Why The SLOW Movement Might Just Save Your Health and Change Your Life
In our modern, fast-paced, ‘convenienced’ world, we’ve left something really crucial and really important behind.
Our grandparents lived this way and ALL generations who preceded them lived this way. Really, they had no choice, but it may paint a picture as to how we’ve gotten so physically and mentally sick as a so-called thriving generation.
So, what is the slow movement?
The slow movement is about making our health and our lives more of a priority. It is about finding out what is most important to you (Is it work? Is it having good health? Is it being a present parent?), and taking the time to nurture and fertilize and develop these priorities.
So, how does the slow movement pertain to our health? Let’s try this on for a day in the life of SLOW HEALTH.
It’s 6 am and the sun is coming up, so up you get. Before you head out of your bedroom, you sit in a cozy space and take 10 minutes to meditate. You decide that this is going to be a great day and you head on downstairs. You head outside if the weather is decent and you breathe in some early morning fresh air. You let the sunshine hit your face and your eyes and allow the sun to set up your hormonal rhythms for the day (yes, the sun can and does do this). You take a minute to listen to the birds and the sounds outside and then you come back in. You’re now hungry because your cortisol has risen, telling you that it’s time to eat. You pull out some free-range eggs and chop up some onions, spinach, red peppers and fresh basil and make yourself an omelette. You blend up a fresh fruit smoothie with bananas, strawberries, almond milk and protein powder. You take your Omega Oil and multivitamins and toss down some Vitamin D drops. It’s now lunchtime and whether you’re at work or at home, you eat a whole foods, protein-packed lunch. This could be some leftover meat from last night’s dinner, a fresh salad with pecans, goat’s cheese and strawberries in a balsamic and olive oil dressing and some sliced avocado. After taking your time savoring your lunch, you go out for a walk. You move your legs and let the sun shine on your face and into your cells. If you’re lucky enough to be close to a forest (or wooded trails) you throw on your running shoes and head down the path. You come to a fallen tree and rather than step over it, you jump. Why? ‘Cause you can and it’s fun. You see a clear, straight path ahead of you so you take off running and run as fast as your body allows you for as long as you can without losing your breath. Again…why, you ask? Because we were evolved to run and especially to sprint and nothing conditions the body better. You do this a couple of times during your walk and then realize you’re smiling…maybe even laughing. You’re laughing because you feel like a kid and are actually acting like one. It feels great! Later on, it’s time to make dinner. You turn on the bbq, pull out the wild caught salmon (that has been marinating in tamari sauce, garlic, a splash of balsamic vinegar and maple syrup) and let it ‘warm up’ on the counter. You put some quinoa on the stove and get it cooking. Then you chop up some fresh dill for the salmon and shred some lettuce for a ceasar salad. While you’re cooking, you turn on your favorite music and allow yourself to get lost in the sounds that make you happy. As you sit down to another great meal, you take a minute to thank this plentiful and forgiving Earth for providing you with everything you could possibly need to be healthy, fit and happy. You talk about your day with your family while you eat and listen to the other experiences of the day. As it winds down to darkness, you close up your computer, shut down your phone and put away your devices. You allow your eyes to adjust to the night without the interference of light and technology (which has proven to disrupt circadian rhythms). You take a warm bath with some essential oils or some Epsom salts and you get ready for bed. You get your bedroom as dark as you possibly can (and if need be put your eye mask on to block out any light) and climb into your bed. You breathe out the contents of the day because it’s no longer relevant. It’s done and so are you. You let go and fall into sleep.
If after reading this, you feel yourself smirking and thinking, “Ya right…I just don’t have time to live like this,” then remember one thing. Generations past, with MUCH less convenience than us, with larger families, and less resources to ‘get stuff done’ than we have, LIVED LIKE THIS EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Okay, perhaps they left out the morning meditations, but I bet there were some forest sprints!
But seriously, if your health is a priority, than living according to modern conventions – exercising in a gym, eating denatured foods of convenience (or food-like products), not winding down at night in order to sleep soundly – than your health will ultimately suffer. At the very least, it will be difficult to thrive under these conditions.
Your body is where you live. You think you live in a house; in a country; in a city….but actually, you live in your body. It is the most sacred temple you’ll ever be invited into.
We have 2.5 million years of evolutionary practices that supported our biology beautifully. And yet if our ancestors could see us now they would fail to recognize the “foods” that we eat. They would fail to recognize the lack of movement we get. They would fail to recognize both the benefits and drawbacks of our technological world.
Genetically speaking, our bodies were built to take in natural, whole, living foods. We were meant to move our bodies by running, lifting, jumping, climbing, pulling, pushing and playing. We were meant to connect socially, face to face, with others. We were meant to have an active relationship with nature.
When we do this, our bodies respond swiftly and beautifully. You can’t trick a biological entity. It needs to run a certain way and when it’s given all of the ingredients it requires, it purrs.
SLOW. IT. DOWN.
Why are you rushing around anyway? To get it all done? It’ll never be done! Relax. Wind it down. Enjoy this life and the temple you’ve been blessed with, called your body. It is an endlessly forgiving and wonderful place to live when you love it and treat it the way nature intended.
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