Methinks that the moment my legs began to move, my thoughts began to flow. - Henry David Thoreau
Observations of astronauts shows that when they return from space, these super-fit men and women ‘walk like old people’. The problem? Lack of gravity in space—and lack of a horizon to orient themselves to—which results in deterioration of vital connections in their balance or vestibular systems.
Joan Vernikos, Ph.D., former Chief Life Scientist at NASA and author of Sitting Kills, Moving Heals, made the study and realised that what we call the ageing process—including walking like an old person (wide based gait without swinging arms, eyes fixed downwards)—actually has nothing to do with a person’s age. It is simply that as people get older, they stop moving their bodies through space in ways that maintain balance. Long periods of inactivity, sitting down, causes us to lose our orientation and disconnects us from our vestibular system or ability to balance.
Vernikos’s astronauts returned to their former fitness levels and achieved perfect balance once they returned to normal activities and exercise routines but If they had tried to stabilise themselves simply through immobilising their bodies and being afraid of falling, their deterioration - or ageing - would have continued.
The message here is that muscle and balance doesn’t deteriorate with age - only with lack of use.
What’s the use?
Doing a little exercise every day contributes more to your general health and wellbeing than two or three longer weekly sessions. Just 20 minutes is enough to change the way the brain processes information and memories and then the benefits multiply over time - even after only one session your brain function will begin to improve and after a week of regular exercise you will feel your energy levels increase and your cells will start to benefit. After just one month you’ll have increased your muscle mass and your metabolism and after six months your heart will be bigger and stronger. There’s icing on the cake…….. for every day of exercise your mental health benefits more and more.
An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day - Henry David Thoreau
Including exercise in your morning routine helps you get the day started in a wonderful frame of mind and has such positive benefits for your mood and the energy you’ll have for other activities throughout the day.
Use the following stretching practice to begin each day to develop a strong core and be able to move with a confident, elegant stride. My daughter Katie (KatieKFitness) says that when you focus your mind on the muscles you are moving or stretching, it multiplies the effects of those movements making your practice much more effective.
How flow can you go?
Why not check out Tai Chi or Chi Gong - these along with yoga are often described as meditation in motion and are ancient practices which improve health, fitness, wellbeing and longevity, each cultivating the chi or life force that flows through the body’s energy pathways by combining movement, breathing and meditation.
Enjoy your day,
Magical Rest companion workbook available.
Rest is the potent elixir that fuels the efficiency of everything we do, are and wish to be. We rest for healing, for wisdom, for radiance and for love. I have created the Magical Rest 30 day program as a stand alone personal month long journey through the resting of all of your being, mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, creatively, sensory and socially. Each day gifts you a restful exercise, practice or ritual and sets some reflective work to help you connect more fully to your own inner wisdom and personal magic.
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