I know you may not want to hear it, but exercise and movement is an extremely important part of staying healthy and feeling vibrant. I know the word exercise may make you cringe, but that’s mostly because you are thinking about it and going about it in the wrong way! 🙂 Exercise and movement is supposed to be enjoyable (for the most part) and is supposed to provide you with energy and vitality. Every day life (i.e. stress, hard work and over-thinking) create tension in the body which can lead to chronic aches, tightness and exhaustion. Many people then try to alleviate these symptoms with that 3:00 sugar fix or evening glass (or 4) of wine which only perpetuate the symptoms even more. Exercise is an easy and affordable way of releasing a build up of physical tension and exhaustion leaving you feeling, looking and LIVING in a much more balanced and comfortable way.
I think we can all agree that the diet and fitness industry, if anything, is ever-changing. It seems like every day there is a new workout program or exercise regimen out that promises your best results ever. But bottom line with exercise, like anything else when it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle, is that you have to find what works best for YOU, not what works for the chick three doors down or that person you follow on Instagram. It has to be something that you look forward to, that feels life-giving and that excites you. If not, it’ll end up being tossed to the curb for an extra hour of sleep or that afternoon cookie in no time. So how do you do that? It doesn’t have to be super complicated. Here are a few things to consider when trying to decide on your ideal exercise…
1. What did you LOVE to do as a kid?
Were you super into biking, roller skating, dancing, playing tag, sports, swimming etc.? If it’s something you absolutely loved to do as a kid, chances are it’s still something that will bring you joy and excitement as an adult. Make a list of a few things to try based on your childhood passions and have fun experimenting with them in “adult form”.
2. Listen to your body…
Know that different seasons in your life and even different days in your life can leave you craving different type of movement. On days/during seasons you’re feeling super tight, tense and overwhelmed, try a more gentle type of exercise to increase blood flow and flexibility like yoga or swimming. Alternatively on days/during seasons you are feeling unfocused, frail or lethargic try a more vigorous style of exercise to increase your awareness and leave you feeling powerful like kickboxing, bootcamp or running. Exercise can be a lot like food – different types of movement nourish your body in different ways and learning to understand how and when to utilize those different types of movement can make all the difference.
3. Know your personality type
Are you an introvert? If so, maybe finding workouts you can do at home (DVD’s, online programs, etc) is the better option for you. If you’re an extrovert, are competitive and/or like being around people, try out group fitness classes at a gym or more ‘team’ based exercise options like Orange Theory, CrossFit, etc. Another thing to consider here is what will keep you motivated? I always find it helpful to do something group related because of the community AND accountability….if I don’t show up, some one is going to notice and call me out.
4. When do you feel the most energetic?
Let’s face it…if you aren’t a morning person and you schedule your new workout in the morning before you are normally awake – chances are you aren’t going to stick to that workout plan for very long regardless of whether or not you enjoy it. Know when you are your most energetic and try to plan accordingly. Now I will also mention here that schedule DOES play a factor. Movement is important and if the morning is the only time you can fit a workout into you and/or your family’s busy schedule, then maybe you need to consider re-arranging your evenings to get to bed earlier or wake up in enough time to “wake up” before you workout. Chances are, this won’t have to be every week or every day, but the movement will help you get through your busy weeks so much more calmly…trust me 🙂
5. Consider convenience and comfort level
We are looking for something that is both sustainable and enjoyable. With that being said, look for a place that is close to home or close to the office. It is important to find a location that is convenient for you and also that is inviting, comfortable and pleasant. This will enhance your experience while you are there which will ultimately enhance the chances that you will stick with it.
What do you think – do you find these tips helpful? If you aren’t getting a lot of movement, what’s holding you back? Write down your excuses and take a rational look at each. Movement is supposed to bring you joy and I promise it will always leave you feeling better, more positive and more energetic. One thing I know to be true is that you NEVER regret a workout. So use some of these tips to pick out an exercise for you and get moving!!! Thanks for reading guys!