I love doing chores. Sign me up to pull weeds from the garden, move your furniture, rearrange a room, clean the floors or build a raised garden bed. Is it weird that I love this stuff? Case in point…The other morning, I hopped on a conference call. Instead of sitting or standing during this 45 minute discussion. I skated through the house, cleaning the floor with wet rags under my shoes. It was seriously invigorating and let’s be honest, quite productive. This skating action is new to my body as I don’t skate very often (or at all), so it was challenging in this sense. But it was also repetitive enough that I could concentrate on my phone call.
Movement is stimulating.
Repetitive movement adds a sprinkle of meditative focus to the mix.
When it comes to doing chores and manual labor, it’s not just that feeling of satisfaction of knowing I completed a project that I enjoy…it’s the physical movement. My body craves movement. Unpredictable, fluid, random, varied movement. I feel my best when I do different things. Hmm, this might explain why playing water polo felt so physically satisfying for me. Not relying on padded shoes, clothing or any apparatus, I could use solely my body to move in the unpredictable and varied ways the sport demands. Somehow, moving through the water felt so natural. I do like to pretend I’m swimming like a dolphin, after all.
Au Natural Side Note: Granted, any sport isn’t “natural” if you’re speaking from an evolutionary standpoint of the human body and the environment it was designed in (think: hunter gatherer environment). So I’m using the word “natural” in a slightly different context.
Extra Au Natural Side Note: You know what would be REALLY natural and awesome for your body? Actually moving naturally. I really do think that’s what the human body craves. Not working out at the gym. Not going to spin class. Not cleaning the floors while on a conference call. But real, forage for your food, chase down prey with your endurance running skills, squat by the fire, squat to poo, you get the picture. Since you and I aren’t quite ready for that phase of our life yet, let’s focus on working with what we’ve got. A handy resource to “reclaim your nature” check out MovNat, Natural Movement: fitness for the real world. I have yet to partake in one of their workshops or retreats, but they look amazing and I love their approach.
By the way, you can squat and poo in your home. Here’s how. And why.
In the featured image above, Matt and I harvested barley for a family in Northern Italy, which they use to make their homemade bread. Yummmm. We were volunteering on an organic farm while WWOOFing. It’s an incredible way to immerse yourself in the local community, learn about organic farming, connect with others and of course get a solid helping of varied physical movement in. Some may call this manual labor or doing chores. I call it an opportunity to experience the lifestyle of another. It was so rewarding to sit back with the family, soak up the view and company, while snacking on local bread, cheeses and meats after such an active and productive morning along this hillside. (Not familiar with WWOOFing? It’s where you can volunteer on organic farms in exchange for room and board. Each country has their own organization, including USA.)
Do you want to introduce deliciously fluid, random and varied movements into your day but not sure where to start? Well, you can always do those projects I mentioned above. But if cleaning the floor or building a raised garden bed don’t tickle your fancy, here are a few ideas to get your brain brewing and body moving differently. Enjoy, my fellow movers and shakers!