Lack of activity ruins the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it. ~Plato
I’ll bet you were thinking this week’s post was going to be all about the necessity of exercise in your life. The way exercise nourishes your body and your soul. The way supports every vital capacity you have from your cardiovascular system to your muscular strength to the release of stress and tension in your body and your mind. The fact that regular exercise will play a key roll in giving you a strong, vital, and productive life.
Well forget it. I am not going to talk about that at all. Let’s explore an aspect of movement in your life that you may not know and think about……FLEXIBILITY.
Have you ever thought about the fact that when you move, you are creating and maintaining flexibility in your body? That’s right, every movement you make helps to maintain flexibility in the muscles, joints, ligaments and fascia that makes up your body. The wider the spectrum of motion you can create for yourself each day, the wider the spectrum of flexibility you create for yourself. The wider the spectrum of flexibility, the more adaptable you are to the stressors of life.
FLEXIBILITY = ADAPTABILITY = HEALTH
This is pretty straight forward.
Now my posts would not be complete without adding the mind component to the mix. How flexible are you with respect to your thoughts, perceptions, and willingness to be open to new ideas or experiences?
I’ll use my OBachan as an example (that is Japanese for grandmother). She lived to be just under 100 years old. For the vast majority of her life, she was “flexible” in so many ways. She exercised and walked every day. She engaged in a wide variety of crafts and hobbies, social gatherings with friends, and conversations about life and the world around us. I observed in her, and maybe you have too in a friend or family member, that as she withdrew from this physical and mental “movement” she began to “age” rapidly. I could visually see the vitality seep away from her as she became more physically sedentary and her mind became static and “set in their ways”. To me, this was inflexibility playing out in real life. I have watched it happen many times since in other people.
I urge each and every one of you…stay flexible. Obviously, physically keep yourself mobile. Move each and every day with the widest ranges of motion that you can and stay well adjusted. As importantly, create openness to new and different ideas, seek new experiences, and widen your scope of knowledge. This more than anything will nurture a holism to your flexibility and adaptability as human being (and longevity).
This quote I once heard sums it up.
“The ultimate form of inflexibility is rigor mortis.”
Kind of funny yet true at the same time.
Your challenge for the next week. Do something completely different in your life. Read a magazine that you would never otherwise read. Try that different yoga class that you have always wanted to do. Attempt to see the world with a different perspective or another person’s point of view. Be creative and open.
Stay strong, love openly, and make a difference.
Dr. Richard Yoshimura