Do away with exercise and try movement instead
20 January 2023 – 3 min read
In this week’s blog, we’re exploring Paul Chek’s second pillar for health: Movement.
We’ve all heard those words of encouragement when we’re in a bit of a slump or feeling lethargic - get your body moving and you’ll feel better.
And it’s true, there are huge benefits in getting your blood pumping, including but not limited to releasing endorphins that can help reduce stress, and helping channel our emotions in a positive, physical way.
But many of us associate movement with exercise, but the reality is they’re quite different.
Movement can be small, simple and subtle - it can literally be as tiny as breaking up your work day with a fidget toy. From micro-movements to long walks and even a bit of weight-training, these movements can help maintain blood vessel function, control blood glucose levels, improve circulation, increase lymphatic drainage, and even have positive benefits on your body’s hydration, allowing water to get into cells more effectively.
Exercise is more focused on high-intensity activity, and putting your body in a stressed state to burn calories. And while this absolutely has its benefits for those who are healthy, if your body is already in a chronically stressed state, exercise can actually deplete more than it invigorates, which can lead to burn out. Interestingly, Paul Chek suggests that this day and age calls more for movement than exercise to reduce the added intensity and stress it can cause the body.
So if you’re feeling a bit so-so and your first thought was to book in with a trainer and sweat out an entire day’s water consumption, it might be worth considering starting out with some small movements to nurture your body instead.
If this feels more your speed, and you’re not sure where to start, here’s what we’ve found helps us:
Standing desks: Seems gimmicky, but they have their benefits when used to break up the long hours of sitting in the day. Standing desks can help blood glucose levels normalise faster after eating, and can help relieve pressure on your spine after extended periods of sitting.
Walking: Walking is so underrated. While running may feel like the quickest way to blow off steam and burn some energy, a long walk (especially in the morning before eating) can help burn fat, improve cardio fitness, lower blood pressure, and is also a great outlet for your mental health.
Stretching: A few minutes of stretching can do wonders for your body. It can help improve circulation, relieve tension in the body, increase hydration and can help improve your mood and focus.
Yin Yoga: Because Yin Yoga focuses on gentle, relaxing postures and movement, it can help boost your circulation, focus your breathing, promote relaxation, and balance emotions.
Tai Chi: Low impact, these exercises can help gently move and stretch the body to help improve strength and balance and lower blood pressure.
- Qigong: Focused on a holistic approach to movement, it targets the body, mind, and spirit to help improve and maintain wellbeing, and is known to help reduce feelings of anxiety.