We will look at Movement today as a wellness practice. Energy is always moving, even if we are unaware of it. Even when we sit at a desk, energy is moving in our bodies. Blood is moving through our veins. Air is circulating in our bodies and around our bodies. Simply put, energy is meant to move and not to get stuck. So, what can we do to practice movement as a wellness practice?
Movement as a Wellness Practice
I love to move and exercise. My body knows when it has not moved enough. I feel lethargic, a bit down, my motivation and drive is lessened; sometimes my body actually hurts with aches and pains if I have been immobile for too long. Listen to your body. Notice your sensate experiences and any discomfort you experience. Your body will inform you if a change is needed. Choosing a movement activity you enjoy helps in dealing with any resistance to movement.
It can be helpful to start at a realistic place. If you want to run a marathon and have not been preparing, you must train and work up to running the full distance. Considering your enneagram type when selecting exercise and movement often helps.
Pay attention to types of movement that you enjoy. You may even have equipment in your home that you’ve forgotten was there. Start somewhere. Consider setting aside time when it works in your schedule and/or the rhythms of your body like to move. Notice how much better you feel after making this a part of your wellness routine too.
What Works for Me
When the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic closed gyms as part of a lock-down and social distancing strategy, I was lost. I had to focus and be intentional to keep movement part of my daily life, because I know how important movement is to wellness and balance. Luckily, it was getting warmer in Arizona and I was able to walk, hike and swim throughout the spring of 2020. I was also able to incorporate many of the before-mentioned activities into my routine.
Variety is important, because my mood dictates what I do to move daily. Included in my calendar each day is a slot of time to exercise. This is a habit. This habit leaves room for choice and also the time to work out in some way.
As I consider what makes my body feel good, I am aware that mid-day, when I need a break from work and thinking too much, movement is necessary. Sometimes I just run-in place with supportive shoes to get my heart elevated and relax my thinking center – the head. A walking lunch break often works to move energy in my body, changing the focus of my attention.
Weather sometimes interrupts my routine, but I have a back up plan in place. When it rains or is too hot or cold, I dance to Zumba recordings. There are a group of women in my community that do live Zumba sessions three times weekly. Knowing my age and exercise goals of maintaining muscle tone, I use weights, sometimes while watching TV.
Stretching before bed helps me sleep longer and more restfully. Occasionally I practice light yoga too. Swimming nightly is something I never tire of and has become routine from late April through September. Walking and swimming are the two forms of movement that allow me to feel all three centers – my head, heart and body – working collaboratively with one another. When all three centers are open and working together, it is the best!