We were born and bred for movement.

Regularly moving our bodies should be right up there with eating, breathing, sleeping, and going to the bathroom. Though, any or all of these things are too often postponed or outright ignored thanks to our many roles at work and at home. Lack of movement means impaired circulation, and lazy circulation leads to stress and sickness—and can make existing physical and emotional aches worse.

“I don’t have time to move.”

Surely, you can take a brisk fifteen-minute walk after dinner instead of plopping directly in front of the TV. It will help you digest as well. Or, in front of the TV you can easily do some squats, lunges, or simple stretches.

“My joints and body hurt if I move.”

Then we need to find ways to move that do not feel bad. Low impact exercise like walking, water aerobics, elliptical trainers, yoga, and taichi are waiting for you to try them. If you have no experience make sure you work with a seasoned coach to avoid injury. Not moving as a way to avoid pain is not going to help the situation. If your lower body hurts, work with your upper body. If you can’t figure out a way to move on your own, consult any coach or health practitioner in your community for an endless list of ideas. You can simply walk to the end of the block or even a take a few laps around the kitchen table. You can curl soup cans. You can put on some music and dance. You may not be able to do what you were so easily able to accomplish decades ago. But, rather than do all or nothing—do something. In time, you may find your body doing way more than you thought possible.

“I just don’t feel like moving.”

It’s time to break the cycle. Without movement, pain and depression typically get worse. In turn, the idea of doing anything can seem that much less practical over time. What is practical is the knowledge that regular exercise is responsible for the brain’s release of the most pain-relieving and mood-elevating chemicals in the body. Of course, have fun while moving—that’s the best way to make sure you stay on your path to endless health, strength and joy. Keep moving!

Jason Moskovitz, L.Ac., Dipl.O.M. is the author of Arthritis: Secrets of Natural Healing. Jason is a board-licensed acupuncturist, national diplomat of oriental medicine, herbal physician, nutritional counselor, and Tai Chi instructor at Tao Of Wellness. He has administered thousands of successful treatments in areas of women’s health, infertility, elder care, and joint pain. Jason teaches his patients how to embrace their ever-changing condition and all the ways in which the body can heal itself. Connect with Tao Of Wellness on Facebook and Twitter.