Let's start with a short story. The main character is me. The date is late Spring 2020. The setting - the doctor's office. The report: perfectish bill of health. Let's then move to late fall 2020 - I go into the doctor because my body told me that something ain't right.
The doctor reports all my levels are elevated (I'm heavier, blood pressure higher, eczema& migraines off the chart, etc.). I am a different human on paper.
Everything is out of whack, but all my tests come back "normal." It's stress. I go home and slowly examine my rhythm by re-reading journals. What's different from Spring to Fall (5 months max)?
Hybrid homeschool/remote school. My boys and I were doing homeschool post-COVID; this felt normal because since my oldest was two, we've always done some form of homeschool. He wanted remote learning for some social interaction. Although his teacher, school, and the kids are wonderful - bringing the school into the home...very outside of my comfort zone.
I no longer take my evening walks
Everything else is the same.
Go back to the doctor in the winter - early 2021. I'm still gaining weight (although I AM FASTING), my blood pressure & heart rate is lower (but not my normal), my headaches are gone, and my eczema steady.
Difference: I changed our daily rhythm, got into a remote school flow, included harder workouts into my day, and moved into our home. I felt better, but still not "normal."
UNTIL... RANDOMLY...I was out and about with my boys. Both were with me, and we were doing our "pre" remote learning flow, which always includes a morning to afternoon outing (hike, farm, museum, garden, animals, playground, etc.).
That night, when Mike climbed into bed, he glanced at me and asked, "what are you thinking about?" After 20 years together, there is this "knowing" lol - and I replied, "my body feels so familiar to me at this moment." He's like "you feel good?" I answer, "yeah, but more than anything my body is exhausted."
And I meant it. I've always had "on your feet" kinda jobs and walking is a MAJOR passion in my life, but the past five years have been daily outings with my littles. And in the past year or so, I joined a mama group where the coordinator, Reshanda, is like a master at finding new adventures and so there is ALWAYS somewhere new to explore.*** That said when our schedule changed from daily adventures, to once/twice a week adventures with the remainder of time sitting down in front of the computer - my body felt it.
Not to mention with city apartment living, I walked to do all of our grocery/market shopping. Even movement that was leisure - a casual walk to the cafe, to the playground, to the art store - all eliminated.
And it was only then that I realized: I have been sitting often. Yes, I worked out. In fact, the deception was running for miles in the morning - this led to getting my steps while also exhausting myself.
Exhaustion + hitting my step goal = sitting the rest of the day (and often overeating).
And so there you have it. The missing link was slow & steady consistent natural movement
And does this surprise anyone? When looking at the lives of people that live beyond 100 - one of the leading reasons is because they move naturally OFTEN. Most don't get on a Stairmaster or Treadmill and burn out for 30 minutes and then spend the remaining 1410 minutes/day sitting or laying. In fact, some folks that study longevity think that we should abandon "exercising" completely. The whole idea is that we should start to inconvenience ourselves by skipping modern-day conveniences and do the work ourselves. So instead of paying someone to "clean up your backyard" - rake your own leaves (384 calories/hour), paint your own fence (238 calories/hour), and mow your own lawn (400 calories/hour). The calories burned information is based on this article.
There is no more adorable example as to the power of consistent movement than the Netflix docuseries 'My Love: Six Stories of True Love.' Yes, the series is actually about the endurance of love, but it also examines the lives of people that have been on earth for upward 80 years. Y'all these people do it all - farm, cut their own hair, hike, shepherd, cook, grandparent, clean, hunt, and maintain their lives by themselves. Their movement puts me to shame.
Well, here is to rolling up our sleeves, throwing on some worn shoes, and moving!