EXERCISE FOR THE MIND + BODY
Here are the basics: there is always opportunity for movement, take the time to find what feels best for your body, and get in a routine. For details read on.
there is always opportunity for movement
No matter if we work a desk job 9-5 or rock climb for a living, there is always opportunity for movement. A lot of time we think exercise requires a lot of prep, planning, or classes, but in fact when we sprinkle it in throughout the day on a consistent basis, that is what yields the greatest benefits for our health. Here are some easy ways you can add in exercise throughout your day to ensure you are moving your body:
Move Your Body
Move Your Body
1. Get up every 20-30 minutes. Sitting is the new smoking! If you spend large portions of your day sitting, please, I beg you, get up and move every 20-30 minutes. Get up to get a drink of water, get up to use the bathroom, get up to stretch, get up to set outside for a minute. Keep the body moving and you will have greater focus and drive in the long run, as well as major health improvements.
2. Block off additional time during breaks for movement. This is essential an extension off of number 1, but if you take periodic breaks throughout the day, including a lunch break, set aside at least 5-15 minutes to go for a walk. You have the time! Remember how smoking breaks used to be a thing? Make this year the year of the smokeless smoking breaks where you go outside and take a breather, while moving.
3. Take a walk after dinner. If possible, this is an incredible way to aid digestion, unwind from your day, prepare the body for a good night's rest, and fit in some extra movement. Its a win-win-win.
4. Find a routine that works for you. The above movement recommendations are an excellent place to start, but to reap the full benefits of exercise for the body and mind, you're going to have to move a littler bit more. Finding an exercise routine that works for you is super important to your commitment and success. Aim to fit in extended exercise (20 minutes or more) at least a couple times per week. Read on below to learn more about finding a routine that works for you.
When we move, we detoxify
Movement increases our heart rate, stimulates lymphatic flow, increases our respiratory rate (detox via breath), and up-regulates sweating, all of which help aid the body in detoxication and elimination. As a bonus, movement and exercise increases neurotransmitters in the brain (ie runner's high) which make us feel good and allow us to leave our worries behind, aka mental detox.
find a routine that resonates with you
This is the most important section of the Basics module. As a child, exercise came naturally to me as I was very athletic and involved in dance and other sports. As a teen and young adult, my interests changed and I lost my strong exercise habits. It has taken me years to find something that worked for me, mostly because I thought I should enjoy certain exercises that I actually didn't like at all. I thought I was someone who hated exercise, but that my friend is just a sign that you haven't found something that works for you. Once I started to explore what exercise looked like for me, I realized what felt best for my body was ancestral movement--long walks, hikes, swimming, gardening, etc. Being in a gym was torture. Being in an exercise class was even worse. When I brought my personal practice outdoors, I began to thrive.
Really take the time to explore what feels best for your mind, body, and spirit. Think outside the box, and certainly think outside of exercise fads. Remember that nature is our original trainer, and it is engrained in your DNA to want to move through nature accordingly.
MOVEMENT ROUND UP + OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
Now that you've got a good understanding of the basics that make up adequate movement, there are a few extras that will really ensure your success and help the body thrive. If you haven't already incorporated ancestral movement into your exercise routine (walking, hiking, swimming, gardening, etc). give it a shot, especially if you think that you hate exercise. To learn more about other things that may be jamming up your exercise routine, move on to the next module.
Even as we shift through every season, exercise outdoors is (typically) always possible. There is something familiar and magic when we move our bodies in nature. One of the additional benefits to exercising outdoors is the gift of fresh air. Indoor gyms and classes unfortunately harbor germs, and especially during the Fall and Winter months, avoiding illness is a major bonus. When we exercise and sweat, it boosts our immune system discouraging the proliferation of illnesses and reduces cortisol levels.
Here you will find all the extras and bonuses mentioned in the Basics + Going Deeper modules, plus a little extra. Enjoy.
Copyright © 2018 by Motherhood Medicine.
All rights reserved. These writings or any portion there of many not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the expressed written permission of the author except for the use of brief quotations in a review. These writings are not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians. The reader should regularly consult a physician in matters related to his/her health and particularly with respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention.