Thursday, April 8, 2010

Move Your Whole Body

There's a Curves gym a short walk from my house, and I just got back from a good, relaxing workout. I have to admit that words like "exercise", "workout" and "gym" bring to mind images of a roomful of sweaty people who look determined but not very happy. I've tried to change my mind set to "move your whole body" every day.

For a Mini-vacation that may mean walking up and down the stairs 3 times or doing knee lifts for 1 minute; for a Pause of the Day, that may mean a walk around the block (twice if you have little blocks) or mopping the kitchen floor.

Yesterday, "move your whole body" meant transferring winter clothes from the master bedroom into another bedroom closet and moving the spring/summer clothes in. It took 30 minutes of hauling clothes from one room to another and folding things into drawers. Talk about your weight training, cardio, and stretching!

Other days, it means Tai Chi or an exercise video or calisthenics chosen from a FitDeck. Some days I take two breaks--one to vacuum the downstairs, another to vacuum the upstairs.

My aunt doesn't run through the commercials on her recorded TV shows. During the commercials, she gets up and walks around room. For an hour show, there's 15 minutes of movement without even trying hard. Chasing your dog, chasing your children, chasing your spouse (Ooh La La!). All these count.

If your parent is wheelchair-bound and taking her out for a roll would give you both pleasure, then go ahead.

You don't have to think "sport" or "workout". Just think "Get up off my backside and move my whole body." And make sure that PLEASURE is a key component of the experience.

Take some time right now. What activities can you identify that are not sports or traditional exercise, but that allow you to move? What do you already have available to you (videos, a gym close by, a jump rope, catchy music with a beat) that you can have on hand for a Mini-vacation or POD? What types of movement do you enjoy or that complete a chore you'd like to finish?

Blessings on your movement...and your caregiving!

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