The Broader Stroke

 

I want to talk about movement.  The human body needs to move.  When muscles don't get moved for a long period of time, they atrophy.   They shrink and lose strength.    Move it or lose it, really is an aphorism for a good reason.    And since we live in a modern world where we can go for long hours without moving, we need to incorporate real movement into our day.  We call this exercise but that intimidates and turns off many people.  They think of sweaty gyms and outside bugs and discomfort in general.  It doesn't have to be this way.  

Exercise, aka movement, should be fun.  Otherwise in the long run, you will figure out a way not to do it.  That is human nature: to avoid discomfort if possible.  So exercise needs first and foremost to be enjoyable and doable.   And for me, at this point in my life, it needs to be sustainable.  People talk a lot about sustainability in terms of growth and profit but not so much in terms of exercise.  But I think this needs to change.  Too many of us were active in our 20's but then got busy with life, maybe kids and couldn't keep up with the gym memberships, the dvd rotation or the intensity of high impact on our bodies.  So we quietly let exercise slip out of our lives.  This is a mistake that we pay for later down the line.  Maybe not in our 40's but definitely in our 50s and on.  Movement keeps us flexible, resilient and adaptable.  Exercise keeps our minds sharp, our hearts strong, our lungs expansive and our bones dense but flexible.  Movement signals our body to rebuild, regrow and activate.  Exercise is also a great way to maintain any healthy weight loss.  And as we age if we don't exercise, muscle is replaced by fat.  We can be skinny unhealthy or fat unhealthy, but we can all be healthy.  period.  

So find a movement that brings you joy.  Start slow and small.  Go for walks, dance in your living room to favorite songs, swim, do yoga, rebound, learn tai chi, find the bike in the garage and get it tuned up, relearn rollerblading.   Relearn what you probably knew as a kid: movement is fun and energizing and fun is what makes life a good ride.