“How should I be moving?”
“Which activities are the best ones if I want to stay healthy and injury free?”
I get these types of questions all the time.
The answer might surprise you.
First, I have a question:
What kind of animal are you?
Wait, what? I know you’re a human animal…
What I mean is: how does your unique body love to move in the world?
If you don’t know, then you probably aren’t moving in the best way(s) for you. But don’t worry – I’m going to help you figure this out! In fact, it’s pretty simple…
Mary Oliver, in one of my favorite poems of all time, writes:
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
How many of us arrive at a new workout or exercise mentality that looks and feels a lot like walking on our knees repenting for a hundred miles through the desert?! I know. I’ve been there…over and over.
So what should we be doing?
- Do something that makes you happy.
- Do something that puts a stupid cheesy grin on your face.
- Do something that feels good in your bones and your soul.
- Do something that is so YOU it couldn’t possibly be labeled “exercise.”
It wasn’t until a year or so ago that I truly let go of trying so hard to do the healthiest, best and “right” things for my body…and started to choose whatever felt the most fun and made me the happiest. You know what this feels like?
F R E E D O M
I would now argue that this philosophy is what’s healthiest and best – and, it changes over time, like we do! What we enjoy and love today might not be what we need and want a year or five years from now.
When we approach movement with the fluidity of life itself, allowing what we want and need to evolve with us – we make space for unlimited choice. We’ll feel free to move how we want, when we want, in ways we want…for a lifetime.
Maybe you’re already doing this and if so, I salute your brave departure from modern exercise mentality!
Some of you might be thinking “Yeah but some people don’t exercise at all and that’s bad for you! We all need strong muscles and hearts and there’s no way to get that without working hard for it.” Hang in here with me 🙂
If you’re a professional athlete or serious about a particular sport…hopefully that thing makes your heart and body sing and come alive, because chances are you’ll have to do a lot of other things that aren’t so fun in order to be the best at your sport. This post doesn’t necessarily apply to you.
I want to help those of you who think working out is a chore, a bore or always a downright sufferfest lacking any enjoyment. And if you’re the type of person who always wants to do the “right” thing (AKA the “healthiest” as demonstrated by science or the latest studies), then my hope is maybe you’ll find yourself forgoing what’s “right” in favor of what feels good…and in doing so discover a whole new way of moving that will last a lifetime and fuel your desires to get and stay healthy.