In the age of the COVID-19, we are being asked to respond in ways we never imagined; specifically to self-isolate…stay home…social distance. As we practice self-isolation and social distancing, we must be vigilant about safeguarding not only our physical health but our emotional well-being. We must stay healthy and sane.
I can think of no other way to do either than physical activity and movement. The importance of physical activity and movement is not new. It dates back to the beginning of time. The ability to run, walk, jump, climb, lift, carry, crawl, throw and catch things was critical for survival.
Physical activity—though not driven by the same necessities as in pre-historic times— is just as important today; even more so when you are shut-in. No matter your age, aches, pains, mental or physical abilities or disabilities, you can and must engage in some kind of physical activity if your goal is to stay healthy and sane during challenging or difficult times.
Although it feels good to be “out and about” with friends, it’s not necessary to get the physical activity and mental stimulation you need. In fact, one of the simplest and easiest ways to put both into your day is to… just move. People, who are blessed with good physical and emotional health, move naturally and regularly —whether indoors or outdoors.
To move naturally is to incorporate activity into your day that does not take a lot of time, thought or effort. Examples of natural movement activities include: standing while talking on the phone, marching in place while watching your favorite television show or movie, dancing to your favorite music (anytime, anywhere), swinging or pumping your arms while seated, standing or walking, swaying from side-to-side while cooking. Even small everyday movements like sweeping, dusting, moping or getting up to turn off a light add up over the course of the day or week. Big or small movements, they all matter.
Sometimes, I am asked, “Does sitting in a rocking chair count?” It depends. I once read that our 35th U. S. President used a rocking chair to ease his back pain. While there are some health benefits to rocking, there are other ways to move that more accurately meets the prescribed definition of physical activity and natural movement. Of course, rocking back and forth in a chair is better than nothing.
The bottom line is this: Find your natural movement of choice. Then, make it a daily habit. Be consistent, conscientious, and passionate. View every occasion as an opportunity to move. It doesn’t matter if you are sitting or standing, just move. People who move naturally have a better quality of life (and are saner) than those who don’t.
Stay healthy….stay sane…stay active.