Energy is movement. Movement is a natural way that a human body de-stresses. There are certain tendencies that we all have when it comes to movement as we get older. Here are a few of my observations:
Do the opposite of what you are good at as you age
I’ll use the analogy of comparing your body to a car. If your car is an 18 wheeler, you will tend to want to lift heavy things. It is always fun to do what we are good at. So if we are good at lifting weights when we are young, we want to keep doing it, right? Well as we age, if we are an 18 wheeler and only lift heavy things, then we get tight in the joints and can get hurt. So, as an 18 wheeler ages, we have to stretch and be more limber so that when we get to the 100,000 mile mark we can still roll.
If you were always limber and flexible in the past, think more about strength now. As we age, we need to maintain strength. But, be careful, as we age we may tire more easily. If you are not mindful with lifting heavy objects you will break easily. Group weights are not a good thing for you as you age. You need more one on one and protection to prevent going too far. It seems simple, just do the opposite of what you are good at.
Don’t make movement hard
We are primal and evolved quite simply. WE lifted rocks, sprinted and played. To believe that there is only one way to move or one way that is more worthy than another is just not true.
So, lift things, dance, walk, use the stairs…just move. Every moment of movement every motion counts. You are getting the exhaust out of your body and this relieves it.
Also, don’t think that you have to exercise for an hour a day or it is not worth it at all. Every movement counts. Make it simple- start with a goal of 10,000 steps a day and if you don’t have them when you get home, walk around your home or outside. Go up and down the stairs until you get them. Park away from the store entrance so you get in more movement each day.
Be versatile with your movement
Realize that movement is imperative. If you have hurt feet, then move your arms, strengthen your core. Change it up- swim, bike, pull weeds. Movement is not about losing weight, it is about getting the exhaust out of the engine (or getting rid of the stress).
Be innovative with your movement
Realize that sometimes you can multitask with movement. Meaning, when you jog on a trail it is so much more stimulating to the body than movement forward on a treadmill. Your body gets more bang for your buck by changing the environment.
Trust and listen to your body
It is telling you something. If it is telling you to move, it is craving the motion. If you feel like a hibernating bear, then walk and do yoga. When you feel like running or moving faster, then do it but don’t make your body move faster before it tells you. If you force it to move before it is ready, then you will stay in bear mode. Likewise if it is wanting you to move all the time and you cannot get rid of the feeling that makes you want to move all the time, then there is something that you are running from that you are not getting away from. Figure it out. Change it. The drive to move will drive you so fast and so strong in this way that you will break and then it will be even worse. Listen to what your body is telling you.
Understanding super movers
Just a note on super movers- movement is a way that the body destresses, but if this is the only way, then it is one dimensional and you are compensating this way only. Ultimately this is not sustainable. When we are kindergartners, it is one of the first times that we feel stress. We learn to get it away from us and many of us start moving. In moving, it feels better because you get the exhaust away. But, if we do not take a step back and realize that as humans we have to think it through, talk it out, let it go- then we just keep running.
If you are a super mover and have looked great physically your whole life, it may seem hard to understand why others do not move like you. It is not because they are lazy. It is because when they were in kindergarten their body pushed their stress in a different way. Maybe, they sat still and just held on to it. Maybe they yelled it out at someone and then they kept doing what they learned. If you help others enjoy movement, then you help them be healthier. But they will be nervous to move and so be mindful of that. Be kind. Remember, if they do not have the energy to move, encourage walking or yoga.
Moderation and balance
Know too that you can move too much. Your body is not one dimensional. It needs balance between in and out. If you give too much energy out, then your body will start to break. Movement is about moderation and balance. Your body will let you overuse it for a while, maybe years…but then it will start to feel like you are breaking. Your body is telling you something. It could be telling you to rest, to stretch better, to drink more water, get more sleep or to eat better.
Bottom line, movement is necessary and helps de-stress your body. Try to consciously think about how much your body is moving every day.
Dr. Samantha Durland is board-certified in Obstetrics & Gynecology, Anti-aging and Regenerative medicine and Fellowship trained in Metabolic and Nutritional medicine. Learn more about her ground-breaking philosophy and prescription for wellness- My Simple 7– daily actions to thrive in a strong, healthy and peaceful body here. Learn more about my Simple Weight Loss Plan (which includes the Simple 7-day Detox) and my Simple Hormone Plan to feel like a younger version of yourself.