Role of Physical Movement: How Exercise and Physical Activity Boost Health

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Discover the power of movement for personal health by Finding the Root Cause. Learn how exercise and physical activity can improve your cardiovascular health, manage weight, and reduce stress. Schedule an appointment today!


In today’s sedentary world, the importance of movement for personal health and well-being cannot be overstated. Regular exercise and physical activity have been proven to improve cardiovascular health, manage weight, and reduce stress. In this blog post, we’ll explore the science of movement and health, discuss various types of exercise, and reveal how functional medicine practitioners like Dr. John Staniland incorporate movement into their treatment plans.

What is Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine is a patient-centered, science-based approach to healthcare that focuses on identifying and addressing the root causes of illness, rather than just treating symptoms. It emphasizes the importance of personalized care, taking into account factors such as genetics, lifestyle, and environment. 

Functional medicine differs from conventional Western medical practices by focusing on both the mind-body relationship. This is done by using a variety of diagnostic tools and treatments, combining the best of both conventional and alternative therapies. 

The terms “holistic medicine” and “integrative medicine” are often used interchangeably with functional medicine, as they all share the same core principles and aim to provide comprehensive, personalized care that considers the whole person to achieve optimal health.

Types of Movement and Exercise

Various types of movement and exercise contribute to a well-rounded fitness regimen. Each form of exercise offers unique benefits, and incorporating a combination of these movement activities can help you achieve optimal health. Additionally, making simple lifestyle changes can ensure that you stay active throughout the day.

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercises, also known as cardiovascular exercises, increase your heart rate and improve circulation. Examples include;

  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Swimming
  • Cycling, and 
  • Dancing
couple exercising in park

Strength Training

This type of movement focuses on building and maintaining muscle mass, which helps increase metabolism and improve overall body composition. Examples include;

  1. Weightlifting
  2. Resistance bands
  3. Bodyweight exercises, and
  4. Movements like squats and push-ups

Flexibility and Balance Exercises

Flexibility and balance exercises enhance joint mobility, improve posture, and reduce the risk of injury. Examples include;

  1. Stretching
  2. Yoga
  3. Tai Chi, and 
  4. Pilates

Simple Lifestyle Changes for Staying Active

Integrating small changes into your daily routine can have a significant impact on your overall activity level and contribute to a healthier lifestyle. Consider implementing the following changes to stay active throughout the day:

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Go for a walk or stretch during lunch breaks.
  • Park farther away from your destination to add extra steps.
  • Participate in active hobbies, such as gardening, dancing, or playing sports.

Functional Medicine and Movement for Optimal Health

Functional medicine is a holistic approach to healthcare that focuses on uncovering the root causes of diseases and implementing personalized treatment plans. A crucial component of this approach is the recognition of the vital role that movement and exercise play in promoting personal health and well-being. Dr. John Staniland, an experienced functional medicine practitioner, understands the importance of incorporating movement into his patients’ treatment plans to support their overall health and well-being.

1. Assessing Individual Needs and Goals

Dr. Staniland begins by conducting a thorough evaluation of each patient’s health, lifestyle, and fitness goals. By understanding their unique needs, he can create a tailored exercise plan that is both effective and sustainable. This personalized approach allows patients to experience lasting improvements in their health and fitness levels.

2. Integrating Movement into Treatment Plans

In addition to addressing any underlying health issues, Dr. Staniland incorporates various forms of movement and exercise into his patients’ treatment plans. This may include aerobic activities for cardiovascular health, strength training to build and maintain muscle mass, and flexibility exercises to enhance joint mobility and balance. By integrating movement into his functional medicine approach, Dr. Staniland helps patients achieve optimal health and well-being.

3. Collaboration with Other Health Professionals

To ensure a well-rounded and comprehensive care plan, Dr. Staniland often collaborates with other healthcare professionals, such as nutritionists, physical therapists, and mental health specialists. This interdisciplinary approach allows patients to receive the support and guidance they need to make lasting lifestyle changes and experience the full benefits of movement and exercise in their lives.

Role of Lifestyle Factors (Both Positive & Negative)

Lifestyle factors play a significant role in determining our overall health and well-being. By understanding the positive and negative influences on our health, we can make informed decisions and adopt habits that support a healthy lifestyle.

young women eating healthy food

Positive Lifestyle Factors:

  1. Balanced Diet and exercise regularly
  2. Consuming a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats promotes overall health and helps prevent chronic diseases through preventive care.
  3. Engaging in physical activity strengthens the cardiovascular system, improves mental health, and supports weight management.
  4. Adequate Sleep
  5. Getting enough sleep (7-9 hours per night for adults) is essential for maintaining physical, cognitive, and emotional well-being.
  6. Stress Management
  7. Practicing stress reduction techniques, such as mindfulness, meditation, or deep breathing exercises, can help alleviate the negative effects of stress on overall health.
  8. Positive Social Connections
  9. Building and maintaining strong social connections can contribute to improved mental and emotional well-being.

Negative Lifestyle Factors:

  1. Poor Nutrition
  2. Consuming a diet high in processed foods, added sugars and unhealthy fats can lead to weight gain, chronic inflammation, and an increased risk of chronic diseases.
  3. Sedentary Lifestyle
  4. Leading a sedentary lifestyle, with minimal physical activity, can contribute to obesity, poor cardiovascular health, and a decline in overall well-being.
  5. Insufficient Sleep
  6. Lack of sleep can negatively impact cognitive function, mood, and immune system health.
  7. Chronic Stress
  8. Prolonged exposure to stress can contribute to a range of health issues, including anxiety, depression, and an increased risk of chronic diseases.
  9. Tobacco and Excessive Alcohol Use
  10. Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are linked to an increased risk of various health problems, including heart disease, stroke, and cancer.


How much exercise is recommended for optimal health?

The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week, along with muscle-strengthening activities at least twice a week.

What are some ways to stay motivated to exercise?

Setting realistic goals, finding activities you enjoy, and partnering with a workout buddy can help keep you motivated and accountable.

Can functional medicine practitioners help with exercise plans?

Yes, functional medicine practitioners like Dr. John Staniland can create personalized exercise plans that support your health goals and address any underlying health concerns.

Find the Root Cause with Dr. Staniland

The importance of movement for personal health is clear. By understanding the science behind exercise, incorporating various types of movement into daily routines, and working with functional medicine practitioners like Dr. John Staniland, individuals can improve their well-being and prevent chronic diseases. 

To learn more about how functional medicine can help you achieve your health goals, call 817-346-5111 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Staniland.

For Appointment Availability Please Call the Office at 817-346-5111

Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Please consult with a healthcare provider before making any changes to your diet, exercise routine, or lifestyle.

Picture of Dr. John  Staniland

Dr. John Staniland

Dr. John Staniland went to medical school at the University of Calgary in 1991, completing a residency in Family Medicine at Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1993. Dr. Staniland worked as a traveling doctor for the Alberta Medical Association, relieving doctors in rural locations who couldn’t find anyone willing to give them some time off.

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