Maybe you make resolutions at the beginning of the year and maybe you don’t. Maybe you “made” them, but you didn’t actually write them down so you wouldn’t actually be accountable to them, or anything. Maybe you’re Persian and still have two more months before the end of the year, in which case, you don’t even need to think about resolutions yet!
Whatever the case may be, chances are, you set some intentions two weeks ago. I’m here to check in. How’s that going for you? If you’re having trouble pulling the trigger, here are a few (simple, inexpensive) suggestions to get you moving towards whole-body wellness today.
1. Take a good, hard look at your shoe collection. And get ready to bag some up for donation. Not all of them, of course, but get ready to toss that pair you never wear because you can’t actually walk in them. That pair that never really fit and give you blisters but are soooooo cute. And every pair that fits into the high-heel category. If you need to keep one for “special occasions where I don’t mind the residual ball-of-foot and low back pain the next day,” then go for it. And then ask yourself if there’s any possible way that you could have an outfit that makes you feel great without requiring you pay a penance of cartilage and bone mineral.
And, should you not want to donate your heels to unsuspecting ladies any more that you want to donate that pack of unsmoked cigarettes, check out what super-talented reader Donna H. did with her shoes:
Somewhere, a bride from 1982 is missing her shoe.
2. Identify one destination, a mile or less from your home or office, that you drive to at least 4 times a week. For me, it’s the post office. And my sister’s house. You just need to find one, and then resolve to never go there by car. This is your new on-foot destination. It’s a bit tough, at first, to not come up with about 4 or 5 justifications of why you can’t drive:
I don’t have time to get coffee without driving.
I have to get coffee before my exercise appointment.
I need to go there and I’ve got my kids.
I can’t walk with the kids, they hate to walk.
I’ve got all these boxes to carry.
How can I carry a bunch of stuff and walk at the same time? (Hint: Get a backpack.)
Let all of the excuses come out, like vomit. Then, clean up the mess and walk anyway. Your life depends on it, actually.
3. Stop using your living room furniture. Not ready to get rid of it all? Here's a secret -- you don't actually have to sit in it. Instead, you can sit on the floor and heckle everyone (your company, spouse, and children) who doesn't join you.
"Sorry, I'm unavailable to take you to the pharmacy to pick up your pain killers."
"Sorry, I'm unavailable to care for your incision wounds after your knee and hip replacements."
"Sorry, I'm unable to pay for your physical therapy."
"Sorry, I'm too busy taking care of myself to enable your poor health any longer."
It may seem they can't hear you from all the way down on the floor, but they're listening.
Resolve to sit on the floor for one full week. Maybe even start a family contest -- kids get to have a buck for every time they catch you on the couch. Believe me, they’ll start pointing it out real quick. Kids are great that way. Another consideration: Get some of that crime scene tape and wind it around all of the furniture. Those chairs are committing a felony fo' sho'.
4. Take a walk today. And on that walk, find a sign pole or bench that will help you do a nice slow stretch-squat whenever you walk past it and a branch or set of bars that you can hang from on every walk. Find a curb or log or something on which you can practice balance.
Find a more natural field or terrain that offers a little ankle work. Walking on flattened surfaces all the time won’t optimize your machine!
5. Do your alignment exercises every day.
Natural movement, like long walks most days, squatting, using 10-20 unique postures a day, and having enough upper body strength to hang and swing from one arm is the goal, but your modern-livin’ body needs to regain what it has lost before you start with the biggies. The alignment tips and exercises are designed to help you close the gap so you can transition to natural movement without hurting your tissue.
While on tour in November, I gave an hour-long lecture Understanding Inertia and Interneurons -- Why Old Habits Die Hard. I made my first podcast out of it and you can listen to it by visiting my Institute site www.restorativeexercise.com and scrolling to the bottom of the homepage. It’s my gift to you, lovely reader! I appreciate you very, very much.
We got our first snow of the year today!
And yes, I will still be taking a walk, thank you...