Just like a dependable savings account requires regular deposits in order to maintain a positive balance, so too does our body. Special attention must be paid to keep our personal vitality account in balance since withdrawals occur throughout the day. One common withdrawal, inactivity, happens as a result of our modern and mechanized lifestyle and contributes to a negative balance. Regular investments in the form of movement, or simply bending, twisting, and squatting, coupled with daily walks and other activities all help contribute to a vibrant and balanced body account.
The original practitioners of Hygiene understood the restorative powers of exercise and led a very physical existence. Constantly seeking ways to challenge themselves physically, they engaged in club swinging, wand use, acrobatics, recreational sports and games in addition to their already active lifestyle. Compare this to the way that we live today, where our dependency on labor-saving devices actually harms our well-being by removing motion from everywhere in our lives — even our recreation. We use our cars instead of our legs and watch sports instead of playing them. When was the last time you danced to music, rather than sitting down and listening to it? Too often, physical activity is erroneously viewed as a choice rather than a necessity and it becomes a neglected component from our otherwise healthy lifestyles.
We are designed to move and every system in our body is somehow influenced by physical activity to function at optimal levels. Our cardiovascular system gets stronger and more efficient with use. Keep in mind, our heart is a muscle and if you don’t use it, you lose it! Our bones are stimulated by physical stress, such as walking, jogging and strength training, and our lymphatic system, or immune system, needs movement to move the lymph fluid throughout the body. The more muscular contractions we do, the more we move our lymph fluid and facilitate the removal of waste products. Last, but not least, the more stretching and reaching we do, the more we retain our flexibility as we age.
One of the most appealing aspects to living a Hygienic lifestyle is its simplicity. What could be simpler than moving your body? You don’t need fancy gadgets or expensive products — just get up and move! For example, instead of driving your car for close errands, walk or ride a bike. Give away your leaf blowers and riding lawn mowers and begin to do more yard work and organic gardening yourself. One of the most effective and efficient all-around physical things you can do is to clean your house because it requires your body to bend, reach, squat, push and pull. If you need motivation to get out and walk after a long day, why not adopt a furry friend from the local animal shelter? Your new walking partner will make sure you get out into the fresh air regardless if it’s rain or shine.
A surprisingly easy, but invaluable action to help your well-being is to relinquish your television’s remote control. Every time we use this modern invention rather than getting up to manually change the channel, we lose an opportunity to improve our flexibility and mobility. Next to walking, a commonly lost attribute as we age is our ability to squat. Sustain your youth by doing the simple motion of getting in and out of your chair. Imagine all those hours spent sitting on the couch, at the computer screen, or in the car and think just how little muscle activity is involved. Now think to yourself, if you don’t use it, you lose it!
Nourishing foods, clean air, sunshine and loving thoughts are all fundamental forms of currency needed for a healthy account balance. The most overlooked form of currency, and an integral part of Hygiene is physical movement. By bringing motion back into your life you will be living a more complete and balanced lifestyle and will be making an investment in yourself that will pay you back tenfold.