Body Movement versus Exercise
It is well-known that exercise is imperative for maintaining your health: it keeps us at a healthy weight and lowers our risk for many diseases. Exercise gets our endorphins going, leading us to feel happier and more energetic. However, sometimes we don’t feel like exercising or don’t want to put excessive strain on our body; this is completely natural. Did you know there is still a way to move without feeling like you are doing a chore? Body movement, also known as movement with body sense is a great way to feel good without engaging in strenuous activity.
What is body movement?
When it comes to body movement, it is not necessarily whatyou are doing, but how you are doing it. It’s about being mindful and enjoying the movement; your body is capable of so many different things, and this is about taking the time to appreciate what your body is doing for you. Rather than feeling restricted by a strict workout plan, body movement is all about doing what you love; the payoff is in the fulfillment and gratitude you will feel, not about working your body to the max. You move your body constantly throughout the day, but how often are you really thinking about it? This is the time to focus on that: appreciating how your hand works to grip your cup, enjoying all of the actions you take to cook a delicious dinner, or simply rolling around on the carpet with your children or grandchildren.
Attentive body movement is known to have positive effects on our health as well. For example, “bodily movement has long been employed as a foundation for cultivating mental skills such as attention, self-control or mindfulness, with recent studies documenting the positive impacts of mindful movement training, such as yoga and tai chi. A parallel “mind-body connection” has also been observed in many developmental disorders.” Further, the time and attention spent on purposeful body movement can mirror some of the positive effects seen in exercise, including the release of endorphins. “Endorphins act as analgesics, which means they diminish the perception of pain. They also act as sedatives,” so this type of movement can help cancer patients experience less pain with minimal exertion of energy. 
Putting body movement into practice
There are many ways to get your body moving, especially now that you are no longer confined to vigorous or strict workout regimens! Here is a list, but feel free to add your own as well:
Go for a walk outside, taking time to enjoy the environment and nature around you
Stretch, focusing on your breathing throughout
Dance – any kind that you prefer, or what fits your mood at the time
Play with children
Cook a meal, putting care into each step of the recipe
Gardening – no matter how large or small your garden may be
Aerobics – modify to whatever level you feel most comfortable with
What is important is that you are moving, staying mindful and aware of all that your body is capable of. Let this be a time to let your creativity and passion shine; you are in control and should not feel limited in any way! Your body is capable of so much, and this is an opportunity to embrace that.