In January, NPR journalist, Stephanie O’Neill reviewed a new book, “The Joy of Movement: How Exercise Helps Us Find Happiness, Hope, Connection, and Courage” by Stanford University lecturer Kelly McGonigal, PhD. The basis of this book is that there are many social and emotional benefits of exercise that are as important as the physical fitness benefits. “I want them to understand [exercise] in a different way than the usual conversation we always have about weight loss and preventing disease,” McGonigal told NPR. “These other benefits are seen throughout the life span”. Whether you run, swim, dance, bike, lift weights, do yoga or participate in team sports — it doesn’t matter, McGonigal says — moderate physical activity does far more than make us physically stronger and healthier.

Here are five of the ways movement can help you enjoy life.

Betsy Meyer is a member of the Community Wellness Connection committee and also Healthy Adams County Physical Fitness Task Force.

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