Big and Small Movements

a woman with a child

Have you been unable to move because a sleeping toddler is resting on you? If you are a parent, then the answer is probably yes! This happened to me today. I put my 2-year-old to sleep in my bed, while my 4-year-old was listening to a podcast story. Before I know it, both of them were sleeping on either side of me. At first, I was soaking in their summer scents and shallow breaths, thankful for a period of rest. Then, my legs started to get restless and my left arm started to fall asleep. I tried to adjust a little, but my girls were snuggled up very close. There was no moving until I could tell they were in a deeper sleep so that my moving wouldn’t wake them.

Our body needs to move. It needs small movements to adjust positions AND it needs big movements to challenge our strength and range of motion. When the body does not get that it will start to send little cues so that we pay attention to its needs. Ya know, kind of like when your kids say “mom, mom, mom, mom” one hundred times until to give them that glass of water they’ve been asking for! At first, they’re asking is infrequent, but the longer it takes you to get that glass of water, the more frequent their prompting becomes-for fear of being ignored (and dehydrated).

The body is the same way. At first, it sends subtle hints that we have gotten really good at ignoring. Our busy schedules and increased screen times make it very easy to be very good at! I want to encourage you to take some time taking inventory of your body, to sit with your thoughts (which is a good thing to do, but not always an easy thing) and pay attention to the little aches in your body…they are telling you something!

These little pings may feel vague and meaningless, but they aren’t! If you are feeling a little quirky in a certain area, it’s a good indication that you need to move it/stretch it/stimulate it in a different way than you have recently. Try foam rolling the area, putting pressure on it with a tennis ball or something firm, stretching it or gently taking the body part or muscle through its full range of motion.

Don’t know what that is? Experiment! Experimenting comes with a great byproduct-more movement 🙂

smiling woman stretching in front of woman
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