Friday, January 8, 2010

Moving Your Body to the Rhythm of the Winter Season


Winter is a time of rest, renewal, reflection and preparation. This is the season that we experience a turning within. The world is a little more quiet and we feel a pull to have more space to ourselves.

This season also offers plenty of opportunity for outdoor sports if you're a snow bunny. There is a plethora of activities to explore if you feel so inclined. A few that bear mentioning are:
  • Skiing - cross-country and downhill
  • Snow boarding
  • Snow shoeing
  • Ice skating
  • Ice hockey
If this is your cup of tea, I encourage you to take full advantage of the fun on offer this season. Keep in mind that winter offers other opportunities for exercise you might not readily think of such as:
  • Spending the day with the kids building snowmen and making snow angels
  • Having a good old fashioned snowball fight
  • Sledding, (once you slide down that hill you have to climb your way back up to ride again)
  • Shoveling snow to clear the driveway and entry to your home, (anyone who doesn't view this as exercise has never had to face such a task)
I would also like to suggest that you explore different forms of movement that can help you connect more deeply with that place of quiet and calm within yourself. Some options to explore would be:
  • Tai chi
  • Chi gong
  • Restorative yoga
  • Nature walks
Most importantly, I hope you will use the reflective energy of the season to help you connect with the types of movement you truly enjoy. Take some time throughout these winter months to think about the kinds of movement that give you pleasure. Perhaps it can help to reflect back on your childhood and the activities you relished as a kid. You may find some fitness inspiration in the present from exploring the archives of the past.

Make a list that you can add to over time of all the physical activities you love, or are curious about and want to explore. Think outside the box and remember that all movement is exercise. You may love to garden. On the surface this may not seem a route to fitness but you may be surprised to learn that gardening has numerous health benefits including having a strengthening effect on your muscles and bones. Be willing to open your mind to seeing movement in a new light. You may find you have a fitness buff inside of you after all!

Throughout the season, try some of the activities you have listed during your moments of reflection. How do they work for you at this point in your life? Keep what you love and ditch the rest. Make it your goal to build a life-practice of fitness engaging in activities that are fun and rewarding. When you approach movement from this angle, the time you set aside for exercise will be a pleasurable experience you look forward to.

Moving your body should feel good. You should enjoy yourself to the fullest. When exercise becomes rewarding on this deeply personal level it becomes a natural choice to dedicate yourself to providing your body with this care. This is what it's all about. Enjoy!

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