Three easy ways to move with intention.

Do you move with intention?
If you’re thinking, “What in the hell is that?”, you’re not alone.

Intention (noun) ~ the end or object intended; purpose.

Moving with intention is essentially the same as moving with purpose.
Do you move with purpose?
I believe that the answer to that question, more often than not, is no.
Most of us live life from the shoulders up.  Ignoring our bodies and using distraction to get through.
Putting the ear buds in and tuning out, rather than in.

Why not try something new, and move with intention?  Here are three easy ways to begin:

1) Move. Our society makes it incredibly easy to move very little throughout the day – so much so, that we spend hundreds of dollars every year on exercise. While I love mixing up my exercise routine and I’m not against the gym, it’s as simple as moving your body. Park further away. Take the stairs. Return the shopping cart to the store. Walk down the hall, instead of sending that email.  Let it be easy. Intend to move.

2) Unplug. Unplug for two reasons. The first being that when you’re “plugged in” – you lose a sense (or two). Listening to music/chatting on the phone impairs your ability to hear other things. It also can impair your ability to see – or at least be present. You’re not truly engaged with your surroundings. You can’t hear that bike coming up behind you, or see the cross walk sign.  And, you miss some of the joy of movement in your lack of presence.  The second reason is that your body will fall in line to the cadence of whatever you’re listening to. Slow songs = slow cadence (think longer time on each foot) and faster songs = faster cadence (think less time on each foot, thus less chance for injury).
You don’t have to unplug all of the time, but the more aware of your movement and your surroundings, the better.

3) Use pain as an indicator. Most people feel pain and they do one of two things: stop or push it away/ignore it. Pain is simply an indication: you’re doing something wrong. Adjust. Now, obviously, if it’s acute and severe pain, stop. But if your knee starts to hurt, or your foot is cramping – adjust. Shorten your stride. Wiggle your toes. If you back hurts, get up and walk around.  See if you can make the pain go away. Pain ignored becomes some sort of “~itis” (plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, etc.) or if it’s pushed away for long enough, some sort of surgery. Don’t go that far. Use pain as an indication to adjust.

You’ve moved mindlessly for long enough – it’s time to tune in.  How do you move, or sit still?
Move with intention.