Further into the series of Exercise routines for over 40 set out exercise, movement and mind routines that we require to adopt and adhere to daily in order to maintain good health both presently and into the future, Today we are going to be exploring flow of movement, what it is, identify why we require it in our combination of exercises and why flow of movement is essential for our well-being.
What is flow of movement.
Exercise on its own is insufficient to keep us in tip-top fitness condition. We need to address the many movement requirements that are required to navigate through our daily lives and can include tasks as simple as going round a puddle in the street or indeed crossing it to more difficult and diverse ones such as stepping on stones or climbing ladders which entail more complex movement from us and includes us to call upon our balance and hand to eye dexterity. Think of it as watching a graceful ballet performer or a top athlete ‘in the zone’ who make every move look effortless, graceful and purposeful. That belies the many hours spent in movement exercises to enable the fluidity in movement to be viewed as a work of art from those watching that movement and it is so much admired that it probably is no surprise to you to know that gymnastics are the top watched events during the Olympics. Only one does not have to be a top rated athlete to enjoy the benefits of incorporating movement exercises into our daily exercise routines.
Benefits of Movement Routines.
1. Strength and more fluid and controlled movement.
The objective is to get your body movement synchronized with how you control that movement speeding up or slowing down while concentrating on your breathing and holding your body tension in doing so. This results in the building of strength and capability improvements. Even if you are not achieving professional movement just the aim of setting them as a goal presents amazing improvements.
2. Movement one step at a time is not realistic in real life.
As alluded to in the introduction our movements in real life are not mechanical we have to negotiate using many moving parts and muscles in support of them and indeed a diverse number of positions during our daily lives. Being able to be fluid in those many movements transitions required is also essential in preventing potential injuries.
3. Introducing movement flow and starting at the basics.
Fluid movement requires skills. Be prepared to give yourself time to acquire them and to begin with the basics. Practice makes perfect in the basic continuous movement routines. These include foundation mobility routines concentrating on shoulders, back, hips, arms, wrists, legs, knees, ankles and feet. These in turn stem from Animal movements, push-ups, pull-ups and squat movements. These are used as the foundation to better fluidity and flexibility, more strength and greater control over our movement.
To these when we are happy with the basics we then need to add more complex movement which we will not go into right now but they don’t only involve more intensity in the above but also at differing planes of movement to keep improving and not fall back into a diminishing return of effort as our bodies get acclimatised to their daily application and get used to their repetition.
4. Combinations of movement.
Next we have to introduce routine combinations from what we have incorporated from the forms above so this is moving seamlessly from one movement exercise to the next, efficiency of movement is sought here as well. Basically moving from a squat into a forward roll then into a monkey which is an animal movement that is a lateral squat, into a body side roll, a squat. ending in a forward roll. As you can see it can be an infinite variety of these which you prefer and are able to do. Fluidity and flexibility is not expected immediately but once you attain some flow and get used to your routine in time they will
come. Again do not forget to change things up for your body to not expect the same routines which brings the necessary improvements in performance
5. It is not about intensity but quality of movement.
Some may not think that this is sufficient and attempt to use their muscles and try to turn what is aimed for which is graceful poetry in motion into a high intensity workout. There is no pint in making what is being attempted to achieve under that mode. It is fluidity of movement making effort look effortless that is important here. Movement through smooth transition that makes every consequent routine more streamlined and like the gymnast movements that we all love watching. However, the impact of this to our
performance and capability and agility in our daily lives is unbelievably beneficial.
Over five thousand years this method for health Qigong. ((Chee-gong)) has been and still in use by millions of people to cure all kinds of health ailments through exercise. I intend to cover this vast method at another time however thought it useful to say something about it in this context as it is very pertinent to movement routines which is our subject matter for today. It basically consists of exercise addressing three corrections, (corrections used here as disciplines) being the foundations of mindfulness and
meditation, breathing and posture and movement. It has obviously through the test of time proved very successful and thus requires an in depth looking into. Sufficient to say for now it incorporates all three of our original critical goals being mind meditation, movement and exercise which incredibly over the span of time involved trending again today.
Our minds are in control of movement.
We are unable to ignore our minds which is the third element that we identified from the beginning as a requirement from some form of meditation exercise not necessarily Yoga although that is perfectly acceptable too and if you recall from reading the first article in my view is even more important than body or movement exercise as it governs and controls both.
There are a multitude of mind and mindfulness exercise routines out there. I have selected this for use as an example but you are free to select whatever you feel comfortable and worthy in the time frame you have available for it.
Whether standing up or sitting down, this exercise can be done at anytime or anywhere you chose. The objective here is to concentrate on your breath for a time duration of 1 minute.
(a) Breathe in and out slowly for a duration of 1 minute. Inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Each cycle of breath around 6 seconds.
(b) All thoughts with you what your going to do, appointments your going to keep, shopping you need to do etc. you should let go of and let them come in and out of their own accord and concentrate on and be one with your breath.
(c) Be cognizant of your breath and watch it being aware of its entry and exit out of you. If you enjoy this you can do another two or three iterations of this exercise.
A very powerful way of getting you to notice and view things in your environment in an intense way and be at one with the beauty that surrounds you something akin to the old adage remember to stop and smell the roses as we are continuously in cars, trains and buses and do this much. Select a star, moon, flower, insect or butterfly in stand still mode whatever strikes your fancy.
(a) Concentrate on watching your selection for a minute or two as long as your concentration holds.
(b) View it as you have never seen it before and explore it through a relaxed and open mind to really genuinely absorb all its wonder and glory.
(c) Try to be at one with its purpose and energy in its environment.
This to develop how we appreciate the tasks that we do every day think arriving to work and switching on your computer a very mundane task but not if you start to think about it in how you are using your hands or knowledge required to operate it. The same for opening a door your hands being utilized to turn the handle or where that door leads you. These touch-points as they are known do not have to be physical but mental like negative thoughts that assail you so that you can brand it as unhelpful and discard it and its negativity. Perhaps if you eat food how good it looks and how pleasant it smells or the
fortunate thought of having it or able to be sharing it with friends or family. Develop your mind on these touch- points and remember to stop and be fully aware of their role in your life and how they impact your life by being fully aware of them and what they offer.
This is an attempt to listen without any preconceived notions of past thoughts or judgment on a piece of music and designed to just listen to the sound without looking who the artist is, the type of music who wrote it and who the record company that produced it is. The objective is just to filter everything out and be one with the music, You can listen on the radio tuning until you alight on sound that you find pleasant or play something from your collection. We feel so many things through listening and sometimes
because we associate certain songs with experience it can remind us of a tough time in a
relationship or the loss of one which presents us with negative emotions and thoughts.
(a) Put on your headphones and concentrate on the music piece from its beginning to end.
(b) Allow your mind to be free of judgment but explore the music thoroughly through every aspect of it concentrating on the waves it comprises and being at one with them.
(c) Attempt to isolate each instrument played within it and concentrate on an analysis of each sound produced through it.
(d) Concentrate on the vocals the different tone and modulation associated with it. If there are several people singing than try to isolate each one and identify the different aspects for each one. Really hear and analyze it do not judge it be at one with it.
Here we want to achieve contentment in what we do instead of the constant attempt to stay ahead in our every day lives. Immerse yourself in daily chores around the house start to adopt the attitude of being at one with everything you do. Be the forward motion of the brush, concentrate on your muscle movement when cleaning the dishes be more efficient at the tasks by developing better ways of doing them go deep into every activity sensing, observing being. Attempt to treat each chore as a new exploration of the activity by aligning with the task in hand keeping an eye on the result and become at one on all aspects pertaining to it. You never know you may end up enjoying the chore.
Here all that is required is to select six things that are around you objects, people or animals that are not being appreciated by you to the extent that they deserve as we concentrate on acquiring better and bigger things in our lives. This can be the mail being delivered to our houses by the local postman. Or our noses that permit us to smell the aromas of deliciously cuisine or scent of flowers, the electricity that powers our irons to press our clothes, a figurine that is sitting on our shelves that we no longer appear to
see etc. Once you have thought about and selected these items start to find out everything you can about them, the ramifications of not having them or how they altogether combine to enrich our lives so we are able to appreciate every thing around us.
I have attempted to show how flow of movement is critical and how mind exercises are vital in how we view ourselves and everything around us. It is only sheer determination by routinely doing the exercises that involve the physical aspects of exercise as provided by HILIT, the movement exercises that impact on our flexibility and agility to negotiate our daily movement requirements and how our minds require to be alert, positive and strong sensitized to our environment that is going to lead to the discipline required for us to take action and exercise daily in all three aspects to enable us have a healthy and fruitful life free of potential injuries into our futures.
Thank you for reading this article. I would appreciate very much you leaving a comment found below, as I will email you with the steps to HILIT exercises and complete the task I set out to do in this series of articles. I hope you will be here again as I publish new articles about the newest trends in exercise.