Food Is Not Your Enemy

Move and Don’t Move: Exercise and Relaxation
August 21, 2012, 9:00 am
Filed under: Exercise, Healthy Lifestyle | Tags: ,

Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Summer is often a time for play, time off, and much-deserved relaxation. Many of us use the summertime to rebuild our reserves for the rest of the busy year. In our work-crazed society, we can lose sight of the benefits of slowing down and taking time to rest. Now that summer is in full swing, it’s time to enjoy the restorative powers of reconnecting to your body through both movement and relaxation.

Our bodies love to move. Even though our bodies are healthiest when getting appropriate physical activity, we often feel dread and boredom when we hear the word “exercise.” Think for a moment of what type of movement you would consider fun as opposed to torturous. Perhaps you loathe the idea of a gym, but miss taking dance classes. Maybe you secretly want to try yoga or rollerblading. You could play touch football with your kids, walk with a neighbor in the mornings, or go for a swim. The summer offers so many choices–it’s simply up to you to choose which style of movement excites you. Your heart will benefit, your joints will feel less creaky, and you’ll sleep better at night.

Summer is a unique time of year when we can both relax and move out in nature. Take a nap in a hammock and enjoy the smell of freshly cut grass. Go to the park and read under a favorite tree. One of the greatest places to rest in the summertime is by the water. There is something about water that feels so restorative, and many of us naturally crave to be near it, by it, or in it. Heading to the water, whether it is the beach, a lake, or a pool, can be very rejuvenating.

Whether you are relaxing, exercising, or both, notice that being outside in nature has a way of quieting the mind and reconnecting us to ourselves. Often this relaxation and peace of mind are what our bodies crave the most in summer. So be sure to make time to both move, and not move!


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