Make daily movement part of your routine

Modern life is so sedentary. If you have body pain or stiffness, fatigue, headaches, low mood or mood swings, think about incorporating more movement into your routine.

It’s easy to get complacent about movement practices. Ever since a friend strongly encouraged me to start walking many years ago, my outdoor walks have become almost non-negotiable. It turns out cold winter days are my favorite…with the appropriate gear, of course! I really notice a difference in my mood, my energy, and my sleep when I get at least three hour-long walks per week into my schedule.

Several years ago, I made an appointment with Michelle Mariska of Healing Motion Therapy because I was dealing with rib and low back pain. She practices the Egoscue Method, which heals pain by correcting posture through specific stretching and strengthening exercises. I was amazed how happy I was to make space in my day to do these exercises because I felt so much better afterwards. My posture and my strength improved greatly. I highly recommend working with Michelle if you have chronic musculoskeletal pain. She works both in person and remotely.

Over the past couple of years, I have continued to do a blend of exercises that Michelle prescribed to me, as well as some yoga poses every morning. Doing these activities helps to keep me out of pain when I’m standing all day at work.

A couple of months ago, I was having a conversation with a friend, and she brought up that she had started doing daily yoga by following Yoga with Adriene on YouTube. I especially loved that my friend said, laughing, “Some days I wonder how Adriene knew just what I needed!”

I had heard of Yoga with Adriene so many times, but had never checked it out. I decided it was finally time, and I have been doing yoga every day since. Some days I do a 10-minute session and other days I do a 30-minute session. The more I do, the more I want to do. I have noticed a big change in my core strength and flexibility, not to mention my calmness. I love that Adriene offers a wide variety of routines, from gentle and meditative to more strenuous and flowing. She also has playlists divided by type and duration. I have saved my favorite videos in my own playlist, which makes it easier to select the best routine for the day.

I highly recommend finding a movement practice that you can easily fit into your life. It’s especially convenient to have things that you can do at home on a regular basis. So many people who were going to a gym regularly before the pandemic lost their routine during the lockdown. Thankfully, we have resources on the internet and practitioners working over Zoom to help us feel better and establish a healthy routine.