“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must move faster than the lion or it will not survive. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must move faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve. It doesn’t matter if you are a lion or a gazelle—when the sun comes up, you’d better be moving.”
—African proverb, as quoted by Maurice Greene (five-time world champion, four-time Olympic medalist, former fastest man in the world)
Movement is not a matter of survival only for gazelles and lions; it’s also a matter of survival for humans. It’s the pump for life, it’s what makes us keep going—and I’m not talking in metaphors here. When we move, blood and lymph circulate, nutrients are delivered to our cells, waste products are cleared away, digestion improves and so on.
Keep in mind that I don’t mean exercise, weights or cardio specifically. Rather, I mean movement in general—from a boy playing with his toy truck to octogenarians doing tai chi. There are various forms of movement: from ballet to power lifting, from swimming to rock climbing, from yoga to Judo. They are all valid, and they all have their pros and cons.
Here’s a way to classify movement:
1. Things we like: These movements should make up the bulk of our activities, for various reasons—but especially because the sense of joy and accomplishment they bring us encourages us to do more of these activities, and helps us avoid getting frustrated and giving up. If you ask a swimmer to dance, you will understand the importance of this kind of passion!
2. Things we dislike: These movements should be done from time to time, because we can bring balance to our bodies by trying different challenges and working on weaknesses.
3. Things we need to do: These movements are normally generated by doing too much of #1, or by not moving enough in general. Do you feel like stretching? How is your back today?
4. Things that we should be doing: These are movements we do to avoid getting stuck with #3. What about going for a bike ride for a change? Hot Yoga?
Yes my dear, move. As simple as it sounds it is quite effective. Move frequently do the thinks that you like and dislike as well as all in between and you will be able to move much better and much longer.