of drug use. Exercise has also been shown to help those already addicted to stop or cut back. Exercise has a more profound and sustained positive effect on mood, anxiety, cognition, energy, and sleep than any pill I can prescribe.

 It is a paradox of life that we do not begin to live until we begin to die. Death begins at thirty, that is deterioration of muscle cells sets in. Most old age is premature, and attention to diet and exercise would enable men and women to live a great deal longer than they do-to-day. The best part of a woman’s life begins at forty. – Mrs Theodore Parsons, 1917.


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  • Value your contributions no matter how small or obscure, and give yourself credit for all the ways you bring goodness into the world. Aspire as high as you can dream, but celebrate the actions that are close to the ground. Smaller scale doesn’t mean less important. Find a sense of meaning in bringing goodness into your immediate world even if it goes unnoticed.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” —Leo Buscaglia
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  • In any personality test or any exploration of who you are, the real value isn’t in the result; it is in the process. It comes when you absorb how you relate to each of the questions and reflect on what is bubbling up for you.

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  • Equanimity is about not getting entangled with anything in our experience. Equanimity isn’t something you do with your mind, it is something you do with your whole body and being. You are the open space where all things rise and fall. We contort our lives around our preferences reaching for what we like and trying to grab onto it, and at the same time pulling back from what we don’t like.
  • It is like a giant game of twister, equanimity is metaphorically standing up straight. It is the practice of unwinding and opening up to exactly what is here and then from this more centered place, we see what responses emerge naturally. When we no longer try to avoid the part of life that we don’t like or cling to the part we do, then we dramatically expand the playing field of what is possible.


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All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

Lifelong Learner | Entrepreneur | Digital Strategist at Reputiva LLC | Marathoner | Bibliophile |

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