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Movement Diet – Sarra Whicheloe

Exercise, nutritious fresh food, positive relationships and relaxation are essential for a healthy lifestyle. What is often overlooked is the effect of a varied range of movement and body position on our wellbeing. What do you ‘feed’ yourself daily? What impressions does your environment make on your body? For example the difference between walking on concrete in heeled shoes as opposed to walking in trainers on grass.

A healthy body requires a variety of ‘pressures’. The ‘pressure’ is the impact of the environment on your body. The clothes and shoes we wear and the spaces that we move in all have a pressure. How do you move when in tight jeans as opposed to in loose trousers? How do you move when you are in a spacious room or a garden as opposed to in a cluttered room? It may seem slight but over time repetitive ways of moving become engrained in the body leading to stiffness.

Our body position in that environment also affects our muscles usage and circulation. People often complain of back pain after sitting for long periods at work or in the car. Intersperse sitting with other positions of the body, like standing and then walking to help free up the hips and back. Where possible try sitting in different ways like kneeling or squatting. These are natural positions of the body yet many people find them challenging.

Modern appliances are a valuable addition but we must not overlook how they have changed the way that we move. Grinding spices in a pestle and mortar, as well as kneading and wringing when washing clothes use the body in unique ways. Then there is also the difference between walking or cycling to post a letter and automatically jumping in the car. With the time saved by modern technology let’s take care that our leisure time does not become more sitting. Many back and hip problems are aggravated by too much sitting.

Bring movement into your day and your body will begin to feel stronger and more flexible. Begin to notice your movement diet- how is your posture, what movement have you done today and in what type of environment? With awareness comes the opportunity for positive change. Enjoy the freedom of body and mind.

How to get moving?

  • Can you walk or cycle to any of your weekly activities/work?
  • Find a couple of movements that feel good in the morning and do them most days. For example arms up to the ceiling, out to the side and down
  • Get up from your desk and do some stretches for a couple of minutes. Do this throughout the day
  • Sit on your chair in different ways. Sit on the floor sometimes
  • Barefoot time
  • Walk whenever you can
  • Dance (even around the kitchen) Be playful
  • Yoga- Join a class near you and practice at home with Sarra Yoga YouTube Channel.

Sarra Yoga has been offering yoga classes at Cranleigh Arts since 2008. There is a class for everyone from Gentle, to Beginners and Intermediate. Visit www.sarrayoga.co.uk to claim your free taster class.

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