Monday, September 07, 2015

Move Your Body

This is the 4th post of a 13 part series on Healthy Life Habits. In case you've missed the previous posts we've already covered:


So, hi everyone!

*crickets chirping* 

So um, yeah, I know it’s been over two months since my last post and I know that’s no way to run a blog. BUT I’m back after a long summer of pilgrim-ing husbands, injured children, and overwhelmed mothers. More on that in another post.

I want to pick up where I left off which is a series about My 10 Healthy Life Habits. I wrote about drinking water in my last post, so I’m moving on to number 2, moving your body or as I like to think of it: energetically engaging in your life.

The very first thing I need to say is this is not about intentional exercise. This is about two things that I lump together, and you’ll see why.

First, it’s about every day activities or lack there of. Do you tend to sit in a chair all day? Does walking from your house to the car, from your car to your office, and back again constitute your daily walking? This is the thing you hear about all the time: taking the stairs instead of the elevator, for example. Simple.

The second part is a little more amorphous. It’s about enjoying the little every day things about your life. Do you generally lack enthusiasm and joy in your daily life? I mean during each part of your day, including work time. Yeah, if you lack a zest for life then that’s a problem as far as keeping well. Why? Because its a sign that you’ve checked out on your life. You’re just going through the motions with blinders on.

And its not only a physical problem, although that’s enough to ruin your day. It’s also a mental and spiritual problem. Do you suffer from mysterious aches and pains, headaches, general lethargy, and depression (maybe not clinical depression requiring meds but feeling down or numb every day)? Do you have great ideas but have a hard time getting started on them or finishing a project?

These are all signs that you are not energetically engaging in your daily life enough. Part of the fix? Moving your body.

Say what??

Let me explain. So what do I mean by this “move your body” thing? Most people get confused because I separate this from intentional exercise, but there’s a reason for that. Moving your body throughout the day is a more organic, natural activity that may include spontaneous dancing or hula hooping for the sheer joy of it or making a point of walking to the store instead of driving the four blocks.

It’s also about taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking in the back of the lot instead of circling while you wait for that spot upfront to open up. But more importantly, it’s about taking walks on the beach at sunset, planting flowers, and playing jump rope with the neighborhood kids. 

It’s also about getting up from your desk every hour or so, stretching, taking a walk to the water cooler or bathroom. It means when you have a break at work, instead of sitting around in the break room munching Little Debbie’s (not to knock Little Debbie’s okay? Just to make a point), how about taking a walk around the building or even get outside?

These are not times to strap on your iPod and sweat to the oldies or don your weight lifting gloves and bench press 100 pounds (although eventually, the lines may blur for you). These are things you can do in the clothes you’re wearing at the time that are convenient or even better because its relaxing or uplifting. 

At first, it may seem awkward or even embarrassing, depending on the circumstances. I mean shaking your thang at work to Milkshake may be frowned upon. And that’s too bad, but maybe a pencil drum solo along with Rush is acceptable? ;-) 

My kids are used to mom popping off the computer to bust a groove to Uptown Funk or James Brown or hoop to Skrillex and Dillon Francis. They join in (or used to before they became too cool for that) and many giggles and much laughter later, I get back to writing or blech! the damn accounting stuff I’m trying to learn.

The point is this: get interested in the little things that happen every single day in your life. Nothing interesting about your life? Find something. Anything. Buy a plant and make a point of taking care of it, learning all about it, and doing the little things every day to nurture it’s growth.

Turn on the radio and discover new songs or rediscover old favorites to dance to. Can’t dance? Too bad. Wiggle your hips, stomp your feet, flail your arms, twitch your nose. Something. For the love of God! Just move to the music, dang it.

Are you getting this? Do you understand what I’m ranting about? If not, I’ll give it one more try.

When we have disconnected from our life, we tend to zone out like robots, which means we tend to sit very still and look very unlife like. This is unhealthy on every level and is part of why we eat poorly, develop health issues, and, yes, gain weight.

Weight gain is a symptom that something is not working in your relationship with YOU. Could it be that you’re not engaging with yourself enough? Maybe, maybe not, but reconnecting with yourself is never a bad idea.

Sooooo, it may feel stupid at first, but look for opportunities to move your body, even a little bit. I think you’ll find that once you start, it takes on a life of its own.

I love hearing from you so please tell me what you think about this moving your body thing. Do you do this naturally? (We all start out doing it. Watch a baby or toddler.) Do you discover yourself in the midst of the Electric slide on the way to the laundry room? Or tapping out Moby in morse code during study sessions?

Comment below and let us know how you engage with you.

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