Sir Isaac Newton. Now HE was a smart guy, wasn't he? I think it's safe to say that he had some pretty good ideas!
Gravity, the Laws of Motion, and the fact that the Earth and its planetary neighbors revolve around the sun rather than the other way around, are all Newton's doing. While all of those ideas impact us on a daily basis, there's one specific idea that I want to hone in on today. That is Newton's first law of motion: An object at rest stays at rest, and an object in motion stays in motion.
I guess today's topic is more of a question for you: Are you an object at rest, or an object in motion?
For most of us, sadly, the scale tips toward us being objects at rest. We used to move. A lot, actually. But these days...not so much. I talked on Egoscue LIVE! recently about how we, essentially, live our lives in a 3' x 3' x 3' cube. Rarely do we move outside of that box, and the vast majority of our "movement" is accomplished by our hands and wrists. That's not a good plan of attack if we're looking to keep this machine we call our body working at its optimum level.
When we are at rest (and therefore staying at rest), we are basically telling our body that it's okay to not move. We're giving ourselves the green light to stay parked at a red light. That doesn't make much sense, does it?
Now, please hear me--I'm not saying we shouldn't rest. Far from it, actually. I believe "resting" is crucial to our systems. Resting allows us to hit the "reset" button. Sleep is important. I love sleep. The over-stressed workaholic who tells you he doesn't need more than four hours of sleep each night is 1) lying, and 2) headed for a rude awakening (no pun intended). We absolutely, positively need down time.
But we also need "up" time. We have to move, we're designed to move, and we have to do it daily. Actually, we need to move multiple times each day, but the vast majority of us are falling well short of that much-needed goal. Not only will we have more energy and less pain by moving more, but we'll also be more attentive, and our brains will function at a higher rate. That "afternoon fog" will magically melt away.
If you don't believe me that you are an "object at rest," then it's time you start keeping a "motion journal." Pete Egoscue suggests this activity in his book Pain Free and thinks your day might look something like this:
Hour 1: Woke up, showered, dressed, made breakfast, drove the kids to school.
Hour 2: Drove to work, answered phone messages
Hour 3: Attended meeting, reviewed annual-report draft
Hour 4: Interviewed job applicant, made calls, had lunch at desk.
Hour 5: Meeting--boring!
Hour 6: Cab to client's office, discussed problems and prospects
Hour 7: Cab back to my office, answered phone message, drafted memo.
Hour 8: Conferred with Ronnie and Alice, went through the mail.
Hour 9: Drove to the grocery store, shopped, drove home.
Hour 10: Prepared dinner, ate, did cleanup.
Hour 11: Drove to choir practice, practiced.
Hour 12: More choir practice.
Hour 13: Drove home, helped kids with homework.
Hour 14: Did office paperwork, checked the computer for E-mail.
Hour 15: Watched TV, got ready for bed, went to bed.
While that may not be your exact schedule, I'm guessing it's pretty close. Clearly, with the exception of walking to hail a cab, or down the hall for the meeting with Ronnie and Alice (if the meeting wasn't in this person's office), there's not a lot of motion listed in this example. And, I think it's safe to assume there wouldn't be much motion listed in your journal, either.
Sure, dropping down on the ground and spontaneously doing push-ups and sit-ups may be frowned upon in your workplace, but there are some thing you can do to ensure that you're in motion throughout your day. Here are some suggestions:
Hold a walking meeting.
Reach overhead with both hands.
Twist laterally at the waist.
Use the restroom on a different floor and take the stairs to get there.
Turn your head and look as far to the left and right as possible.
Stand on one leg.
I suggest our clients set a timer each hour and take a five- to ten-minute motion break. Having an audible reminder is a good way to break out of the object-at-rest cycle. Remember, we are designed to be in motion. Movement is the key to a highly-functioning metabolic system, and the faster the metabolic rate, the healthier the individual. If you're an "object at rest," that means your metabolic system is "at rest." Keep in mind that as your metabolic rate decreases, so will your health! So if you're sick and tired of being sick and tired, that very well might be your body's way of telling you to be an object in motion!
Newton was a smart guy! Don't forget how important his laws of motion are throughout your day!
QUESTION: What's your favorite way to stay in motion through the day?
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