Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Life is Better with Movement

A New Year… when many of us vow to shed those few extra pounds we so typically and enthusiastically add on during the holiday season. It’s the time of year we push ourselves to get more motivated, get in better shape, and get moving. Movement is key… it’s one of the most important things we can do to maintain a positive mindset and healthy lifestyle.

An object at rest tends to stay at rest; and something that ceases to move rapidly deteriorates. You don’t need me to tell you that movement, or better yet exercise, is as important to our well being as eating and breathing. We are constantly bombarded with weight loss ads, exercise videos, and offers of gym memberships. In our hearts we know that regular physical exercise improves overall conditioning. It strengthens our bodies, energizes our minds, releases oxygen to our tissues and organs, builds density in our bones, and most important for me… elevates my mood.

I discovered in my early 30’s that I suffered from seasonal affected disorder (SAD). My mood changes radically with the seasons. As the long New England winters lingered on I would find myself in a type of “funk”. The best cure for what ailed me is exercise and sunshine. Exercise is an elixir for life. It’s good for everything… our hearts, our minds, our stamina, our sense of self, even our sleep.

Personally, I need to do some combination of stretching, walking and strength training almost every day. If I don’t move my body it stiffens up, my back starts to ache, my mood sours… and I get cranky! Fortunately I have enjoyed the discipline of a weekly weight lifting routine for over 33 years. Strength training is an ingrained physical habit that has resulted in pretty decent muscle tone for this 60 year old guy. What is relatively new to my routine is yoga. Three years ago I engaged a yoga instructor to teach me how to breathe. Yes… I intuitively knew that deep and mindful breathing would help me reduce the stress and anxiety that was dominating my life during the global financial crisis. What I didn’t anticipate was how powerfully positive the yoga stretching poses would have on my overall well being. I am now more flexible, my balance has improved markedly, my posture is straighter, and my core is stronger. My body and my mind feel good. Simply put… “Life is better with movement.” Movement is an obvious “Secret of Life”.

What’s important is to find one’s own personal passion for movement. It can take many different forms… walking, swimming, biking, gardening, skiing, yoga, tennis, weight training, competitive sports, dancing. I love moving my body to music. Music motivates me to dance, to shake my body and stretch… even jump up and down.

Being married to a woman who is in perpetual motion is an intense motivator. My sweetheart Susan is like a “whirling dervish”. She jumps out of bed in the morning, embraces the day, and keeps on moving. It is amazing to watch. This constant motion is her nature, but it sure keeps her in fantastic physical condition as a result. Susan is a true inspiration for the positive effects of movement.

Make it an important priority to find your personal movement passion and even better, a friend or partner that inspires you to consistently practice this valuable “Secret of Life.” Your mindset will change, your body will energize, and life will become happier and healthier.

This is more than just a New Year’s resolution; it’s an attitude towards life. So, have fun and keep on movin’!


1 comment:

  1. Loved the Article, and the picture of Susan. Great Work Glenn.

    ReplyDelete