The dance is a poem of which each movement is a word.
One of the Evenstar 5 Pillars of Wellbeing is Moving Well – more commonly understood as exercise!
The 5 pillars are all things that are integral to a good level of wellbeing and are all intertwined with eachother.
The simple truth is that the human body is meant to move! It was not designed to thrive in the sedentary life that is so common in the Western world today. So this is not about exercising to become super fit or super slim this is simply about exercising because that is what your body needs in order to function properly, let alone to function well!
Reasons why you need to move
- Essential body operations – exercise increases circulation allowing more efficient and effective delivery of nutrients, vitamins and minerals from the food you eat to all parts of your body.
Even more important than increased circulation is the fact that if your muscles don’t move then your lymphatic system can’t operate. The lymphatic system is a one way waste removal system that allows your whole body to constantly detoxify, but it only works if you move your muscles. The contraction and expansion of muscles literally moves the lymph. So what happens if you don’t move? Wastes build up, literally poisoning your system. Think about what your neighbourhood would look like if the garbage trucks were unable to move through the streets and collect the garbage – piles of rubbish everywhere! That is what your insides look like when you don’t exercise!
Remember everything is energy so this waste build up is like big piles of negative energy sitting inside of you! Yuck!
- Use it or lose it – I’m sure you’ve heard this term before but have you ever thought about the fact that your heart is a big muscle? So what is going to happen if you are not exercising and ensuring that your heart gets a workout? It may just stop working completely!
- Immune stimulation – exercise stimulates the immune system, causing changes in antibodies and white blood cells and allowing your body to have a fighting chance against illness and infection. Again we’re really talking about energy and exercise promoting positive energy in the body.
Reasons why you will be glad that you moved your body
- Natural happy drugs – exercise stimulates the secretion of natural feel good substances called endorphins. So if you want to feel better this will get you on the way! Even when you feel really mentally exhausted you will feel better for exercising. So don’t let having a really tough day at work be an excuse for not exercising. Let it be a reason for exercising!
- Sleep improvement – exercise improves both the quality and quantity of your sleep. We all know that feeling when you are physically tired because you have worked all day in the garden or painting your house or shopping! Then that night you have a long and deep sleep because your brain can’t fight with the body’s desire to rest! However, having said that it can be better not to exercise in the evening because of the stimulating effects of the endorphins (see #1)!
How much movement is enough?
It is not likely that you will do too much exercise! Make sure that you set yourself a time goal that is achievable, because you don’t want to have any excuses for giving up entirely! Ideally you should elevate your heart rate for at least 30 minutes at least 5 days a week but if that is not possible then work up to it.
Are there ways that you can incorporate exercise into your normal day rather than adding on to it? Can you perhaps walk for some of your commute – get off the train a stop earlier or park the car further away from the office? Can you walk to the supermarket to get those last minute things for dinner? Can you ride your bike to work once a week? Wherever there is an option to use your legs take it – climb the stairs instead of taking a lift, walk from the station instead of catching the bus, etc.
What type of exercise should you do?
The short answer is whatever type of exercise you enjoy and will want to keep doing! This is all about making exercise a part of your life – changing your attitude and your routine in order to prioritise exercise. There is no point in deciding to take up running and finding that you hate it and then deciding to quit exercise altogether, just try something else instead! There are so many options out there – some you might not even consider being exercise like dancing or martial arts or kite boarding!
Ask yourself some questions about what might work for you:
Do you want to exercise indoors or outdoors?
Do you want to exercise in or near home or go somewhere to exercise?
Do you want to exercise with others or alone?
What will motivate you to keep exercising (put in place some goals and rewards to assist with this)?
What equipment is required and can you afford it?
How much time do you realistically have to ensure that you can incorporate exercise into your routine?
The easiest exercise to take up that doesn’t require any equipment and can be done anywhere, is of course walking. Whenever you can take the opportunity to walk barefoot on the earth you will also have the added benefit of grounding yourself at the same time!
I want to give a special mention to yoga because it is a form of exercise that especially benefits your mental, emotional and spiritual health as well as your physical body.
Despite what you might think from scrolling through Instagram, yoga is not about being upside down in lycra on a beach! Yoga involves holding a series of poses that stretch and strengthen the body. Because these poses are physically challenging yoga also teaches your brain that it can deal with stress! Your stress management integrity will be improved and your stress levels will drop! How awesome does that sound!
There are many different types of yoga – from those that are more gentle and relaxing like Hatha or Yin to those that are much more intense like Vinyasa or Bikram. There is definitely a yoga for everyone.
If you feel a bit self conscious as a beginner yogi how about trying some yoga at home? I highly recommend the YouTube channel Yoga with Adrienne because the wonderful Adrienne is a fantastic teacher, has 100s of yoga videos for all levels and to suit all moods, including things like 30 day challenges and she just knows the right thing to say to always make you feel great about yourself.
If you need some help with your motivation to include exercise in your daily routine you might like to consider having an Energetic Balance session. Because Reiki works on all levels of the energetic body – physical, mental/ emotional and spiritual – it will help you to feel driven to look after yourself. Reiki will balance your energies. It is not a therapy that works on a cognitive level – you don’t need to think about what is happening or even articulate why you aren’t motivated to exercise – how awesome is that?! The reiki energy will bring you back into energetic balance so that you can heal yourself and improve your overall wellbeing through exercise.