Why Motion = Lotion

We’re starting today’s blog with one of my favourite quotes; “motion is lotion”!

This sweet little phrase doesn’t seem to have a direct source – if anyone can educate me on this, please do! But it’s often repeated by movement and bodywork professionals, and I wanted to delve deeper into the meaning behind it.

From a purely scientific point of view, motion equals lotion for a hundred reasons… I’ll include a more detailed list at the bottom of this post, but here are my favourites:

– Cardiac hypertrophy. Movement strengthens and builds your cardiac muscle, increasing the size and power of the heart – the most beautiful benefit!

– Increased vital capacity. Vital capacity is the biggest amount of air you can expel from your lungs after your maximum inhalation. The bigger your vital capacity, the bigger your oxygen intake and carbon dioxide output, and the better your performance (moving or not!). Movement increases your capacity for life!

– Encourages the circulation of synovial fluid (the fluid in your joint capsule). This is where motion truly is lotion – increasing the fluid in your joints and allowing the bones to move smoothly against each other.

– Increases bone density. Movement encourages the production of osteoblasts, the cells which are responsible for increasing bone density and making your skeleton stronger. Movement gives you a strong frame and good support!

In total…

– Movement makes your heart bigger and stronger ❤️
– Movement increases your “capacity for life” 🌟
– Movement allows you to move more smoothly 🤸‍♂️
– Movement helps you build a strong support system 💪

And although we’re talking about benefits for the physical body here, I think these sentences could be applied to the mind too – movement does all of those things for your mental health as well!

My favourite kind of movement is dancing – any kind of partner dancing, be it blues, zouk or west coast swing. It brings me joy, human connection and a sense of being grounded that is hard to find elsewhere.

What is the best thing that movement brings to you? And what kind of movement and motion makes you happiest?


Lauren Southey Massage & Bodywork
Stoke Bishop, Bristol

Longer list of movement benefits (concisely worded!):

– Cardiac hypertrophy (increase in cardiac muscle) and increased size and strength of heart
– Increased stroke volume (amount of blood pumped by left ventricle – good because higher volume = more time taken to pump = lower resting heart rate)
– Increase in red blood cells
– Makes muscular walls of veins and arteries more elastic/flexible, results in lower resting blood pressure
– Increases blood flow – allows nourishing oxygen and nutrients to get to other structures (joints, tendons, ligaments, organs)

– Weight on joints during movement forces water out of the cartilage; when weight is lifted and water comes back in, it brings oxygen and nutrients with it
– Joint movement activates genes associated with rebuilding cartilage
– Encourages movement of synovial fluid – motion is lotion! – allows bones in joints to move with each other smoothly
– Improve or maintain joint range of motion; losing range of motion means reduced balance and stability

– Movement triggers “autophagy” – the process where damaged/old cells in the joint are broken down and removed

– Increased vital capacity (maximum amount of air you can expel from your lungs after maximum inhalation) – improves performance, increases oxygen intake, increases CO2 output – increased “capacity for life”!
– Increased number of functioning alveoli and capillarisation; when new capillaries are formed – increases oxygen intake, increases CO2 output
– Strengthens respiratory muscles (internal and external intercostals and diaphragm)
– Increased lung capacity and volume

– Increased production of energy
– Increased tolerance to lactic acid

– Strengthens and helps muscles to grow
– Strengthens tendons and ligaments; when these tissues are strong, they act like a brace for their joint and provide protection and stability

– Increases bone density – gives you a strong frame/support

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s