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Why we need to move
We are designed to move. Don’t avoid movement, embrace it.
We need regular movement to thrive, lift our moods, regulate our energy and to allow our body to function with ease. We sit for most of our days, to work, commute, socialise, and relax. We hold onto tension, grunges and toxins this way, making it even more important to move in some way. We need to move in short bursts throughout the day as well as intentionally exercising throughout the week.
What do you want from your exercise?
I used to think of exercise as a way to “lose weight” or change my body in some way, which was generally a negative view on exercising. Exercise got more enjoyable and energising when I determined for myself what I really wanted to get out of regular movement.
Consider what you would love to get from exercising:
A functional body
For thriving health and ease of everyday activities. Combat laziness, so we have more energy to do things for ourselves and with others.
I fell love with Yoga for this reason, the days I do Yoga in the morning are my happiest, lightest of days! Remember, we always feel better after movement, especially when we “don’t feel like it.”
This means we’re less prone to injury and we go with the flow more!
Restoration rather than depletion
You want to feel good after exercise, strong and clear in your mind – not dead.
Improved strength: physically and emotionally
This doesn’t have to be lifting weights in the gym either, in Yoga and Pilates we resist our own body weight to build strength.
Explore your exercise options
Just like diets, there is no “one size fits all” solution to exercise. You need to try things and see what feels good and what fits into your lifestyle. It’s likely that you have at least one form of movement that you’d like to do more of, or try out! The key is to make it enjoyable and easy to do often.
There are SO many ways to move – here are a few of my favourite most used ways:
I love nature walks! Go alone or with a friend as an active catch up date and as a quick lunch time pick me up to avoid the afternoon slump. Walking is an easy way to introduce more movement into your day. Incidentally exercise by parking an extra block away, take the stairs, or take a break from the office to walk around the block or eat your lunch in the park for a change.
It’s not for everyone! I’ve come to love running and my tip here is to have low expectations on yourself. Just get your shoes on and get out the door, that’s the hardest part! When starting out, don’t worry so much about distance and speed, just aim to keep moving along at an easy pace for 20 minutes and take breaks when you need to.
Yoga builds strength, flexibility and restores my energy levels. I love it most for the way it makes me feel and it allows me to reduce the thoughts in my mind and brings me clarity and joy.
Make this the first thing you do when you get out of bed, stretching your body tall and reach for the sky, add some controlled side to side bends, a gentle backbend and then a forward fold to open your hamstrings.
Stand up paddle “SUP” boarding
This is my favourite thing to do for some me time and mindful exercise out on water at the beach near my house.
What is right amount of movement for you?
I say to my clients that the right amount of exercise right now, is what you can realistically commit to in a week, with a bit of a push as a bonus point.
Where to start: You could aim to make sure you “move” your body in some way, for 30 minutes per day.
The key to sustainable habits, is consistency! There is no point in pushing yourself one week and going to the gym every day – and then the next week, life gets busy and the motivation disappears and then comes the guilt!
Make a plan, you’re more likely to stick to it and then celebrate your wins!
Here’s an exercise challenge for you this week!
- Set yourself a goal to exercise at least 3 times this week
- Write down the type of exercise with a empty tick box next to it, like this!
- Plan out when you are going to make this happen during the week and block out that time in your calendar, plan them earlier in the week and include two extra windows in case you miss one.
- Celebrate the wins as you tick each one off and take note of how you’re feeling!
Keep it up for a month, adding in bonus points to push yourself.
Remember the aim of moving our body is to love our body and thrive – not to punish it or “undo” the weekend.