This month I spent 9 whole days up at the cottage with my family : ))
I made a commitment to myself that I would not work while I was there, that I would avoid social media and that I would not exercise. That I would move, lounge, read, sleep, eat and breathe.
As a movement teacher, why would I choose not to exercise??
One of the things I read was the amazing 12 page spread in Prevention magazine by my teacher, Katy Bowman, on how to improve your health and increase your energy. It’s important to increase the amount of MOVEMENT we have in our lives, as opposed to EXERCISE, to nourish our tissues with movement as much as with food.
Exercise is a planned activity, one that usually takes place at a specific location and for a specific amount of time. According to the Cambridge English dictionary, exercise is defined as “physical activity you do to to make your body strong and healthy”. A strong, healthy body is great, but exercise isn’t the only way to get there!
MOVEMENT is defined as“a change of position”
I thought about that as I went strawberry picking with my mum, did cottage maintenance, swam with my kids and walked barefoot through the paths. All those things helped make my body strong and healthy, but that wasn’t my primary goal. I didn’t set aside time for them. The benefits to my body just happened along with all the other great stuff I was doing!
|A food gathering squat|
|A task oriented squat|
A change of position can happen hundreds or thousands of times a day and each one can be an opportunity to move in a unique and helpful way, instead of repeating the same few motions over and over again.We can start doing that any moment we please, by adding simple changes to our daily lives!
Sit on the floor sometimes. It incorporates lots of excellent core and leg movement to get you up and down and it puts your joints in different positions than they usually experience. If sitting right down on the floor is uncomfortable, experiment with cushions or bolsters until you find the best position for you and your tissues!
Walk whenever you can. It is great for your body, gets you some fresh air, gives you the opportunity to engage with your neighbourhood and you can smile at kids or dogs or squirrels or whatever strikes your fancy.
Try avoiding too much technology with your food. Odd, right? But seriously- if you use a whisk instead of a mix master to make whipped cream you will use your wrists, hands and forearms. If you just pick up an apple and eat it instead of turning it into delightful curls you will use your jaw and face muscles in a way that feeds them movement vitamins as well as vitamin C.
Is the idea of getting up and down from the floor daunting? Then some preparatory exercises will come in pretty handy. Katy gave a few of her favourites, including the rhomboid push up, the calf stretch, the top of the foot stretch, the spinal twist and floor angels. That combination will feed lots of your body parts that need a little bit of extra love!
Are you curious about Katy and Nutritious Movement™? Explore how you can add some good movement vitamins into your day by following the link above to Katy’s article. You’ll get some juice into those sticky spots and increase your strength and flexibility in only a few extra minutes a day (especially as two of the exercises can be done while you are just moving through your life)!
Want a hands on, in-person experience?
Join me for a FREE class on Saturday August 13 from 3:30- 4:30. Sign up here for a special version of Move Your Body Better: Alignment 101 based on this plan from Katy!
As much as moving happily through your day using your muscles for daily tasks and play is what we need, sometimes we need the exercises to get prepared. That’s cool- exercise is still movement.
What do you do to get more movement in your day? I would love to hear how you do it!
Move more, move better, feel great!