I live in a pretty health conscious part of the world, Brooklyn, NY, where words like: organic, artisan, ergonomic, Birkenstock, sustainable, farm-to-table, Kleen Kanteens, fair trade, and food-coop, permeate the Borough.
Oh– and did I mention Kombucha? Yes, Brooklyn essentially represents the epitome of green and healthy living.
Yet, as picky as people can be about their dietary and lifestyle choices, there seems to be a lack of concern over one major component of healthy living– MOVEMENT!
But I exercise regularly, so I’m fine right?
Making a conscious effort to move is great! However, working out for 30 minutes and then sitting slumped over at a desk for 8 hours– not so great. Unfortunately, even regular exercise doesn’t counteract the effects of sitting in poor posture for hours each day.
Imagine if you ate junk food for breakfast, lunch and dinner- but then ate a kale salad for dessert. That kale salad isn’t going to counteract the effects of all the empty calories you put into your body earlier in the day.
Just as we need a wide variety of healthy nutrients in our daily diet– our bodies need a wide variety of movements to achieve and sustain optimal health.
Are you aware of how you are moving (or not)?
In our society, living ‘green’ or healthy means we spend a lot of time checking ingredients and verifying things are free of GMO’s. We scour the internet for wholesome, fair trade and cruelty-free products. Parents-to-be spend countless hour pouring over baby registry items to make sure they have the most ergonomic/organic/BPA-free products for their new babes. We do all this and then neglect to spend any time focusing on how we are moving throughout the day.
Stop reading this right now and notice what your body is doing.
Is your chest collapsed forward? Is your chin jutting out? Are you sucking in your belly? Does your breath feel constricted? Is your jaw clenched?
Try checking in with your body a few times a day. You might find some unwanted tension or counterproductive habits and, through awareness, you can make a better choice. A healthier choice. A choice that is going to benefit you just as much (or more) as an organic, ergonomic and BPA-free lifestyle.
Make an effort to move well.
If you’ve ever sprained your ankle, thrown out your back, or had another debilitating injury, you know what it’s like to not move well. Having an injury causes us to feel restricted, uncomfortable and unable to move freely. It quickly draws attention to how important movement is in our life.
When we move well, we feel better! Moving well is harmonious, graceful, and efficient. It satisfies us and leaves us wanting more. Kind of like a Blue Bottle coffee 🙂
So- now what?
Learning to move well requires one thing- Awareness. Listen to signals of discomfort and stress. Your body is telling you what it likes and what it doesn’t. What it needs.
It’s ok to be picky about what you eat and drink. About what you wear and what products you buy. But don’t forget to be picky about your movement, too. Be a movement snob! After all, we only get one body. Treat it well!
What small changes can you make during your work day to encourage and bring awareness to healthy movement?