In the last blog post, I discussed how we can restore our body after prolonged, repetitive positioning that our pre-scheduled life dictates and our individual habits enhance. I also mentioned that by assuming postures that reverse our daily tendencies, we can improve our overall alignment and minimize the risk of injury.
However, there are so many more benefits that mindful, intentional movement encourages so I saved the rest of them for their very own blog post! Being intentional with our movement means that we purposefully add movements into our daily routine that benefit our body. Most of us are utilizing a small fraction of how our bodies need to move, let alone can move, with training and persistence.
My hope for the last blog post, How Do We Restore The Body, is that it prompted you to find creative ways to reverse the stress that repetitive movements and prolonged posturing can impose. Mitigating changes away from our anatomical balance is important, but there are plenty more benefits to acknowledge when debating adding mindful, restorative movements to your daily routine.
•Brings You Back to The Present: Have you ever finished a task and then silently wondered if you ever actually completed it? This happens because your mind was elsewhere while your body was running on auto-pilot. This amazing ability allows us to breathe without focusing the mind on the task. We would never get anything done if we had to pay attention to each time we inhaled and exhaled. However, it is important for the body to captivate the mind’s attention when we are moving mindfully so they can connect, train and retain new movement patterns, and improve body awareness.
•Calm/Train the Nervous System: Giving awareness to movement allows the body to increase its efficiency and control during the activity. Turning the focus inward can also be a way of grounding the body, moving the body away from a state of stress to a state of peace and presence.
•Improve Proprioception and Body Awareness: Proprioception is a fancy word that means knowing where your body is positioned in space. It is important to develop this ability of precision to improve your balance, increase accuracy and mitigate injury due to improved control of your extremities (aka limbs). WIth improved proprioception, you will also gain heightened body awareness from paying attention to your body. Our body is constantly communicating with us and we may actually understand what it is saying if we are giving it the attention it needs from us.
•Busy the Mind: Chores and repetitive tasks can become mundane quickly. Moving in a different way while carrying out that task can increase stimulation for your body and mind while minimizing the dread of loading the dishwasher the 3rd time that day or folding laundry…again. Play with the positions you perform the chore in and see if you enjoy it more with an engaged mind.
•Improve Energy Levels: With your mind engaged and your body strong from varying postures and positions during daily, repetitive tasks, your task will be less draining and demanding of precious energy! You will likely finish the tasks earlier than if you were mindlessly moving and now you can use that stored energy for an activity you enjoy more! It is almost as if we just created minutes in the day for you…you’re welcome!
Movement message: Slow it down and mix it up!
-Dr. Autumn Hanson, PT, DPT