As human beings, our need for movement is reflected in the universe. From the planetary orbits in the celestial realms, to the tiniest electrons moving in an atom-- everything is in constant motion. On earth, we see how movement sustains all forms of life. Animals, plants, even the mineral world relies on movement for creation. Our universe was made to move and shift and flow. We were made to move and shift and flow. When we stop listening to nature - when we stop moving - everything else begins to decline as well: our health, our career, our friendships and family relations, our personal goals and passions--these all become stagnant, diseased, or simply fail to keep growing when movement is absent.
If you don't move, you die
When we spend the majority of our days sitting and lying down, the fluids in our body become more stagnant. Without a reason to pump harder the heart works at minimal effort, doing as little as needed for survival. This means your cells do not receive as much oxygen or nutrients as they could, resulting in, among other things: slower healing, slower hair growth (and hair that is less shiny), and nails that are more pale and brittle. And while our arterial system has enough pressure from contractions of the heart to keep it moving, our veinous system has no automatic pump.
Veins require muscle action to push de-oxygenated blood back up to the heart and lungs to be re-oxygenated before being pumped out to the body again. When our veins receive less support from our muscles, we may notice bulging, twisted veins, and calves that ache and cramp.
Our lymphatic system also relies on movement for efficiency. This super important network of vessels, nodes, and fluid, help keep our body free of germs, toxins, and waste products. When the lymph system is functioning at its best, you experience abundant energy and feel more joyful, radiant, and youthful!
Clearly, a lack of movement has led to a rise of chronic diseases over the last hundred years, with cardiovascular diseases and cancer among the worst offenders. All the industrial and technological advances that have made our lives so convenient have come at a high price. However, I believe we can have the best of both worlds. Through education, support, and community, we can bring more movement back into our lives!
How Movement Can Enrich Your Life
Physically: Movement decreases inflammation (which decreases disease risk), improves muscle tone, facilitates efficient digestion and assimilation of nutrients, and gives us a more youthful exterior!
Mentally: Exercise increases mental acuity due to increased blood flow to the brain and quicker removal of waste products/dead cells away from the brain. This results in improved short- and long-term memory, as well as a better ability to multi-task.
Spiritually: Incorporating daily movement as part of your lifestyle creates a general sense of well-being, increases joyfulness, and allows us to feel more interconnected with both the world and the people around us.
Here are a few tips for creating a movement lifestyle!
Start your day with the intent to incorporate more movement into all aspects of your life. Tell yourself, "I can do it!" A positive thought or affirmation sends out the kind of energy that you will attract back to yourself.
Make it fun! Listen to music. Dance. Whatever you're doing, smile while you do it!
Take a walk. Then bear crawl. Both of these whole body exercises are easy to do and require no equipment.
Get a buddy or join a group/class. Having support/community is the key to success when trying to change lifestyle habits.
Make your work or housework more intentional. Be mindful as you go through your daily chores or work duties, emphasize good posture and form with every activity. You'll be surprised by the changes in muscle tone (and energy level!) that will happen from simply using good posture!
End your day with thankfulness and set your intention for the following day.