One of the best things we can do for our bodies is to MOVE. Sitting, standing or lying still for long periods of time is completely unnatural and essentially toxic. Think of how beautifully a young child moves – so perfectly in tune with their intrinsic movement patterns that have not yet been affected by modern life’s hindrance of our primal ways. They know what serves them – wriggling, twisting, rolling, folding, squatting, moving in and away from the ground, moving fast when they need to and resting when the need to. They move effortlessly through all ranges of movement, massaging, strengthening and cleansing their bodies as they go about it.
When we move we stimulate and pump the fluids around our body that manage, feed and clean our organs, muscles, skin, nerves, hormones and bones. Our bodies are pretty much a liquid network, so when we thrive our tissues gently and rhythmically massage and slide against each other. Without movement, this life-giving liquid network becomes slow moving, murky and easily clogged. Muscle tissues stick to each other, joint mobility is restricted, organs are not fed or drained, negative emotions are stored and stress levels increase. We then feel tired, grumpy and probably start craving sugar, caffeine and carbs for a quick fix. Just imagine trying to walk around your house if you left stuff all over the floor, didn’t empty the bins for weeks, or water the plants! You may not be able to see inside your body to get immediate feedback on how it’s functioning, but I bet it’s giving you messages via other senses! Tune in!
If you’re feeling sluggish, sad, grumpy or agitated, go for a walk, do a few stretches, put on your favourite music and dance! Choose whatever you most enjoy – sometimes that’s all you need to do to perk up.
MOVE any nice calm movement for at least 30 minutes
Walk / hike / cycle / play
WALK UP AN INCLINE for at least a 5 minutes throughout the day
Stairs / hills / sloped treadmill
STRETCH and wriggle around for at least 5 minutes a day
Squeeze your hands together behind your back / twist and bend from side to side / massage your neck and upper back / roll your feet on a tennis ball / circle your ankles – this stuff doesn’t seem like much but is effectively keeping your fluid network flowing with ease.
EVERY OTHER DAY
WEIGHT BEAR! any kind of weight bearing primal movement for 5 – 30 minutes
Lift heavy things / push / pull / squat / lunge / plank
For those of you with little kiddies to lift and carry, you’ll be doing this all day anyway!
ONCE OR TWICE A WEEK
MOVE QUICKLY! Push yourself with constant movement for 10-30 seconds, rest for 10-60 seconds and repeat x 4-8 times.
Sprints / dance / jumps / skipping / star jumps / running on the spot / football / tennis
ONCE A WEEK
MOVE FOR A DURATION at a steady pace for 30+ minutes
Run / hike / walk / cycle / dance
“We are born into bodies that are fluid and free. Yet for most of us, this state of grace is sadly short lived. Judgement, emotional wounds, fear and loss become stored deep inside our muscles and bones, leaving us with shoulders that sag, hips that are locked, arms that can’t reach out, hearts that beat behind a stone wall. When we move our bodies we shake up firmly rooted systems of thought, old patterns of behavior and emotional responses that just don’t work anymore. Rhythm, breath, music and movement become tools for seeing, then freeing, the habits that hold us back. When we free the body, the heart begins to open. When the body and the heart taste freedom, the mind won’t be far behind. And when we put the psyche into motion, it will start to heal itself.” ~ Gabrielle Roth