Daily Naturopathic Living: Movement You Enjoy
It’s widely known that exercise is good for us, but when it becomes more work than enjoyment, it can fall off our radar quickly…no matter what our resolutions are.
So if you associate exercise with pain, suffering, or just another task on your “to do” list, a new outlook on daily movement may foster more success in getting and staying active.
The following may bring fresh perspective on why and how to incorporate movement that you enjoy rather than what you are obliged to do.
First, let’s clarify that many types of exercise help augment the aging process such as:
- strength training that is conducive to developing and maintaining muscle mass and bone density
- flexibility and balance training such as yoga and stretching for mobility
- exercise that raises heart rate (such as interval training) for metabolism and weight management
Hopefully, these movements are interspersed with what you enjoy!
And why is enjoyable movement important?
Simply put…because it reduces stress.
Consider this premise:
It is estimated that up to 90 percent of illness and disease is stress-related.
Movement helps reduce stress.
Therefore, movement that decreases stress may help prevent or lessen stress-related disease.
This siliquae is simple but powerful.
If stress is such a significant precursor to illness, movement that manages stress could play a central role in optimal health.
However, this stress-reducing, enjoyable movement looks different for everyone.
Whether walking the dog around the neighborhood, swimming with the grandkids, or a 30 day yoga challenge, movement that brings joy is good for both physical and mental health.
But how do you find it?
Consider the following:
- Show up for yourself. Doing anything is better than doing nothing, so try a variety of exercise – even if you’ve never done something before!
- Tune-in. While performing movement, notice how it makes you feel. Are you watching the clock or loving the experience? Does your body feel refreshed afterwards or are you exhausted? Is it more fun to do with others or do you prefer the time alone?
- Keep track. Write down how you feel before, during, and after.
- Reflect. Read your movement journal and notice what gives to you rather than depletes. How can you incorporate more of that into your life?
In need of inspiration? Here are some ideas that may excite your typical exercise routine!
Water aerobics class with a friend
Biking – electric, mountain, road, or stationary
Snowshoeing/Hiking a new trail each month
Sledding with the family
Racquetball at a local recreation center with a partner
30 Day yoga challenge at home
Pickleball classes and tournaments
Tai Chi online courses
Golf – driving range, 9 or 18 holes
Skating – roller, inline, or ice
Walking group in the neighborhood
Skiing – cross country, alpine, or water
Kayaking or paddle boarding local lakes and reservoirs
5k family runs for charity
Outdoor park workouts with stationary equipment
Indoor rock climbing
Basketball – in the driveway, at a recreation center, or at an outdoor court
Exercise classes at a gym
Do any of these or other ideas spark your interest but you aren’t familiar with how to do go about them or if you’ll be good at them?
No worries! There are plenty of resources (online and in-person) to learn, so find what feels best for you.
Are you ready to make 2022 about movement you look forward to? Then dedicate time and energy (as well as safety) to exploring the fun that awaits.
This way of naturopathic living may just lead to a healthier and happier lifestyle…and that’s a resolution worth working towards.