Spring into Movement

As the landscape wakes up with longer days in the sunshine, so do we. After conserving so much energy this winter, I’m ready to move! We don’t need to run a marathon or go to the gym everyday to incorporate exercise. We can enjoy ourselves as we disrupt the stagnant energy in our bodies and move it out of our muscles through our breath, sweat, and emotions.  

To move with more purpose, it’s good to know some keys to movement and other aspects that can contribute to a deeper understanding of what motivates you and brings more enjoyment to your day.

Keys to Movement

While these may not need to be the focus of every movement activity, incorporating them as often as possible will help reduce pain and injury and increase overall fitness and mobility long-term.

Incorporating weight is a great way to build muscle strength. This can include body weight exercises, or anything that uses force against gravity or other materials (push-ups, yoga, shoveling dirt, even picking things up off the floor).

Stretching out muscles regularly is necessary to reduce tension and risk of injury. When we stand up straight or sit all the time, our muscles adjust to fit those positions we are in. When we start doing other things like bending forward, twisting around, or trying to do the splits… our muscles can eventually lose the range to do so. We can injure ourselves more easily by pulling a muscle or tendon. Tense muscles are tight muscles, so taking even 5-10 minutes each day to lean into our tension after a long day is a great way to help release it.   

This includes activities that get our heartbeat pumping, make us breathe heavy and sweat. Cardio is wonderful to move fresh oxygen into our blood and literally breathe new life into all the cells in our bodies. Fat is “burned” into co2(exhale) and h2o and toxins(sweat). Classic examples include running and HIIT, but also walking and dancing!

How do you like to move?

If you keep thinking you “should” be doing movement a certain way, based on how other people do it, or how you were taught to do it, I’d like you to think again. There are as many ways to move as there are people in the world, so pick a flavor and evolve as you’d like! Let’s explore factors that contribute to motivation and enjoyment.

Solitary or With Others
Movement is a great opportunity to either connect with others or have meditative time to oneself. Going to swim laps or rollerblade a trail are examples of activities that can be done individual or with a buddy.

Indoors or Outdoors
Depending on the weather and type of exercise, there are plenty of options. Cold weather can bring us to the gym or indoor classes, as well as skiing and snowshoeing. I personally like to bundle up and take care of winter projects in the garden. Warmer weather can push us to swim at the beach or lake, skating, kayaking or dancing. When it gets too hot, it may push us back into the gym, to exercise earlier in the day, or to a river in a shady forest.

Methodical or Free-form
Counting the number of repetitions or steps in activities can be really helpful to some, while others prefer to just do an activity and know they will get enough movement in. I personally like a variety of each. Swimming tends to be the one I count laps and have my regular routine, where when I go dance or go skating, it’s fun to play around.

Scheduled or On a Whim
Do you often have moments in your day where you just want to get out and move? Maybe your body craves movement regularly and it’s enough for your overall wellness.

Sometimes we need to plan it out, or get support. What time of day do you generally have the most energy or time? Every morning at 8am? Every evening after work? Maybe it’s on your lunch break, or just on the weekends. If you know someone who has talked about similar ideals for movement, team up and help keep each other on track.

Forms of Exercise
All that in mind, what movement activities sound best to you?
Walking, running, dancing, Zumba, yoga, skating, lifting weights, paddle boarding, soccer, basketball, water polo, climbing, ultimate frisbee, kickboxing, surfing, riding a bike, gardening/yard work, cleaning/building, chasing friends around at a park, swimming, bodyweight exercises, skiing, snowshoeing, YouTube workout videos, heck, even sex!

There are countless ways to move. For the love of your body and the ones that love you, please move your body as often as you can!

What are your favorite ways to exercise?

What haven’t you tried that you’d like to?

Comment your thoughts and get the conversation going!

Share with loved ones who are looking for support.
Check out my Instagram and Facebook for more info and inspiration on movement and other topics of Heart-Centered Health!

– Laura
Email: laura@heartcenteredholistic.com

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