|When you embrace a style of activity with free flowing movements, you just might experience benefits that go beyond the physical. |
People have been engaging in free flowing movements for centuries, but as a former athlete and a trainer who is often helping people to achieve a very specific goal, the idea of movement without structure is a new concept for me. In our lives we are often caught up in following a specific plan with structure, but sometimes it can be good to take a step back and just enjoy moving in a way that feels good.
If you are someone who has a negative association with exercise, simply getting active may be a perfect starting point for you. Remember some movement is always better than doing nothing at all, and there are so many activities you can try, outside of the traditional exercises such as running and cycling.
Here are some ways that you can become more active at home or outside…
Dancing: All you need is some music. Let your body move to the beat in a way that feels good to you. There are so many styles of dance classes you can join, such as Zumba, ballet or street jazz, or just give it a go at home! The aim is to move and be present in the moment, enjoying the music and surroundings.
Tai Chi: Tai chi is an art that needs instruction and practice, but once you know the basics you can do it at any time. Having tried it myself, I was surprised at just how much patience and muscle control it takes to move your body so slowly. It is very low impact and perfect for seniors.
Simple stretches: Find an area and start to stretch. You don’t have to do a specific stretch routine, just stretch the areas of your body that feel tight in a way that feels natural to you. Want to take it one step further? Try yoga.
Waist hoop: This playground classic is great for loosening up tight muscles and strengthening the core - and it’s fun!
Simple ball games: Working on your co-ordination with simple ball games is a great way to get your body moving. Even simple throw- and-catch is a good option that you can try alone or with a friend.
Hiking and walking: Enjoying your surroundings whilst walking is a great way to get active in a gentle way. Walking is an activity that you can make easy by taking a stroll or increase the intensity by adding in a variety of terrains.
Following a structured exercise routine in order to achieve specific gains is wonderful, but every now and then taking a break from the competitive and progressive style of exercise is a great way to jump start a passion for a new activity or stops you from burning out. Children on the playground have got the art of free flowing activity mastered, but as we get older we tend to be a little more self-conscious about what activities we do especially in public, so I encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone and try something new.
Written by Samantha Clayton, Senior Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife.