nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

Efficient movement and how exercise feels

Ragen Chastain wrote a good piece about people not being obligated to exercise.

I replied (with some editing and added content):

Here’s my story– I’m not saying this is a path anyone else is obliged to follow.

Some thirty odd years ago, I got a Rubenfeld Synergy session which made it clear to me that life in my body could be a lot better.

I took an Alexander Technique teacher training. I studied tai chi (somewhat casually). I did some other stuff along those lines.

The general idea is that moving more efficiently makes life easier, and that there’s a lot of efficiency to be gained.

After more than ten years of this stuff, I found that walking had changed from something which was either unpleasant or ignorable to something I could enjoy. Also, I’d stopped tripping over my feet, and that my tendency from childhood to trip over my feet had a specific cause. My muscles had been so tight that I wasn’t letting my legs swing forward far enough, so I had to swing my lower leg forward and around the outside. If I didn’t do that high enough, I’d catch my toes on the ground.

This doesn’t mean I walk long distances, but it does mean I’ll walk a half mile or mile when I don’t have to, just because I feel like it.

I’ve always hated exerting myself, and I now believe it’s because my torso muscles are tight enough that I just don’t take deep breaths. I don’t know if I’ll especially end up wanting to exercise, but I really think that not forcing myself may well have been a good idea.

Not forcing myself with walking or running also seems like a good idea– I’d probably have damaged some joints.

If you want to look into moving more easily, I recommend Uncommon Sensing which offers a free monthly Feldenkrais exercise. That’s about forty minutes of gentle attentive movement. One of them improved my hip mobility enough to make it easy for me to get up on bar stools.

Seated (mostly?) version of Scott Sonnon’s Intuflow— taking your joints through their range of mobility. I’ve found that it also (as promised) improved my body awareness.

I'd been meaning to do a big list of all the things I've tried out which I consider to be of good quality, but it seemed overwhelming just to think about-- not just that it would be some work for me to write, but I kept imagining someone looking at it, feeling swamped, and not investigating any of it. I still might do the big list, but meanwhile, this is a more manageable number of things to check out.

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