Silent Signs You Need to Move More

According to Statistics Canada, just 1 in 5 Canadians get enough physical activity each day. Trouble is, it's hard to tell whether you’re in the active 20% or not—unless you know what to look for.

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Lack of exercise symptoms - tired man sleeping on couch
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You feel sluggish

Feeling lethargic and tired all the time? Although it might be all you feel like doing, sitting for long periods of time can actually sap your energy even further. Engaging in heart-pumping physical activity, on the other hand, can give you the burst of energy you need to get through your daily to-do list.

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Signs you need to exercise more - stressed woman with kids
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You have difficulty dealing with stress

If you’re constantly feeling overwhelmed and frazzled, try adding physical activity to your daily regimen. Multiple studies have demonstrated the stress-busting benefits of physical activity. Specifically, physical activity promotes the release of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, and decreases the levels of cortisol pumping through your body.

Find out what could happen if you start meditating every day.

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Woman can't sleep
Photo: Tero Vesalainen /

You’re not sleeping well

Tossing and turning, or not sleeping at all? Before reaching for a sleep aid, try physical activity. Chipping away at the recommended 150 weekly minutes of physical activity primes your body and mind for a sound sleep.

Check out more expert advice for a good night’s sleep.

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Signs you need more exercise - mature couple happy hiking
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You’ve got the blues

Feeling down in the dumps lately? Physical activity, particularly at a higher intensity, can help boost your spirits. The more regular the activity, the greater the benefits for your mood and overall mental state.

Find out the best foods to boost your mood.

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Signs you need more exercise - man holding painful knee
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You suffer from stiff joints

Perhaps surprisingly, a sore back and stiff knees may actually be silent signs you need to exercise more, not less. Inactivity can make joint pain worse, while regular activity can help your body fend off pesky aches and pains by improving the strength and stability of your muscles, bones, and joints.

Check out five of the best exercises for seniors.

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Signs you need more exercise - mature man swimming in pool
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You have trouble concentrating

The cure for brain-fog might be a simple as exercising regularly. According to research published in the Harvard Medical School’s Men’s Health Watch, when you move more, the brain releases a chemical called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which may boost memory, mental sharpness, and concentration.

Discover 20 science-backed strategies to boost your brain power.

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Lack of exercise symptoms - woman walking dog in winter
Photo: Aleksandra Starkova /

You’re often anxious

Constantly feeling tense and worried? Higher intensity physical activity may be just what you need to quell those anxious feelings. Getting your heart pumping on a regular basis releases feel-good hormones in your brain and reduces your body’s immune response to stress, which can ease symptoms of anxiety. As an added bonus, the increase in body temperature that accompanies vigorous activity can also have a calming effect.

Now that you know the signs you need to exercise more, find out what happens to your body when you start walking 10,000 steps a day.

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