As much as I would like to spend more time outdoors in nature, stuff needs to get done, the house needs cleaning from time to time, etc. In an effort to get more natural movement, I find myself looking at the household chores differently. Once something I did not look forward to, I now see housework as one way to get the thing I crave more and more - varied movement throughout the day.
I use these chores as an opportunity to get my body into many different positions so I can use more of my parts and work on increasing the mobility I want to regain and maintain as I get older.
Putting the dishes away has become an opportunity to practice my squat, using my hips and knees to their full range of motion. Sorting the laundry gives me the opportunity to spend time kneeling and squatting.
Instead of just standing to prepare food, I can move the preparation to a low table and do it closer to the floor, again using more of my body. This makes me smile as a few years back, being a tall family, we had our kitchen designed to bring our counters closer to us!
The low platform bed means I may have moved in and out of a squat several times before I have even started my day depending on how many teens did not get out of bed when their alarm went off!
Instead of using a mop to clean the kitchen floor, I can get down on all fours and clean it as we once did before modern conveniences.
I would dearly love to lower our kitchen table for similar reasons but as you can imagine there is some resistance from my family! So to avoid spending time in a chair, something that we all do too much of, I choose to eat dinner in a kneeling lunge position changing sides as necessary. We can at least still eat together as a family. This might sound like work but really it is just a different resting position.
I also work from home and some of that time requires me to work on my laptop so I traded in a traditonal desk for a low bench, frequently changing position from kneeling to cross legged to v sitting and so on while I work. Moving to the floor was a gradual process, see previous blog. The family computer is a standing workstation.
Not being supported by a chair means my body receives the signal to move or change position. Being closer to the floor means I am more likely to take breaks and do some restorative exercises while I am there.
There is also a tremendous amount of value in getting up and down from the floor. Can you do it without using your hands? Try it a few times and see how you get on. Our structures have adapted to sitting in a chair so it might not be as easy as you think!