I often like to look back at the moments in my life that represent the fulfillment of long-cherished dreams, many of which took some real effort to manifest. One of those golden moments in particular, was tango dancing at a popular club in Buenos Aires with an Argentinian.
Dancing there marked a completion of epic proportions because it represented that I had, for the first time ever, found a form of movement that truly spoke to my soul. It was a movement that was perfectly in tune with my core being — a movement that is truly sustainable, and just the type of real exercise we all need to do.
Although your brain uses more energy than any other organ in your body, it's your heart that's the biggest generator of electromagnetic activity. When you move your body and your blood and fluids circulate, your heart muscle is worked out. You get into optimal shape and foster heart health — that's the idea behind aerobic exercise.
But the heart is much more than just a self-propelled muscle the size of your fist. Your heart is the center of your emotional expression, and what it sends out can be felt by those around you. And this is most likely why partner dancing is so effective at maintaining physical prowess. It is quite literally two hearts in two different bodies, moving as one. Twice the joy. Twice the pleasure. And, I admit it, twice the vulnerability when you're first learning.
You've heard the phrases "Her heart just wasn't in it" and "She's all heart." Our hearts thrive when they're not being controlled by others. And they're powered by Divine Love, the most powerful healing force in the world.
Say this regularly: "Divine Love manifests in my heart right now."
One of the more sustainable ways to get this type of movement is to make it heart-centered. Moving and dancing to music you love or even spending time in nature, will help to open your Heart Chakra. Sometimes I love to take my yoga mat out onto the back lawn and do Pilates under the oak trees that overlook the tidal river there. Find a movement partner, or a group of people willing to bicycle with you, hike with you, or play golf with you — so long as the activity is social and enjoyable. Take a fitness class with a friend. Honor what makes you happy and what doesn't.
I'll hike a steep mountain trail as long as I don't have to spend the night in a tent, sleeping on a surface that doesn't support my bones and joints the way I like them supported. A woman I know says she "doesn't do mosquitos," so she does outdoor exercise at times other than dawn and dusk when the mosquitos are most active. Whatever it takes to get your heart pumping with excitement and full of the joy of movement, go for it and don't apologize to anyone. And while you're at it, give yourself permission to spend money on exercise gear that makes you feel strong and like a real cyclist or dancer, if that helps you emotionally connect to the activity.
Movement doesn't have to be confined to long, scheduled sessions. Moving your body throughout the day — whether it's taking a little dance break, lifting some free weights, or doing some stretches or yoga moves while you're watching television. When I was pregnant with my second daughter, I regularly disco-danced on the rebounder while singing along to Donna Summer. I got a good, safe aerobic workout, and a daughter who came out of the womb loving dance and movement!
Walking is also a great way to move if it feels good to your body. There's nothing like a good walk with friends, talking and laughing and looking at the scenery — and walking alone can clear your head and put you back in touch with your body and spirit. Paul Dudley White, the renowned cardiologist, used to walk and bike along the banks of the Charles River in Boston regularly. He was fond of saying that he had two physicians: his right leg and his left. I couldn't agree more. On average, regular exercise adds seven healthy years to your life. So when someone tells me she doesn't have time to exercise, I always reply that being dead seven years prematurely really eats up a lot of time too.
This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.