SoulCore Living: Movement
- Posted by Deanne Miller
- On May 1, 2023
SOULCORE LIVING: MOVEMENT
By Deanne Miller, SoulCore Co-founder
Do you consider your body a miracle? A temple? A sacred gift from God?
1 Cor 6:19-20 reminds us “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit.”
Scripture tells us our bodies are indeed a gift from God, temples of the Holy Spirit. We are made in His image.
Being good stewards of our bodies in a way that honors and glorifies God is our gift back to Him. Movement is a key factor of stewardship of the body.
Why Movement Matters
Romans 12:1 – “Therefore I urge you brother and sisters in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. This is your true and proper worship.
We know movement is part of God’s design for our bodies. We were made to move. Jesus was often on the move, always offering himself as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God for the sake of others. Think also about Mary, specifically in the Visitation. Mary was on the move, going in haste to be with her cousin Elizabeth to bring Jesus to her and care for her. And just as the apostles were commissioned to spread the good news, to bring Jesus to others and to serve and love one another, we too are called to do the same. Our bodies need to be healthy, holy vessels in order to be equipped to do the will of God.
Benefits of Movement
The origin of fitness and movement is always about moving with God! “From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up on love, as each part does its work.” Eph. 4:16
Because God cannot be outdone in generosity, He gives us countless benefits when we honor Him in doing what we were designed to do.
There are many benefits of movement:
Sheds extra pounds and maintains a healthy weigh
Lowers risk of heart disease
Increases strength & flexibility
Increases bone density
Promotes better sleep and helps you sleep more soundly
Lowers blood pressure
Reduces effects of arthritis
Releases endorphins, improving your mood, reducing your perception of pain
Clears the mind, enhances focus, fosters a positive attitude
Elevates dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins
Reduces symptoms of anxiety, depression, addiction, ADD & ADHD
Prevents cognitive decline
Lowers stress levels
Brings oxygen and blood flow to our brains
Helps clear your mind to be open to God.
Cultivates friendships when done with others
Can help you live a longer, healthier life
Helps brain power – Harvard medical professor, Dr. John Ratey’s calls movement “miracle-grow” for the brain because it can spur the formation of new brain cells.
Turn Your Movement into Prayer
Have you ever considered movement as a form of prayer?
“My son pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart’ for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.” Proverbs 4:20-22
The integration of prayer and movement is intentional and purposeful. We are called to nurture body AND soul. Integrating movement with prayer is a beautiful way to strengthen your faith and offer your time of movement to honor and glorify God!
By uniting our bodies with internal prayer we offer God simultaneous worship and praise. We also benefit from a 2-for-1 by making the combination of prayer and movement a priority in our active lives. In addition, integrating prayer and movement keeps us focused mentally and physically, thereby reducing distractions toward other things. Research has proven that movement seals knowledge and as disciples (life-long learners) in the School of Christ, meditating on God’s Word while moving helps deepen our connection to Christ in body, mind and soul.
More specifically during SoulCore, meditating on the Mysteries and virtues of the rosary through scripture and reflections while moving our bodies disposes us to receiving God’s Word more deeply, and we are slowly, imperceptibly transformed more fully into the image and likeness of the heart and mind of Jesus and Our Blessed Mother.
Rediscover the Joy in Movement
Remember as a child when these two words, “Let’s play” evoked a sense of excitement, joy, fun, and anticipation. Somewhere along the lines into adulthood, “Let’s play” got replaced with “I need to workout”.
What we need is to get back to the playfulness of movement. The enjoyment and fun of it, not as a drudgery have to but as a joyful get to.
Think of all the ways you like to move and play. Maybe for you it’s a hike along a beautiful trail, swimming in your favorite lake, riding your bike around your neighborhood, playing catch, going for a jog? Or maybe it’s learning and exploring something new… volleyball, tennis, pickleball, the list is endless. Committing to forms of movement and play in your daily discipline of activity will naturally elevate your overall wellness. Not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well!
Pay Attention to How you Feel
There are so many tools and gadgets to help us stay accountable to movement. And those can work great. The best tracker however is how you feel. Paying attention to what your body feels like after certain movements and lengths of time spent in motion. If we’re going for a specific number – whether on our trackers or on the scale – and it does not feel good or feel like we’re doing the best we can for what our body needs, we negate the benefits. Listening to how your body feels during times of movement is important to help you move in ways that will benefit your health and actually enjoy it!
“No great journey ever started with anything less than a decision to begin” Allen Hunt.
The first 5 minutes is always the hardest. Just getting started can be our biggest hurdle. Consistency is key. It strengthens that muscle to begin.
Consider the “slow cooker mode”. Slow and steady. When we slowly, gradually add the “ingredients of wellness” into our lives, the end result is much more sustaining and rewarding.
Journal about how you feel after a workout, or a walk, hike, bike ride, etc. It’s okay if you don’t like it – studies show when you journal your experience you’re likely still more apt to engage in it.
Make Movement a Priority
Here are some suggestions to make movement a priority:
Choose a time to move that complements your season of life
Transform daily tasks into daily movements
Subscribe to a daily movement app and prompts
Have a dedicated movement space in your home
Leave yourself reminders you can’t miss
Ask someone to hold you accountable
Write down your exercise plan and goals to help you stay accountable
“Therefore encourage one another and lift each other up, just as you are doing” 1 Thes 5:11
If you need encouragement, move with others. Community matters! We can encourage each other, hold each other accountable, and have more fun when sharing the experiences of movement. God also promises to be with us in our midst, “where two or more are gathered” Matthew 18:20
Pray for the grace to be a holy & healthy vessel
Dear God, please cultivate a desire within me to move in a way that honors you, that elevates my overall wellness physically, emotionally and spiritually. I pray that I may be a healthy and holy vessel to do Your will and to serve others.
I thank you for the gift of my body, this miracle, gift and sacred temple you have given me. I thank you for the gift of movement. Help me be a good steward of this gift and be intentional in caring for it with praise and thanksgiving. May the movements of my heart, mind, body and soul glorify You always. I ask this Jesus in Your name and through the intercession of our beautiful Blessed Mother. Amen.
“Therefore glorify God with your body.” 1 Cor 6:20