Who remembers high school P.E. class? It was definitely not my favorite class. Whenever someone mentioned the word exercise, this is the image that came to mind. For many, exercise is a chore, like dishes or laundry. Something that must be checked of the list every week but not something to be enjoyed.
In recent years, a movement has started to emphasize moments. This is not just a change in wording, but a change in the way we think about fitness. Running 3 miles healthy movement, but so is playing tag with your kids or going for a hike with your best friend. Squatting and standing while hanging laundry on the line is a great full body movement, so is gardening. The more you move in an enjoyable manner the more you will want to move and the better your body will work.
One of my favorite experts on whole body/whole life movement is biomechanist Katy Bowman. You can find her at www.nutritiousmovement.com. Katy stresses moving in multiple ways throughout the day rather than going to the gym to exercise for 30 minutes 3 days a week.
I love this idea that we are created to move as a part of life, not just in set times and locations. My kids don’t want to go to daycare while I spend time on an elliptical, but they love to go outside and play soccer or volleyball with me. Family hikes are a favorite spring and summer activity for us.
Last weekend we did something new – a family bike adventure. We spent the morning biking from home to park to trail to park with plenty of playground time. The kids had a great time and so did the parents. We played tag in one park and did an obstacle course in the other. The bike ride was about 5 miles long and my 9 and 6 year-olds had a blast. They particularly enjoyed leading Mom and Dad through the obstacle course. I even managed to swing across the monkey bars. Yay.
Do family bike rides and playground fun count as healthy movement? You bet!
Challenge – get outside and play this week. How will you move your body?