What does being healthy mean to you?
Recently, I was asked this question by friend and colleague Andrea Moss, of Moss Wellness, as part of the content for her 8 week online program "Feel Good Everyday". She polled some of her favorite practitioners as part of the content for her program, and we are always so honored when we can partner with the Moss Wellness team. Here's the answer that was sparked by her question.
"For me, I have to move everyday, in some way, to feel good. A big surprise, I know. I don't always have time for the class or the workout I wanted to do. I don't always have the funds to get some passive body work done where someone else is in charge of moving my body. My small specific answers to those obstacles of time and money are a foot roller and moving my ribcage in the morning.
1. Foot roller: Foot health is often overlooked unless we have a broken toe or a sprained ankle. I love rolling my feet out every morning in the bathroom as I get ready, because opening up the tissue on the bottom of your feet is like a nice little foot massage, a calf stretch, and sometimes a bold 'waker upper'. Living in NYC, even if you are at a desk all day you are still mostly navigating the city on your feet. That feeling of 'untangling' your feet before you leave home is a great way to, literally, help you move through your day in a smooth easeful way.
2. Ribcage: We can get stiff in our middle back or feel heart burn in our upper chest, but how often do we think about the top 3/4 of our torso all the way around as our ribcage, not just the front side of our body or the back side? Thinking about my ribcage all the way around helps me to take larger, deeper, more focused breaths. It also reminds me to take a minute and stretch the sides of my torso and rotate my spine. I feel the best days are the days that I take a mere 5 mins and breath quietly, do a couple of my favorite stretches that involve my ribcage and spine to release physical or mental tensions I may have taken with me to bed. I'm sure to do this before I look at my email or turn on the news as preparation for the day and things that might stress me out. The other really nice thing to remember from a pure anatomical perspective is your heart and your lungs are in there. We need those guys to move too. The tissue that holds them in place inside our chest cavity is intricately connected to the ribcage and the muscles running around it. Put very simply, if we move and stretch our ribcage we are creating more space for movement of our heart and breath. Quite literally and figuratively.
When you focus on your movement your brain is forced out of autopilot and into a more fully present awareness of what you are doing and the space around you. Most of our daily lives don't naturally incorporate that aspect. For all the reasons above and many more, carving out time to move is a big part of what 'being healthy' means to me."