Our bodies were designed for movement. Moving in some way, besides typing and staring at a screen, is essential for our bodies to work correctly. And resting after movement is also designed into our bodies.
Our lymph system, which is a huge part of our immune system, uses muscle movement to send the lymph fluid all over the body. The blood has the heart to pump it around so it will go on as long as you are breathing, but the lymph just stagnates when you are immobile and can’t do the job it is designed to do.
If we do have to sit at a computer for any length of time there is a program called Big Stretch Reminder that will make a sound to remind you to move whenever you set it to do so. I’ve set mine for 75 minutes and I have a list of things I do when the sound goes off. It doesn’t have to be a whole lot, just enough to get your lymph system moving is good.
Here is a list of the things I do when the timer goes off, in case you’re wondering:
- 15 minutes of Gravity Yoga.
- 10 minutes of rebounding on the mini-trampoline.
- 20 squats and 5 minutes of calf stretches.
- A session of hanging on the bars as I show in this video.
- Shoulder stretch exercise, also in that video at the end.
- Handstand against the wall, working up to two minutes.
- 10 Yoga Sun Salutations, there are loads of youtube videos on that.
You can take some longer breaks as well. I walk the dog after meals. I am amazed how much my dog has changed my movement patterns. She’s a young dog, probably about a year old, and very happy and active. She loves to move!! I thought I would get tired of walking her three times a day and, truth to tell, sometimes I wish I didn’t have to, but as soon as I get going I am grateful to her.
Besides these small breaks during every day I do one hour movement classes 5 days a week because they exercise my full range of motion in all my joints and that’s necessary also. When I went to my first NIA dance class after spending 5 years getting over the illnesses I got in my early fifties, I wasn’t sure if I could stand up for an hour, let alone dance. But it was so much fun that I never stopped after that.
I’ll be adding lots of movement suggestions and videos to the site as soon as I can but, for now, I am just trying to get a basic page up on all of the topics so I can put up the site. So start by allowing yourself to think of movement as a restorative thing for you when you are tired. A walk in the fresh air may restore you more than just sitting and vegging out.
The other side of the couch potato in the pendulum swing going on for many of us, is the obsessive exerciser. The people who run marathons and tri-athlons and get their endorphins from over exercising their bodies. Without a lot of care this can wear out your adrenals. Think about it, the adrenal fight or flight response is to allow you to quickly move away from danger. If you train all the time your adrenals are becoming over-stimulated and will lose the ability to discriminate. Like the boy who cried “Wolf!” you may be sorry later.
Only you can know by tuning into your body, what is the right amount of exercise for you. Don’t push so hard your body gets exhausted and don’t refuse to get started because you are accustomed to resting a lot. Here is a video of a woman with MS who was bedridden and decided that she would walk in 100 days. Very inspiring!
There are plenty of blogs for real exercise enthusiasts, whatever they choose to do. This site is more for the women who have lost the oomph to get going in their lives, so you can make small adjustments that add up over time into a life of more movement and more joy.