Automatic versus Manual

Daily Movement Prompts, Thursday, February 23, 2017 edition: Automatic versus Manual

The autonomic nervous system is responisble for control of the body in ways that are not consciously directed. This is the way in which you can breathe and digest without having to think about how to accomplish the tasks. Sometimes we might feel like we are on auto-pilot: Doing actions automatically without conscious thought. If you drive somewhere frequently, you might start to drive one direction automatically without thinking about how your destination is actually different.

Have you ever felt like you were on auto-pilot for movement or non-movement choices in your life? Do you have some automatic habits you’ve established? Are there some habits for which you would like to create an auto-pilot? When I look over my mornings, taking a shower feels automatic. Even when I towel off, there are “three things” I know I want to do before I leave to get dressed: Brush hair, use deoderant, clean ears. I catch myself reviewing the phrase “hair, ears, underarms” before I reach for the door handle. That “do three things” habit has helped me when I’m so exhausted I barely remember if I just finished showering.

There are some exercise or movement habits that are better engrained in my daily and weekly life than others. I’m still trying to establish that auto-pilot or memorized rule trigger to help me do the activities I want to do.

How many activities are automatic in your life? Which ones are you switching from manual over to automatic? How will you move or embrace rest and recovery today?