Last updated on 13/08/2021
Welcome to another guest blog by Rainbow MagnifiCat (you can read more HERE) as translated by her human.
Exercise is so important for brain health as well as heart health, mental health and overall physical health
Evie was telling me (she really hasn’t been getting out much) that she used to cycle loads in Essex and couldn’t understand why she had been (until she got back on the bike today) resisting it so much here.
She also told a loved one and laughed when they reminded her that Witham, Essex (where she cycled to teach her yoga classes and swim, see clients and supervisees, get groceries, see friends etc) is much flatter.
Of COURSE it is. The Wild Atlantic Way is magnificently varied.
With this in mind, she’s cutting herself some more slack.
And this is where I come in.
We cats don’t put absurd amounts of pressure on ourselves to do, well, anything.
We are adept at listening to what our bodies need in any given moment and simply doing it.
Here are some of my tips for you:
Evie does her Proper Yoga Practice some mornings and others, just does one or two poses. Most nights she does some Sleep Yoga, too.
In an effort to better support her brain health and move more throughout the day, she’s now doing one pose every hour or so as a way to not sit too much and also to reconnect with the body and breath even while the kettle boils or sink fills up with soapy water (she thinks I don’t go on the kitchen counters here but I go wherever I want).
You don’t have to do yoga or Pilates or any kind of formal movement. You might not be as cool as cats but you DO know how your body needs to move and stretch if you simply listen and do it.
Let your body move YOU.
You might want to play music but you don’t have to. Simply listen to your limbs. Again, not as cute as ours but for non-cats, y’all are OK.
How do you WANT to stretch or curl or expand or contract?
When I leap on top of the doorframes or climb trees, I use up more energy than when I jump onto a chair, bed, sofa etc.
Apart from when she climbed the mountain, Evie isn’t really a climber apart from when she channels me to leap into hedgerow on her walks when tractors approach.
Are you a climber?
Great for upper body strength and movement as well as those all important views from high up.
Work with your body
Do you ever see cats moaning that they can’t do what the cat next door does?
Of course you don’t.
Even for those of you fluent in feline, you’ll rarely hear such things because we don’t compare ourselves in the same way you humans do.
Evie felt a little sad as the friends who live inside her phone mentioned their various high impact exploits. They’re not an option for her because of the endometriosis BUT, she can adapt.
The mini trampoline allows ‘dancing’ (or so she says) as well as running. Now the wild Atlantic weather is no excuse!
And so can you. What physical limitations or obstacles stop you moving?
How might you increase what you’re currently doing by putting supports in place to suit YOU as opposed to some strange fantasy version of yourself that you’ll only psyche yourself out with?
You humans take life so seriously.
You don’t need to plan and schedule everything.
Find time (even just a minute) to play with your cat / dog / child etc. Evie and I play what she calls ‘Fetch!’
She throws something and I run after it and bring it back to her.
She throws it again and I look up at her like I don’t understand.
Very quickly, she’s moving around the room, sliding under the sofa or bed in order to bring me back the thing she’s been throwing.
Eventually she catches on and tells me that I’m supposed to be fetching not HER but by then it’s too late.
She’s had a break from the laptop AND moved in some pretty strange ways that her body and brain can appreciate.
Work with the weather
Evie will happily go out walking in ALL weathers.
But since moving here, she’s been using a little rain / wind / snow / storms as excuses to NOT get on her bike in a way she never did in Essex.
Since our conversation today, she’s going to Be More Cat and, like me (when I feel like it. Someimes, I look out at the weather and think uh uh!) go out whatever the weather.
All it takes is a little adjusting.
And, for the times when it truly is too stormy, she has the mini trampoline. So many options to keep on keeping on!
How about you? How might you adapt your workout plans to work in all weathers?
Indoor exercise can be great, too but while Evie delights in seeing me scale the inside doors, I’m more in my element up trees.
Outdoor exercise is well known to offer better mental health benefits
How might you make it more appealing for you?
Get enough rest
We cats aren’t hoolikittening around 24/7.
We like our sleep.
Zooming around takes energy.
It helps us sleep better.
How about you?
You’re unlikely to want to exercise late in the day as that can impact on your sleep, strong movement at any time can alleviate anxiety symptoms by burning off the stress hormones flooding your system.
Do you notice that you sleep better when you’ve been active during the day?
Do more of that. Be more cat.
Meow for now,
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