Physical Activity

People doing physical activity

Our bodies are meant to move. It is obvious to most that moving our muscles and bodies is necessary for everything we do in the external world, yet many do not realize that it is also essential for our body's internal systems. The metabolic systems of our body manage everything from blood sugar and blood pressure to turning our genes on and off, and they rely on movement. But that's not all.

Mental health and physical health are closely connected. Physical activity has many benefits to physical, social, and emotional health and has been recommended for health promotion and disease prevention, according to the National Institutes of Health.  Research shows theat regular physical activity improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function. Exercise has also been found to alleviate symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal. 

From Brad Moore, MD, MPH, FACP, director of the GW Lifestyle Medicine Clinic, and the Resiliency & Well-being Center team. 

Join us for the following live and online events in June 2024:

In-person: Free Samba Lesson
Learn how to do the samba and about its numerous health benefits from Sonia Pessoa, RDN, Department of Medicine, GW Medical Faculty Associates (MFA). Samba enhances cardiovascular health, boosts flexibility, and strengthens muscles through its dynamic movements. Mentally, samba acts as a stress reliever, fostering emotional expression and joy. 
When: Wednesday, June 26, 2024, 12-1 p.m. ET
Where: MFA Patio along 22nd street (weather permitting)
Register: Please fill in the sign up form so we know how many attendees to expect.


Physical Activity 
Exercise & Natural Movement



Sharma A, Madaan V, Petty FD. Exercise for mental health. Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. 2006;8(2):106. doi: 10.4088/pcc.v08n0208a. PMID: 16862239; PMCID: PMC1470658.

Reed, Paul. Physical Activity Is Good for the Mind and the Body. Health and Well-Being Matter blog

Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Benefits of Physical Activity. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.