First Law of Motion

First Law of Motion

It is simple physics:  a body at rest tends to stay at rest, and a body in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon. I’m paraphrasing Newton’s first law of motion. What does that have to do with your wellness? There are two ways I believe the law of motion is a metaphor for our behavior patterns regarding movement.

First, the less you move, the less you tend to want to move. You choose to spend your free time doing limited movement activities. You find it tremendously difficult to make exercising a priority. The less you move, the more difficult it can be physically and emotionally to get moving and the more you tend to stay at rest. The opposite is true as well. The more you move, the more movement is part of your life. You choose to spend much of your free time engaging in action-oriented activities. You either can’t imagine not exercising – or even if you don’t enjoy it, you do it anyway because of how it makes you feel. The more you move, the more you tend to keep moving.

The second part of the law of motion acknowledges the state of being at rest or in motion is maintained unless acted upon. That action may be an injury or disability that hinders movement in your life; but injuries usually heal, and most disabilities can be overcome at some level. That’s the view from those who move.

There is a world of physical, mental, emotional and even spiritual hindrances to making that choice to move. Let’s take my client, Rebecca, for example.  She has had a variety of health issues – pain in her lower back, neck, knees and weak ankles; hormones all over the board, and she’s pre-diabetic. All of these health issues, combined with other things, have led her to a lifetime of being significantly overweight. Rebecca is one of those people who want to know something inside and out, and has been reading and studying health and fitness for years. She knows all she really needs to know to jump into action. So why hasn’t she done it?

What was keeping Rebecca from making the choice to move? She told me, “It’s pain, fear and pride. My back and knees hurt with most exercise. I’m afraid of falling or injuring myself, making everything worse. I’m especially afraid of exercising alone in my house in case something would happen; who would know? To top it off, I feel so ridiculous as the biggest person in the gym or walking around my neighborhood.” As we discussed her feelings of pain, fear and pride, we came up with a plan to counter each. We identified exercises that would give great fitness benefits without hurting her back or knees. She joined the community center gym down the street so that she would not be alone in case she was injured. She also went to her physician before starting to exercise to get a full physical and make sure she didn’t have any other health concerns. As for pride, well, that took some work on self acceptance of where she is and where she wants to be in terms of her health and fitness levels. Rebecca has been moving ever since and back on the path of losing weight and becoming healthier, in her mind, body, and spirit.

Are you in a state of rest or motion? Do what works best for you. Start slow and build momentum.

Keep moving!

Dr. Michelle Robin, Founder and CWO, Your Wellness Connection, P.A., Dr. Robin can be reached at 913-962-7408, or e-mail


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