Thoughts from Cath

Its not your age. Get up and move.

Catherine Kelleher

7th June 2017

Maybe its time to MOVE?

I don't mean in a frantic, keeping busy kind of way. I am not asking you to add more busy to your busy. Stillness is important too but thats not my message today.

As we get older we tend to move less. This lack of movement, not age is what causes so many of our physical issues.

How is it for you? Do you have aches and pains that you write off to the aging process? What is your movement like? How do you feel in your body? Are you moving regularly, in all sorts of ways, preferably with intention and maybe even enjoying it or trying to make it fun?

Your body requires movement to stay healthy. I'll go further and say that the aches, pains and stiffness you feel are not due to aging. They are due to lack of movement (I'm talking general ongoing aches & pains rather than pain linked to specific illness, disease or trauma to the body; although, movement is usually helpful in these situations too).

From the perspective of Yoga, we try to keep our bodies healthy so we can focus the mind. Ever tried to sit and focus when the body is screaming distraction?

Thomas Hanna, somatics educator and researcher sums it up perfectly in this extract from one of his book, 'Somatics: reawakening the mind's control of movement. flexibility and health':

"No advice is more treacherous than this: 'Now that you are getting older, you ought to slow down a bit.' This is a pathway leading directly to decreptitude. Such advice is not only debilitating; it is also deadly.

It is part of the traditional myth of aging that increasing age should mean decreasing physical activity. But folk wisdom can be profoundly wrong. In this case, it helps bring on the very loss of well-being that it presumes to avoid.

The truth is very different. If you want to pin a motto to the wall, pin up this one: 'Function maintains structure.' The more popular motto is: 'Use it or lose it'. This advice is correct; anatomically, physiologically, and neurologically. For example, if our bones are not regularly used to bear substantial weights and to sustain strong forces, they become soft. If our muscles are not regularly used in challenging and skilled activities, they become weaker and less responsive. If our brain cells are not systematically involved in a wide variety of voluntary activities they deteriorate.

This softening, weakening, and deterioration of our resources takes place gradually and insidiously - not because of aging but because of what we cease to do as we age."

So, if you have spent the day sitting, stand up and move. If you can get outside, go walk, preferably over some bumpy uneven ground. Feel your body. Notice what it is trying to tell you and take some action. A body that is listened to will tell you so much.

Movement does not need to be daunting. It can be little changes made often during the day. For inspiration I would highly recommend the work of Katy Bowman, Biomechanist and general all round 'movement hero' of mine. Her website and youtube channel have much to keep you going

So, try it. And then see how you feel. Because today could be as good as its gets. Or it could be the start to feeling better, starting with some little changes to bring more movement. I know people in their 50's, 60's and 70's who would claim to have better movement and feel better in their bodies now than ever before. It is not a fluke. They make a choice to move. Everyday.

Go on, give it a go. I'll be out there with you. Trying my best.

Cath x