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Balance (April Photo Challenge Week Two)

Balance. There is a concept in exercise physiology that to get maximum benefit, we need to alternate activity with rest, that we need to alternate more demanding activity with lighter activity, and that we need to have varied activity that differentially supports the development of flexibility, endurance, and strength. This sounds to me like a lesson for life.¬†Students and hard-working non-students take note: in general one extreme or the other isn’t generally helpful. Balancing activity and rest is. Achieving this (or trying) is a process that is on-going throughout life.

We need to check-in with ourselves: within what our health situation permits, are we having a mix of activities and balance and rest or are we going full out on that school/work project, work task (after task after task) or home organizing, cleaning, cooking, or baking frenzy non-stop, all the time? Conversely, are we lying around all day with no engagement, no movement, watching movies or staring at the ceiling a lot? It can be easy to fall into one activity dominating — and it’s okay if it does for a while. But after the stretch of hard work, can you make sure there is some time in there for something different? And in the midst of that stretch of hard work, can you insert variety or rest in some small way — a short walk, a bit of time preparing a meal, some simple stretching?

Check-in with yourself: when was the last time you paused to notice a pink stone or the sound of a bird singing or the little flower growing out of the most unlikely crevice 10 feet from the entrance to your home? If it’s been a while–or more than a day, see if you can bring some pause and noticing back in. That brings it’s own kind of balance, too, it’s own kind of nourishment.

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