Feel the Ground

How often do you think about feeling the ground beneath you?
How does your foot land as you move?  What does it feel like as you stand still?

Right now, take a minute and stand up.   Stand as you typically do.
Feel the ground beneath you. 
Where is your weight distributed?
Are you on your heels?  Or more toward the toes?  Feel any tension?
Do you clench your toes?  Do your shoes allow you to feel the ground?
(if not, that’s ok – you might slip them off for a second, and then limit your time in those shoes)
Sway on your feet until you find a stable position (not on the heel, and not on the toes, evenly distribute your weight).   Wiggle your toes.
Lengthen your spine, exhale and connect to the earth. 

Why would you do this?
Most of us use our feet all day long (even if you sit at desk), and yet we don’t pay them a whole lot of attention.
You might have even acquired some bad habits over the years, and thus made compensations further up the chain.  How you stand on your feet can affect your ankles, legs, hips, etc.

This week, notice how you connect to the ground.  Catch yourself as you run or walk, stand still or move slowly. Where do you stand on your feet?  Can you distribute the weight evenly?  Where does your foot primarily land as you move?  Do you roll over your big toe, or outward?
Be curious, relax and aim to feel the ground.

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”~ Thich Nhat Hanh

You have permission.

How’s your body today?  Take a moment and check it out.
When was the last time you had a massage?
I saw this infographic, and read that 16% of adult Americans received a massage in a year’s time.  16%?!?!

Now I know, that during that same amount of time, those people that drive cars filled them with gas.  They had the oil changed every so often, and when the engine light came on, drove straight to a mechanic.

Why wouldn’t you do the same for your body?

If food is fuel, consider a massage an oil change.
Massages release tension.  They relax and normalize soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments), increase circulation and boost the immune system ~ see the infographic here for even more benefits.  

A massage is preventative care for your body.  Taking care of it today, so you can stay out on the road of life, doing the things that you love to do.
So I wanted to remind you, that you have permission to take care of your body.
You have permission to take care of you.
Just in case you forgot.
This is just as important, if not more so, as taking care of your car.
If massage isn’t your thing, find something that is (yoga, mediation, foam rolling, etc.).

Your body is the most important instrument you own.
How will you care for it today?

Five Practices For Weaving Health Into Your Every Day.

Over the past year, I’ve talked about health with just about anyone that will listen.

Health:  (noun) the general condition of the body or mind with reference to soundness and vigor

While this is Webster’s definition, true health means something different for each of us, and there are many ways to get there.  What I’ve noticed though, is that the most fit people I know, weave health into their every day. For them, health isn’t something to check off of a list, it’s something to live.

So what does that look like?  How do you weave health into your every day?
Here are five practices to help:

1) Move More. This isn’t just about parking further away at the store, or taking the stairs. Search your day for opportunities to move. How can you sneak it in? Exercise at lunch (who needs an hour to eat?? Go for a run or walk, and eat at your desk). Walk down the hall instead of sending that email. Bike to work. Take your calls on the move. Stand during the meeting. Just because everyone else is sitting, doesn’t mean you have to. Move every chance you get.

2) Make it enjoyable. Let’s be honest, if you hate it, you’re not going to do it. So how do you make movement enjoyable? Download a podcast, and listen while you walk the dog. Make a playlist. Recruit a friend. Buy an outfit that makes you feel great. Exercise outdoors, in a beautiful spot. Do something to make your movement a source of pleasure.

3) Make it a mindful practice. Exercise to tune in, not out. Pay attention to what it feels like. How do your feet strike the ground? How are you breathing? Are you holding tension? What are you thinking?  Read this recent article from the NY Times about the link between mindfulness and satisfaction during exercise.  As much as you can, be present as you move.

4) Fuel your body to move. After you eat, notice how you feel. Do you feel heavy? Are you tired? Still hungry? Or do you feel like you could go for a walk or a run? How does what you’ve eaten serve you? We eat for many reasons – pleasure, celebration, boredom, comfort, etc. – but the primary reason to eat is fuel. Pay attention, and fuel to move.

5) Preventative practice. In order to BE healthy, to maintain your health, you want to take care of your body right now. After all, as someone once said, “If you don’t take care of your body, where will you live?” Practice preventative care. Massages. Essential Oils. Whole foods. Exercise. Stretching. Foam Rolling. Love. Dark Chocolate. What will you do to take care of you?

 

Remember, you don’t have to overhaul your life all in one day.  Start small.
What one thing will you do to weave health into your every day?

Why the MoveMeant “Challenge”?

Why the MoveMeant “challenge”?
Why not a mission? Or revolution? Or way?
That’s a good question, and the program could really be any of those things.
Plus, challenge seems soooo negative or competitive, right?
Wrong.
I think we often challenge gets a bad rap, and most people tend to shy away from it.
Like it’s this difficult thing to merely survive or get through.
A challenge can be that, but it doesn’t have to be.

challenge (noun) something that by its nature or character serves as a call to battle, contest, special effort, etc.

I want the MoveMeant challenge to be a call to a special effort.
Your special effort.

I LOVE a challenge. I want to see what I can do while I’m here – and I want you to join me.
We don’t all have to do the same thing.
Challenges come in many forms, shapes and sizes.
Success isn’t guaranteed. And that’s the beauty of it.
Getting out of your comfort zone.
Seeing what you can and can’t do. Getting support from others that are challenging themselves.
Learning. Making adjustments and trying again. Or doing something new entirely.
To be challenged, and perhaps changed by that challenge.
Too often we live on auto-pilot, doing the same things day in and day out.
(I know that I have been guilty of that)
The MoveMeant Challenge is here to shake that up.
To challenge you to weave health into your every day.
To push the limits of what you think you can do (because you can always do more…), or challenge you to slow it down and take it all in.

Choose to be uncomfortable.
Join the MoveMeant Challenge today.

 

I don’t have any wrinkles.

I’ve noticed that I don’t have any wrinkles.
If I don’t laugh, raise my eyebrows, talk, or move my face in any way AND, you don’t look too closely.
I never get physically sore, when I keep my same routine, moving my muscles (or not) in similar ways each day.

I make very few mistakes (sometimes).  I avoid that feeling of failure, when I stay safe and don’t try new things.

But that’s not the point is it?
To remain wrinkle and mistake free, never having tested our bodies, or our lives.
Never having known the “soreness” of something new.

To live, to love, to be is an action – even when you’re standing still.
Even when you don’t know what to do next, you breathe (hint: deeply).
And ponder what’s next.
Perhaps considering new things, maybe holding steady as is.

So, what’s your next move???

Get out there and get sore (in the body or mind), make some mistakes and create a new laugh line, or two!

Move.  you are meant to.

Why I Run…(a series)

Exercise is big business this time of year.  whyirun
Gyms and studios are packed, only to be abandoned by mid-February.
While getting in shape or losing weight may get you to the gym, or out on the road – those reasons alone, aren’t going to keep you there.  You’re going to have to dig deeper than that.

There are many reasons why I run, and today’s post is probably reason number one.
I read an article in which Jenn, founder of Run Pretty Far, mentioned that she runs outside to feel better inside.

To that, I say AMEN.
Just the other day I ran out a pretty bad attitude, all before 7am.  How’s that for exercise?!?!
Get outside, to feel better inside.

move.  you are meant to.

What are you looking forward to?

As we begin 2015, what are you looking forward to?
You may have set some resolutions or made some goals for the new year.
Or you may not.
No matter how you began January 1, the new year screams possibility.
Full disclosure: I love the new year and new goals or resolutions.  I love September, with the start of school.  I’m pretty much a sucker for new beginnings and continual growth.

And so I ask, what are you looking forward to in 2015?
Travel?
Participating in a race?
Setting a PR?
Moving your body more?
(re)Connecting with friends?
The road trip?
A work project?
Love?
Building or creating something new?
What are you looking forward to?

It helps, with any journey, to have something on the horizon – something to move toward.
Sprinkle your year with movement.  Things to look forward to.
And if you’re so inclined, I’d love to know, share in the comments below.

Swim in possibility with a heart full of love.

MoveMeant Challenge is Now Open For Registration.

MMC2015Do you have a health or fitness goal you’d like to achieve in 2015?
If you’re like many people, you’ve got in mind a few resolutions or goals for the upcoming year.
AND, if you’re like most, those resolutions will be dropped and mostly forgotten by March.
The average person sets the same resolution ten years in a row.

This year, don’t be average – join the Movemeant Challenge.
Gain support, accountability, community, and a little push to not only achieve your goal, but to weave health into your every day.

For more details and to register go here.

Move. you are meant to.

Movement as sacred practice.

What if movement was a sacred practice in your life?
Or better yet, how can you make movement a sacred practice?
Not something you check off of a list, but something you live.
Something you LOVE.

Sacred ~ (adj) reverently dedicated to some person, purpose, or object; regarded with reverence.

What if you dedicated your movement practice to yourself ~ to becoming more you?
What if you regarded movement with respect?
Movement, either forward or backward.
Movement in the physical sense, but also mentally.
You are meant to move.
Exercising more.  Walking every day.  Running.  Yoga.  Weights.  Pilates,  Zumba.
Engaging and being present in your body.
Yet also, stretching your mind.
Taking a new class.  Speaking up in public.  Getting lost, and finding your way.  Stretching outside of your comfort zone.  Making new friends.  Feeding your passion.
Engaging, and being present in your mind. 
Movement.  As sacred practice.
move.  you are meant to.

 

Need some help in making movement sacred?
Join the MoveMeant Challenge today.

What do you love about the holiday season?

If you’re anything like me, you’ve received a ton of emails in the past week with all kinds of sales:  Black Friday.  Cyber Monday.  Small business Saturday.  (Who comes up with this stuff???)  You may have also heard people talk about the “Holiday madness” or “Christmas crazy”.  (Words are power, people.  Use them wisely.)  Or  you may have been witness to a meltdown.  In a parking lot, someone losing it over a parking space.  Or a rant online (or in person) about any number of things.

I’ve witnessed all of these things already, and it’s only the beginning of December.
So I’m asking you today, what do you love about the holiday season?
Doesn’t matter what you do, or don’t, celebrate.
What do you love about this time of year?
The fact is – you have a choice.  
You can get caught up in the so-called madness, or you can choose to appreciate what you love.

Me?  I love Christmas lights. And extra-hot, hot chocolate.  Cheesy Christmas music and the hope for snow.  Yes, I have a ton of stuff to do, and I can get lost in that overwhelm, or I can choose to breathe and appreciate the magic that this time of year holds for my children (and for me).
It’s all too easy to fall in line with that person ranting about crazy drivers or the “commercialization” of Christmas, but it’s much for fun to celebrate.  Celebrate the love that surrounds you. 
Redirect your thinking and focus on what you love.

It’s a choice.  Your choice.  Choose wisely.

may you be surrounded by love, laughter and the magic of the season.