Movement, Manipulation, & Play
The first thing I think of when I hear "exercise" is running.
Fair enough, some people love to run. I, however, find it tedious and boring.
Now, maybe you already have a steady fitness routine, in which case bravo - keep it up. If you do not yet have one, this is where you can explore your options.
Too often do I hear my clients say they want to get into fitness, or they "don't have enough time" to go to a studio or the gym. Well, I call B.S.
I won't argue that having playful hobbies can be time consuming when you have a job (or two), a family, and other endeavours going on in your world. So, how does one add a healthy movement routine to the schedule?
You start by figuring out what you enjoy doing, then make time for it!
If you don't enjoy running, don't run. If you don't like being at a gym lifting weights... don't do it! You hereby have permission to do what you love doing.
If you prefer swimming, hiking, rollerblading, volleyball or cycling... do more of that! Maybe you prefer yoga or want to get into something new and interesting like belly dance or aerial circus play. Your options are seriously limitless.
I know you must be thinking "mmmkay Amy, sounds great but how can I afford this?" Or "yeah right, with all of my kid's activities, where would I find the time!?"
There are still more options.
While your kids are at their extracurricular activity, maybe you can find a class/gym/park nearby to do your thang in. If you're concerned with finances, there are millions of free videos to follow along to at home, or find a swing set or trampoline and play away! There are even plenty of free outdoor gyms in most cities, so take advantage.
You might even prefer to take 30-90 seconds, multiple times a day (during the stolen moments) while you're waiting for X to happen. Example: a sun salutation, jumping jacks, push ups (or any body weight exercise), shaking (Qi Gong and Kundalini technique and it's super fun), a walk around the block... anything!
Making these tiny commitments to your health is only the beginning of the ripple effect.
The only thing holding you back is you.
Why even bother?
Well, it's not news that exercise is crucial for overall health and well-being. The benefits of movement far supersede the ill-effects of stagnation.
Most of us nowadays wake up - walk to the car - drive to work - sit at a desk - work for +8 hours - drive home - watch Netflix from the couch - head to bed shortly afterwards.
In this typical workflow, there isn't a lot of movement happening.
Imagine what one's poor spine must look like - compressed and cranky, that's what!
Additionally, movement will increase circulation and improve digestion. It's even known to release endorphins and can therefore improve one's mood!
All bonuses, if you ask me.
A final note on manipulation (massage):
If highly active movement and exercise isn't for you - perhaps you are injured or unable to perform at this time - than manipulation is a great option. By this, I mean myofascial release. Rolling pins, therapy balls, self-massage (or find a friend to massage you). The idea here is to manipulate your tissues and get things moooooving!
Manipulation is important for everyone, no matter what your activity level or capability is!