Dawn Larned, 2bwell LMT, Yoga Teacher, and Choreographer
Variety is, in fact, the spice of life. For overall health and wellness that will last a lifetime, get a variety of movement throughout the day. I call this nutritional movement, a term I picked up from biomechanist Katy Bowman. Just as your body needs a variety of vitamins and minerals for health, it also needs a variety of movement.
Here are a few ways to accomplish this:
Take walking breaks through out your day. Every 30 minutes get up and walk around. We cannot sit in one position all day and then expect that a 1.5 hour workout at the gym is going to undo the damage created during the rest of our waking hours. Take business calls on your cell phone while walking. Listen to audio books while you take a walk. Walk to get lunch. Walk to the store. Walk to a friend's house. Walk to a yoga class. Walk to get a massage from me.
Reduce the heels on your shoes. Preferably you will wear NO heels. Even men's dress shoes often have a little heel on them. Any heels, even ½ inch, affect the alignment of our bodies. Try to find minimal shoes, zero-drop heels, and go barefoot as much as possible. (note: if you have been wearing high heels for a long time, work your way to minimal heels and footwear little by little so that you can adapt to the new alignment of your body and gradually lengthen muscles and gain strength).
Change your geometry. We sit in a static position for too many hours a day. Standing in a static position can be problematic too. The body needs to shift and move. If at a standing desk, try changing your weight distribution such as balancing on one leg. Sit on the floor instead of a desk if possible, this causes us to fidget around more. You know how your teacher told you to stop fidgeting in your chair as a child? Well, it turns out you were right. Congratulations. Embrace how wise you were as a child and continue to fidget. Gold stars for you all.
Create a variety of sensory input for your body. Walk in the grass, on stones, up hills and down. Change the terrain upon which you walk. Instead of bundling up in the cold until every inch of skin is hidden, allow the wind to move across your skin or the mud to collect between your toes. The more of our senses we use the more our brain's neural pathways expand and the more connections we make between our brain and our various body parts.
Pretend you never left the playground. Hang from bars and tree branches, climb ropes, jump hurdles, roll on the ground, juggle, toss balls, pick up marbles with your toes, etc.
Let your imagination soar when it comes to your movement nutrition for wellness longevity. I encourage my clients to make these simple and fun changes because these changes support the good work we do together when you are on my massage table. As we make changes to soft tissue, circulation, energy pathways, the nervous system, and body alignment during our massage session, those changes are more likely to last if you the client are continuing your movement nutrition between sessions. These tips combined with taking conscious breaths through out your day, drinking plenty of water, and getting plenty of sleep will help to sustain you on your wellness journey.
One of my favorite quotes is from the writer Tom Robbins, "It is never too late to have a happy childhood." Get in touch with that inner child for wellness that will keep you agile and stable well into your golden years.