When it comes to movement, the art of reWilding calls us to tap into FREEDOM +JOY.
It’s very common in our culture to rarely challenge our bodies beyond four standard movements & positions for most of the day:
Sitting (the new smoking)
And for those who DO move beyond these four, it is most likely indoors, at the gym, and/or performing a limited range of structured motions.
Nourishing Movement is Nature-Infused, Free, and Functional!
A practical alternative to traditional “exercise” feels a lot like play & freedom and is more spontaneous, self-directed, and intuitive.
You don’t need to invest in special equipment or memberships to get started AND if you pair nourishing movement with nature, you’ll also benefit from:
the added dose of sunshine & vitamin D
fresh air & beneficial airborne plant compounds
beneficial soil microbes
soothing visual patterns & sounds of the wild
uneven terrain to challenge your typical muscle use patterns
Ideas for reWilding Your Movement
Free flow outdoor yoga: in the grass or on a hard surface, with or without shoes, mat optional, sunbeams preferred (moonbeams are nice too), breeze on your face, birdsong in your ears, and listening to your own body rather that an instructor in the front of the room. How does your body want to move? What needs attention? What do you want to express or offer to the world around you as a gesture of your gratitude and aliveness? Inspire yourself with a playlist or just enjoy a peaceful immersion in mother nature.
Outdoor bodyweight workouts: use large rocks, tree stumps, or park benches for tricep dips, push ups and box jumps & playground equipment or tree branches for body weight hangs & pull ups. Try 15 Minute Body Weight Workout You Can Do Anywhere, Outdoor Bodyweight Workouts, or the Tone it Up App for inspiration.
Outdoor obstacle course: take the path less traveled through the woods or park or create your own backyard course to challenge your body and coordination in new and wilder ways. The simplest form of this I experienced recently was sidewalk chalk instructions that dared passerby's to hopscotch, twirl, lunge, frog leap, jumping jacks, and zigzag - I dare you not to smile acting like a kid again after a lifetime of adulting!
Mindful sensory hiking or walking (Learn more in the Rituals of (re)Wilding Online Course)
Walking barefoot or choosing no-sole shoes: over gravel, grass, or uneven earthen paths. Shoes prevent natural free movement of your foot bones and muscles. Going barefoot or wearing low-sole shoes helps to (re)build sensory awareness in your feet, foot muscle strength, balance, and has the added bonus of earthing to lower inflammation if you are barefoot! (Learn more about Earthing in the Rituals of (re)Wilding Online Course)
Balance beams & climbing objects: Kids naturally explore the world this way and there is no good reason why it shouldn’t continue into adulthood :) We are all just big kids after all, yes? Walk on curbs or other linear structures and climb natural objects to encourage micro movements in the core and other muscles you normally don’t activate to improve your balance, coordination, and core strength.
Qoya: is movement based on the idea that through freedom of movement, we remember we are wise, wild and free. This is a very special offering and worth exploring! Sign up for the free 10 Days of Qoya Love E-Course here.
Manual labor + nature = hunter gatherer fitness: gardening, weeding, planting, harvesting, raking, mowing, sweeping, cooking, chopping, digging, etc. are all nutritious, challenging, and functional movement, so instead of thinking of them as chores or ‘work’, a simple reframe as health-building wild movement can inspire & motivate!
Add functional movement throughout the day: set reminders for 5 minute movement breaks or while waiting for water to boil, brushing your teeth, watching tv, standing in line, etc (e.g., stretches, lunges, squats, push ups, plank, sit ups, sun salutations, balancing on one leg, dancing, whatever feels good). Nutritious Movement is an inspiring resource to explore more natural movement both outdoors and inside your home - just get your blood & body moving throughout the day instead of just within a window of “exercise”.
Mind.Body Benefits of Nourishing Movement
Strengthens your immune system function and reduces chronic inflammation
Builds muscle and increases bone density
Improves cell wall integrity. Fluid cellular membranes & strong structures = HEALTHY CELLS
Increases the number & size of your mitochondria for more energy and optimal cellular & organ function
Builds lung capacity and stamina - so you can do more with less effort
Eliminate toxins by moving lymph fluid & body water and encourages bowel movements
Boosts your mood from the release of feel-good chemicals in your gut and brain
Improves heart and brain health for mental sharpness and better memory
Encourages more restful sleep
The Wild at Heart Method is uniquely designed to help you transition into a lifestyle that awakens your inner wild and supports your wellbeing. A lifestyle reset can be simple, sustainable, and fun when you (re)align yourself with nature.
Subscribe for Mind.Body.Home reWilding inspiration and download the reWilding Retreat Guide: a nature-infused, self-guided retreat to explore on your own or with family and friends designed to help you de-stress, disconnect from technology, soulfully connect with loved ones & nature, nourish your mind.body with healthy whole food, and provide the mental space for mindfulness.
I look forward to supporting you with the right program, service, or referral on your healing journey. Let's walk together for awhile...
We'll stop and smell the wildflowers. Smile a lot. And wander down the road less-traveled.
Be Well and I'll See You in the Wild,
Angela Juhl, MS, CHWC, CYT
Master of Science in Human Nutrition & Functional Medicine
Wellcoaches™ Certified Health and Wellness Coach
Wild Woman Project Circle Leader
Certified Yoga Teacher
Wild at Heart was founded on the mission: to take a stand against unsustainable cultural norms by empowering YOU to realign your lifestyle & mindset with the wisdom of nature for mind.body.heart & soul healing and rekindling a soulful relationship to the natural world...for yourself, your loved ones, our communities, and our beautiful planet.