FlowMo – Flow and Mobility
“Action is the antidote to despair.” – Joan Baez
Oh, so true! As a recently retired public school English teacher, I remember wishing I could find a desk job so that I wouldn’t have to be on my feet all day. That was the dream! However, after researching and actually experiencing the difference, I discovered that Joan Baez was right. A sedentary lifestyle leads to despair (and a multitude of other maladies: obesity, depression, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, risk of stroke, etc.)
Our bodies crave movement. Think about how great your first stretch feels in the morning when you wake up. Perhaps you don’t really feel joy in that first stretch if you dread getting up, but your body needs that movement to circulate blood and lymph and oxygen.
Unfortunately, we often crave the least amount of work, too. Ever in the search for time and energy saving devices, we need only to call out to a virtual assistant our current question or thought. Our jobs tether us to our desks and computers all day and even when we get home. After a long day of sitting, we reward ourselves with more sitting to binge watch the newest streaming craze. Feels so good, yet feels so wrong.
On days when I have not felt well, days when I physically could not stand for long periods of time, much less walk, I felt hopeless. My sister told me, “When you are sick, you feel like you will never be well again; when you’re well, you feel like you’ll never be sick again.” On days I don’t feel well, I have to force myself to get up and move!
There are simple ways to move your body to stay healthy. At FlowMo Yoga, we specialize in functional mobility. Functional mobility is maintaining the appropriate amount of movement in order to carry out everyday tasks even in our older years. Functional mobility allows you to bend over safely to pick something up off the floor. Functional mobility means you can walk or get out of a chair with little or no assistance. Moving now can improve your balance and decrease falls. In order to enjoy this mobility as you age, you need to move now! Don’t think, “I’m too young to worry about that.” Take care of your body now.
- Walk – If you have not been walking much already, don’t stress about having to get 10,000 steps every day. Just make small increases each day. After discovering how much better I felt from moving more, I began to create more ways to fit walking into my daily routine at school. I circulated the classroom even more than before; I took 10 minutes before and after school to walk the hallways and stairwells just to think, walk, and breathe (more on how to use our breath for wellness on a later blog); I took the long way to the office or restroom; I welcomed opportunities to walk!
- Heel raises – Standing at the refrigerator, while filling my large water bottle, I lift and lower my heels to strengthen my calves. This is easy to do while brushing my teeth and drying my hair, too.
- Counter push-ups – Stand about 3 feet away from the kitchen counter, place your hands on the edge about shoulder width distance apart, and do push-ups against it. Think about keeping your spine nice and long from the bottom of your spine to the crown of your head.
- Forward bend – Do this sitting and standing. You don’t have to touch your toes, just bend to your comfort level.
Stay tuned for more home and office exercise hacks. Whether you have a gym membership or not, I will share with you some easy-to-incorporate exercises to keep you moving! Stay with the flow and keeping moving!