We all know the importance of exercise. It’s one of the fundamentals to a healthy body. However, improper exercise can be just as damaging as not moving at all. Improper exercise can be broken down into 3 categories: uneducated movement, over strenuous movement, and sloppy movement. These 3 are usually blended or intertwined, creating devastating effects on your health.
Uneducated movement can easily be identified as improper alignment or improper use of your body during an exercise. You should have had a trained professional monitor or teach you the proper technique to perform the any exercise.
Running is a prime example. There is a science to running. The shoes you wear, how your body moves, how you breathe, where and when you run all play a role on your health from such a strenuous exercise.
Yoga also falls into the same category, how you hold a position, for how long, and how you breathe can make a big difference in your health.
Uneducated movement can lead to a serious injury that prevents you from exercising. It also may develop muscular imbalances that develop over time and create arthritis or worse conditions.
Over strenuous movements means too much for you! It doesn’t need to be an excess of weight, it can also be too long, too many times a week, or the exercise is just not right for you. If you spent 20 years at a desk, you turn 40 and decide to run a weekend marathon, what do you think the outcome will be? I hope you like hospital food!
Even certain kinds yoga can be found to be too stressful and strenuous to the body. If you are overworking yourself or pushing to reach a new goal without monitoring or listening to your own body’s limits and its needs, you’ll end up hurting yourself. Some of the outcomes could be devastating injury, heart attack, stroke, adrenal and hormonal imbalances, or worse.
Let’s take the concept that you are trying to lose weight, and so you are really trying to push yourself. You’ve obtained some goals. As you try to push harder and harder, you injure yourself, which incapacitates you. The injury stops you from exercising for a month. What happened to the momentum you had? What happened to the consistency? A month off of your routine is a long time. That’s just a month, what happens if you really take yourself out? Will you ever obtain that optimal health?
Lastly, we look at sloppy movement. This falls into exercising when you’re too mentally tired, not really paying attention to the detail of the exercise, you just want to finish the class. The body’s energy is dimming. It is similar to uneducated and too strenuous, but it could be the exercise isn’t too strenuous, you are not in the now. Going through the motion with being consciously aware can be dangerous in or out of the gym. Sloppy exercise can lead to many injuries: arthritis, tendonitis, muscle injuries, and more.
When you exercise, use your brain! Be as focused as you can possibly be. Always move with intention, with proper breathing, proper alignment, and proper force. I’ve seen people on the treadmill, read a magazine or watch TV.. They are not paying attention to their body or the movement. Exercise should be considered training of the mind and body, not just something to do for a beach body. Taking the time to be present in your body, will ensure proper judgement and use, which leads to optimal health.
Now the truth. Exercise is incredibly beneficial when done properly. It can also be rewarding when you use it to build your social life, for example dancing. There is a reason why there were masters who trained and gained knowledge of movement to train and teach others. They are found in all cultures and styles of Martial Arts, Tai Chi, Qigong, Yoga, and physical battlefield training like spartan warriors.
Exercise for 20 minutes a day with consistency, make it fun, be present, and focus on your Breathwork and movement. It doesn’t matter what type of exercise you perform and there is a mental attitude, and level of self knowledge that needs to be present. There is a Russian exercise concept called greasing the groove. Do 80% of your max, workout, exercise at your submax to prevent injury. If you injure yourself you won’t be doing your max anyway! Also, another concept is to break up your routine throughout the day. Let’s say you’re at home, assign different rooms to different exercises. Anytime you enter that room, do that exercise. Push ups in the living room, squats in the bathroom, whatever helps you exercise. If you do 10 pushups every time you enter the living room, and enter the living room 10 times; you’ve just done 100 push ups!
The truth in movement is to listen to your body, and create a healthier body through guided movement. Breathe and allow circulation to nutrify the body. Move with purpose, to keep the spine healthy, strengthen any postural imbalances, and keep a healthy muscle tone. Allow the movements and Breathwork to detoxify the body, balance the hormones, improve nervous system communication, and energize the body. Ever exercise and feel really good afterward? Refreshed? Renewed? Good, you probably listened to your body, and exercised right.