My Herbs Blog
I believe exercise and movement is very important. Let me start again. If you have been following along, or not following along, I am doing a series of 100 blog posts, and 100 videos on the "Secret Tips" I've learned from being an Herbalist. These tips are observational, through revelation, study and personal experience. I hope that what I have to share will help you on your own health journey.
I love this picture. This is perfect, and exactly the type of exercise I want to do. I love to hike. I love to walk in beautiful scenic areas. I also love to break out into a run sometimes, and do some cartwheels. I was a career athlete, until my career ended after my freshmen year of college. My dad is a Pennsylvania Hall of Fame wrestling coach for our county. Sports were his life, and they became my life. I was on the track for a Gymnastics scholarship, but after a series of injuries, I abandoned that sport. Then I quickly got on track for soccer career in college, playing on 3 different soccer teams during high school.
After my freshmen year I was entirely burned out, and my body was exhausted. Now- I did not know how to take care of my body. All during my sports years I had decent nutrition, but not optimal for the excessive hours of practice that I was committed too. Injury and pain were my constant companion, which I covered up with pain medication- some prescription, others just from the pharmacy, but truly just as equally damaging to liver health.
In my 20's I learned Yoga. I fell in love with this practice and the peace and calm I felt after each session. I also fell in love with walking, and hiking, and doing sports for fun. I had done the 6:00 a.m. workouts, and the midday workout followed by evening practices, for years. I had run miles and miles and miles, and pushed my body until it felt like it would break. I iced, and taped, and spread on Tiger balm before every game, every practice, and had leg cramps often in the evening when I tried to sleep.
I have to say the thought of "exercise" became an anathema to me. I wanted to be outside and move my body, but have fun! I had always loved to swim, and every summer I swim, as much as possible. I love walking for miles on a sunny day breathing in the air, and identifying plants, and feeling the sun. I love to run with my kids, and carry garden pots, and dig in the earth. Is this not all exercise? Maybe it isn't to some people- but after experiencing extreme exercise, it is just what I need.
I never sit all day long. I have never done this. Ok- only if very ill, which does not occur very often. I am not a sitter. I move. I move all day. Movement is good. Movement is what we should aim for. Find 5 different movements that you love and rotate them. Do not make exercise a bore, or a stress, or a "have to" thing. I think most often people are over compensating for excessive eating. Try to find balance in a healthy lifestyle, and good food choices.
The main reason I do not advocate extreme exercise, especially if you are recovering from something, or have any chronic issue, is that it really stresses the body. I am not talking about NO exercise- but extreme. I define extreme as exercising for hours a day until you are exhausted, drained, and need to sleep the rest of the day to recover. I think it is normal to feel a little more in need of sleep after a very active day, but your exercise should not be hurting you.
I think the best way I can think about what exercise looks like, is by watching my kids play. They run, jump, laugh, roll, climb, dig, and just plain old move. I notice how my three year old is getting stronger and stronger as she works and plays in her environment, trying more, carrying more, doing more.
Let me recap by suggesting you find outdoor movements and some indoor that you love to do. Do it for joy. Do it to feel good, and stop when your body tells you to stop. This is healthy, and loving. God bless.
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