We all know the speel about how exercise is good for us, we should do it, yada yada yada. But I feel like exercise is always framed and constricted into a gym setting, doing squats, and being miserable. If you are looking to get ripped- that might be the route you are looking for. But I want to give a voice to the benefits of just everyday mindful movement. Nothing too intense, things you can do even if you don’t have much time or energy (or either.). So that being said- let’s get into it.
What counts as mindful, daily movement?
Are you moving? Then it counts. Honestly, if you get up every morning and move around- you are already off to a fantastic start. But you are here looking for ways to be more mindful in your daily movement- so here is (in my opinion) the criteria.
1. You are moving with the intention of moving. Not just doing daily tasks- but are being present, intentional, and ready to move and let energy flow through your body.
2. That there is movement. That is it. You might be going…that’s all? Nothing else. Nope. It’s all in the name baby- mindful movement. (Mindful is a placeholder for intentional.) If you are like me- you might get stuck trying to come up with simple ways to move your body- so here are a few of my favorites.
1. A daily walk. Just a stroll around your neighborhood, around your yard, to the gas station to get a drink. A walk is a great way to get your body moving in a nice and gentle way. It’s free, it has no time limits. And, if you are like me- it can be a family activity.
2. Stretch. you don’t have to sit down for a whole yoga session (although if you are interested- I highly recommend: Yoga with Adriene). But just sit and feel your body. Notice where you are tight, where you are holding stress in your body- and just stretch. This is another option that is free, is kid-friendly, and has no time restraints.
3. Take the long way. Park at the end of the parking lot, take the stairs, go the scenic route in the store. Life is always in a rush- so taking the time to enjoy where you are at and getting in extra steps in while you are at it- seems like a good option to me.
Health Benefits (Physical & Mental)
1. Movement releases endorphins. Endorphins interact with the parts of your brain that reduce your perception of pain and release chemicals that create a positive response in your body (similar to morphine.) These endorphins that are naturally released during exercise can greatly improve, stress, symptoms of depression, and symptoms of anxiety.
2. Exercise can provide an outlet for emotions that you may have a hard time processing otherwise. Sometimes our feelings are too big for words in the heat of the moment or before you have time to process them. Having a physical outlet to move and release pent-up emotions can be a great way to begin processing your emotions. (I should note exercise shouldn’t be a replacement of emotions- just a way to get them moving and processed.)
3. Being intentional in your movement can improve your posture, breathing, and daily mindset. Having awareness in the body that you may not have on the day to day- can bring to attention how you are holding your body, how you are taking in breathe, and bring you into the moment. Better posture and breath can bring a numerous amount of other benefits into your life.
4. In the world we live in- we tend to separate our spiritual, mental, and physical health. In reality- everything is connected, and that includes mindful movement. When we bring attention to our physical bodies, we also can heal the severed parts of ourselves by bringing them back to center. Moving out the emotional garbage and spiritual trauma we hold in our bodies also in turn helps us heal physically. It’s a full-circle arrangement.
5. Exercise can improve your confidence in your physical abilities, improve your self-image, and give you a sense of pride in your accomplishment. Just like with anything- accomplishing our goals can give us a sense of accomplishment and self-confidence. Daily movement can also bring us confidence in our own bodies during our day-to-day activities.
6. Exercise can help manage a lot of health concerns. Weight, reduce symptoms of chronic illnesses, improve blood circulation, raise oxygen levels, and improve performance in our everyday activities. In today’s world- as sedentary lifestyles become more common (in the workplace specifically)- the number of people experiencing aches, illness, etc rises.
7. Movement can release the stress and trauma we have been holding in our bodies for years. When your muscles shake and move- trauma that has been stored in our body can begin to be released.
8. Movement, specifically stretching and joint mobility exercise can significantly reduce joint pain. If you are dealing with arthritis, gout, or tendinitis- joint mobility would be a great option for you.
9. Improved mobility. Following number 8- joint mobility exercises don’t only ease joint pain- but they also increase mobility (if you can imagine).
10. Excercise can increase blood flow to your intestines, helping muscles contract and release- aka helping with digestion.
Join me on a 30 day mindful movement challenge @kayteable on Instagram.
I started a 30 day mindful movement challenge on instagram. Everyday- starting today I am going live to 30 minutes of mindful movement. I want to have a place where somebody is not the “perfect” health and fitness influencer. I am a newbie, very out of shape, and a very busy mom. My workout today got interupted by heavy breathing and an 8 month old. Growth is messy- no matter where you are starting- so join me for my messy challenge every morning over on Instagram. I encourage you to follow along- if you are a beginner who wants a slow pace- or do your own workout/yoga routine along side me. Starting as a community can be more enjoyable than doing it alone.
That is all for today- thank you for reading. I hope you all have a wonderful night…and hopefully I see you tomorrow on Instagram. 🙂