Everyone agrees that movement is necessary to be healthy. Sadly, today’s sedentary lifestyle has caused us to move away from what our bodies are designed to do and love--move!
Over time, a sedentary life wreaks havoc on the body. Obviously, muscles need to be used in order to maintain a decent level of strength. Weak muscles, especially weak core muscles, lead to poor posture and alignment, and can cause a host of physical problems and injuries, especially through the back and shoulder area. Common back injuries, such as herniated disks, can often be traced to a lack of core strength.
Movement is also essential in terms of one’s energy levels. Have you noticed that you feel tired and sluggish when there is an absence of movement in your day, whereas when you make time for a physical practice or simply just move a lot, you feel energized and invigorated?
Moreover, movement has the power to feed our minds and souls. Physical exertion calms us, reduces stress, and releases “feel good” endorphins. For many people, their physical practice is also a time to contemplate, work through thoughts, process feelings, come up with solutions, make plans, etc.—all things that are essential to maintaining a healthy, balanced mind.
For some people, it’s also a time of creative and self expression, which can be clearly seen in practices like yoga, dance and martial arts, just to name a few. But really, any time dedicated to movement can be an opportunity to come deeply into oneself and access the more buried, untapped parts of our being. Physical practices can be a gateway to the inner world, which is why so many people feel they are exquisitely powerful. Why has yoga become so popular in the West in the last twenty years? Because it not only transforms people physically, but transforms their inner world, their mind, as well.
Yes, I know that in reality, not everyone has time for a regular physical practice. But even if you’re crazy busy, you can still incorporate movement throughout your day in very practical ways. Clean vigorously, use the stairs, and take hourly breaks from your desk to walk for five minutes.
Give your body what it needs and loves. Movement is essential.