Welcome to Resolutions Week! Today we'll be discussing exercise and its importance as viewed from the Chinese medical perspective.
Many many MANY people make exercise a part of their New Year's Resolutions. (It's definitely made my list!) We all know that to be truly healthy, exercise is an important building block. So why do so many of us struggle with the motivation to get up and move our bodies regularly?
We are a society of stress. Our jobs are stressful. Our families are stressful. Traffic is stressful. We're expected to do so much in so few hours! In Chinese medical theory, stress is associated with the Liver and the Wood element
. Stress prevents the Liver from doing its job of keeping our Qi moving in a smooth fashion. If our Qi isn't moving properly, we start to get symptoms of unhealth.
When we exercise regularly, we are mechanically making our Qi flow. Think of all those muscles moving. That blood pumping. The sweat pouring. Your Qi follows each of them. So even though the stress may be making it difficult for your Qi to move smoothly, when you exercise, it is being forced to do so, which will help ease your levels of stress. See how that works? It's a great feedback loop!
One of the reasons we may find it difficult to get motivated to get moving is because of our Qi not moving properly. Think of it like a car with a dead battery. If the battery isn't sending power to the engine to start it, you're going to have to push-start it. It's hard to be motivated to push that car, especially if it means having to get up earlier in the morning! However, if you know that if you push that car and get the battery fixed so it'll start easily when you tell it to, it's much easier to get out there and start pushing!
So get out there and fulfill your New Year's Resolutions, and know that you're doing your body good to get that Qi moving! Remember, it'll get easier to continue with your new habit once all those little bits of Qi get unstuck!Resolutions Week - IntroResolutions Week - Part II - Healthy EatingResolutions Week - Part III - Quitting SmokingResolutions Week - Part IV - Willpower