Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and who was given to you by God? 1 Corinthians 6:19, The Good News Bible – Today’s English Version
We are built to move and move we must if we are to thrive. Our ancestors didn’t think twice about strenuous labor, it was all in a day’s work. If they wanted to eat, they needed to hunt, gather and/or farm. If they wanted a drink or to wash up, they needed to fetch water from the creek. If they wanted to visit their neighbor or go to town, they had to walk there or saddle a horse and ride. They worked their bodies hard every day just to live.
It’s not to say we don’t work hard today, but meeting our basic needs does not require the same physical intensity that it once did. Need food? Order online and have it delivered. Need a drink? Turn on the faucet. Want to go to church? Stream it into your living room. Attend a meeting or visit with friends? Zoom from your room. All this technology is great, especially in a pandemic, it’s just that it doesn’t require us to move very much.
Maintaining a physically active lifestyle benefits your bones, muscles, and emotions. Exercise for most of us has now become an intentional, secondary activity in our lives, and we don’t always make time for it. It truly is hard sometimes to motivate ourselves out of sit-mode even if we know that the more we move the easier it is to move. So what to do?
In this day and age when we are busy and are trying to simplify our lives, fitting in intentional exercise can seem complicated. There are ways to add steps in our everyday life. Commonly stated actions include taking the stairs, parking farther away from the store, and carrying your shopping bags (if it’s reasonable) as you walk back to your car, try adding bicep curls for an extra boost. What if you’re stuck standing in a long line? Maybe pass the time by aligning your posture. Stand evenly on both feet, suck in your gut, align your shoulders over your hips, your head over your shoulders, and look forward (not up or down). If you want more of a challenge raise up and down on your tippy toes, this movement helps with your balance as well as builds muscle. Still standing there? Flex your feet one at a time and stretch your calves. Be creative, have fun thinking of ways to covertly move while performing your daily tasks.
Engaging in activities you enjoy and trying ones that sound interesting to you are also simple ways to get moving without it being a chore. The town recreation center is full of activities waiting to be enjoyed. Mosey on down to and check it out, alternately you can view their program listing online, and then mosey on down to join in. Use technology to help find an activity, the same technology that lets us go shopping without leaving home, also provides us with a wide variety of online exercise options. YouTube has a plethora of instructors who offer free, accessible 10-minute (or longer) videos for beginners and advanced. My favorites include Kassandra (yoga), and Jessica Valant (Pilates), but I’ve also tried Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and Jazzercise.
One of my favorite activities is my after-dinner passeggiata (pass-i-jatta is Italian for a leisurely stroll). This simple act of walking sets the body in motion, aids with digestion and lifts your spirits. There are evenings however (think cold, rain, exhausting day) that I’d rather sit on the couch. On those days I intentionally call upon Nike’s motto “just do it” and I gear up for the weather and go. Even if it’s a short passeggiata I’m always glad I took it.
So now, get moving 🙂 You’ll be glad you did.
Submitted by Marj Bovenzi