Can five minutes really have an impact on your health? Your life? At the beginning of January, I wasn’t sure. What could five minutes really do to impact my health? I was skeptical but committed to giving it a shot. Now, I am a believer!
Here’s how this went down for me. Every morning, I would get up, find a spot either down stairs in the living room or in our bedroom and do just five minutes of mobility/movement work. I didn’t script it, I just kind of made it up as I went along. Every morning I would also set this up as a live Facebook video and broadcast it out via our Facebook page. Honestly, I did this more for myself than for anyone else. I had spoken to enough people about this that if they didn’t see me post a video on a given morning, they’d know that I had missed. I did it for the accountability. I was even sick twice in during this 30 day period and never missed a day. Accountability works. In the end, I had a couple other folks that were following along with me. Training win.
If I didn’t feel like doing something on a given day, I didn’t do it. I quickly found this to be a mistake though. There were days when the things I didn’t feel like doing were exactly what I needed. I figured this out through trial and error and just listening to my body. So by the end of the thirty days, I had identified a couple of moves that seemed to work as diagnostics. I would use them as a barometer of what I needed. If my shoulders appeared tight, then I would do more for my shoulders. Sometimes my hips would get a hitch in them. On those days, my hips got more attention. I didn’t hold any positions for long periods. It was really just long enough to really own the position, to make sure that I wasn’t using momentum to get there and then back out. I wanted this whole thing to flow. Eventually I think it did. About a third of the way in, I started attaching pieces of scripture to the videos. I just felt like it was the right thing to do since this was part of a devotional type of experience for me.
So, what did this do for me?
- Grace and fluidity have never been among my physical virtues. That said, I think they probably improved from “terrible” to “noticeably less terrible” in those thirty days.
- My range of motion in my hips and shoulders was much increased.
- I have a nagging thing in my left shoulder from taking a fall in a jujitsu class years ago. It was my fault as I didn’t take a fall properly. That’s gone.
- I just generally feel better.
- I am clearer going into my day which starts fairly early. I am not a morning person by nature, more by trade. Draw your own conclusions here.
- This became a worship experience for me. I am extremely grateful for a body that allows me to move freely and feel good. Just one of many things that God has blessed me with. Keeping this spirit of gratitude made the whole experience much more enjoyable. The five minutes of movement itself became a blessing rather than something “I should” be doing. I think if more of us approached exercise this way, we might be more inclined to stick with it. Not trying to get preachy here, just an observation.
Just to give you guys an idea of what this looked like, here is a video of one of my mornings. Keep in mind that the camera work is not professional as I was just out of bed and still kind of sleepy. You have been warned.
So, in all, if someone were to ask me if they should do this, I would highly recommend it. It did and continues to make a difference in how good I feel. And besides, it’s only five minutes. It’s hard to come up with an excuse to not be able to do five minutes of maintenance for the only body you’ll ever have. Give it a shot and let me know how it goes.