Mind, Body, Spirit & Meditation

     

How To Invigorate Your Life With Movement

Most people love it or hate it. Even for those who love it, it often took weeks of daily practice to reach the point at which it became enjoyable. Yes, Iím talking about exercise. If you havenít incorporated some form of daily movement into your life, itís time to get moving! Studies show it takes just 21 consecutive days of repeating an activity to make it a habit, and exercise is a great habit to get into.

Incorporating movement into your daily activity is important for the overall health of your body. Increasing your heart rate strengthens your circulatory system, while the increased oxygen intake and muscle use provide benefits both inside and out. A lack of exercise in your routine may be the cause of your sluggishness, depression, physical weakness and weight gain. Studies also link sedentary lifestyles to diabetes, coronary disease, and increased risk of cancer and stroke. You can see how just a small amount of movement can be so beneficial.

So exactly how much exercise do we need? Generally the recommendation is one hour of activity per day, more if you are trying to lose weight. How much exercise you need depends upon how much basic movement you already incorporate into your day. A person on their feet all day at their job will need less than someone who sits and types all day. An easy but effective goal would be to walk 10,000 steps per day, using a step-counter. Adding movement in this way makes it fun, much less tedious than exercise. However, the health benefits are just as great Ė the benefits of walking include more energy, a better mood, a gain in muscle and extra burned calories. Itís a simple change that can add noticeable and lasting change.

If the thought of walking 10,000 steps a day doesnít excite you, how about dancing 10,000 steps? Dancing is one of the best (and most fun) ways to get moving and invigorate your body, and the benefits extend well beyond physical wellness to include spiritual fulfillment too. In fact, dance is an important part of many spiritual traditions. In cultures all around the world, dance is used to inspire creativity, enhance awareness and connection with the divine, and even convey stories and ideas.

You can use dance in much the same way in your own life. Dance to express your heartache and disappointment. Dance to relieve stress. Dance away your fear and anxiety Ė and dance to call in a sense of joy and well-being!

Here are a few simple ways to get started:

First, forget trying to dance perfectly. Many of us have adopted a belief that we shouldnít do something until we can do it perfectly, but the only way to improve our skills is to do it often, right? Donít worry about how well you are dancing. Let go of negative thoughts and focus on how dancing makes you FEEL. Concentrate on letting your movements soothe and inspire you, energize and excite you.

Dance by yourself, or with others. If you feel self-conscious about dancing in front of other people, wait until you have some time alone at home. Then close the drapes, put on your favorite music and dance to your heartís content. As you become more comfortable with dancing alone, you may want to branch out and go dancing with your spouse or friends.

You may find that different kinds of music inspire different moves (and moods). If you want to purge anger or frustration from your body, you might choose music with a heavy, intense beat like rock or techno. If youíre feeling joyful and lighthearted, you might choose classical or new age music to enhance the mood.

Whether you dance, walk, bicycle, skate or engage in any other kind of physical activity, find a way to stimulate your mind and spirit at the same time. As you do, exercise ceases to be a chore and instead becomes a valuable vehicle for stress relief, spiritual exploration and self-expression.

Movement Affirmation:
I flow with the rhythm of love, joy and beauty within me.
My body, mind and spirit move harmoniously as one.

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