More Movement Now
Now is the time in the pacific northwest where there is a mass exodus to tend the garden. The weather is finally turning and the wan of winter aches for sun. We rush to dig our hearts and bones into the dirt and let the light feed our souls. The weeds around my house have grown to dinosaur size. If your garden is like mine (wild and untended through the winter months) there is still time to catch up as temperamental late-May does her best diva impression. But it means a lot of time moving in a new way. You might do too much and your achy back and knees will make you regret it the next day.
We get sore because our body is not used to moving very much. Then we make big asks of it and feel it the next day. Or maybe you already move a lot, but tend to get injured doing “nothing”. Reaching for your coffee, looking behind you etc. The key to getting stronger all around is creating a movement diet with a lot of variety. Not a diet in the restrictive sense, but a plan where you intend to move with great variety, more often, more consciously.
Imagine for a moment, movement as food. To have a healthy balanced diet, you need to eat a combination of many different vitamins and minerals, proteins, fats and carbohydrates. If you ate only one kind of food, even if it was healthy, your nutrition would suffer. Bananas give you a certain kind of nourishment by themselves, but an all-banana diet would be lacking in the things we need to grow. You would never do that with food, right?!
Many of us give ourselves the movement equivalent of the all-banana diet. Just like a balanced diet of food, your body thrives on a variety of movements. The more different things you do, the stronger and more nourished you become all around. Here are 5 simple ways to get more variability in your movement diet:
- Move more! You have my permission be shifty, look around, wiggle, and stretch anytime. Don’t wait for your class. There are no winners when we all stay still.
- Walk more! Park farther away from the entrance, walk one place that you would usually drive.
- Squat more! Practice bending your knees to get low instead of bending at the waist. Put a stool, books or paint cans under your feet when you are on the toilet.
- Sit differently! Notice the way you normally sit and introduce yourself to different positions little by little. Scoot to the edge of your chair. Cross or uncross your legs.
- Love your feet! Massage your feet regularly, wiggle and spread your toes, go barefoot at home.
The easy part about introducing variety to your routine is that it can be anything that you don’t normally do. Our bodies are made to adapt for survival. If you are stuck in a certain way of being, move your body. Breathe.
This kind of work is a physical doorway into wholeness. To move your body consciously is to be alive and in the moment. Movement is essential to well being. If you do not move at all, you must start now. You can start wherever you are right now. There is no more time to waste.
Today, I was waging war against the grass that invaded the irises. It took time. I moved a lot.