If you are that person- the one that feels like you are burning the candle at both ends, and there is not enough time in your day to add in one more thing… if you are that person that struggles because there was a time in your life where you made time for cycling, tennis, swimming, hiking, walking or some other physical activity and you recall how good you felt, but you currently are not making the time, this is for you!
We all hear constantly how good it is for us to move our bodies, and some of us regularly do. However, for many people, there is the desire but just not “enough minutes in the day” or that is the current tape playing in our mind.
That tape or story we tell ourselves about why we can’t do that one thing that would make so many other things so much better, serves to keep us stuck, sick and sitting on the sidelines not feeling in control of our own lives.
How often have you had the thought “I should go ____.” ( Walk, jog, lift, sign up for that class…) and then it just doesn’t happen. It can feel discouraging and often results in feeling guilty for not doing this one thing that we know would help us.
So before we get into the HOW you can stop the tapes that keep you stuck it is important to just briefly visit the WHY this really matters. We’ve heard it said over and over, people who work out or “exercise” often feel better, have more energy, better mental clarity, and enjoy the cardiovascular benefits and reduced risk of sickness and lifestyle diseases.
That is all true. Moving our body is beneficial for us physically, mentally,emotionally etc. I have had numerous clients enjoy the feeling of increased energy, empowerment, and also an uptick in their mood and attitude and even brain fog being lifted. I have seen clients who have been suffering with depression and /or anxiety greatly benefit from adding fitness activities into their day. WHY we should do this has an extensive list. The benefits are real.
Most of us agree on the benefits, so the issue becomes how to get it going i. e., how to fit any fitness activity into your busy schedule. I promise you it’s not as hard as you’ve led yourself to believe.
Are you working a f/t job and managing a student load, and /or raising kids, and /or working from home… your personal circumstances really don’t matter. They are not the issue.There is a way if you are willing. Because a lot of what you’ve been led to believe about working out is just well, not serving you well. So let’s first dispel the myths, and then get to the good stuff of HOW you can begin a new chapter that includes you taking care of you in a more intentional and consistent way.
Myths of Exercising.
1.Only people who are fit work out because if you are overweight you won’t be able to do anything.
2.You have to work out for an hour a day to get any benefit.
3.Moving your body happens from just normal daily activities so you don’t need to do anything else.
4.I can’t exercise because this one part of my body is injured or limited.
1. Bodies were made for moving. All bodies benefit with regular daily fitness activities. Regardless of weight, size, or experience, you can start today (slowly) to pick one thing you like, or might like that moves your body. Just showing up is a first big step!
2. Moving your body for any number of minutes will provide a benefit over not moving at all. If you can’t do a fitness activity say for thirty minutes, find a way to move your body for 10 minutes two or three times a day.
3. Yes, this is true to a point. There are some activities like vacuuming and gardening for example that can provide opportunity to move your body. Adding additional fitness activities to those tasks/ chores can go a long way as well.
4. Consider the parts of your body that do work. If you have a bum knee, what can you do with your upper body? Is your bum knee able to be helped with strengthening exercises or even physical therapy? Start asking more questions about what you can do instead of getting stuck on what you cannot do.
Additional Ideas to Help You Get Up and Get Moving:
- Look at the parts of your day where you are able to take 10-15 minute breaks and fill those times with movement. If you are at work, leave your desk and walk around either inside or even better, outside your building. You can do some yoga poses or stretches, or brisk walk during that time.
- Use your lunch break to rally the troops to move with you. Whether you are working from home and in the house with kids, or at an office, round up others to go outside and take that brisk walk with you! Walking has tremendous physical and mental benefits!
- Bust out some dance moves throughout the day. You might be in the kitchen making dinner or doing some laundry, or dusting the living room. Dance is a great way to move your body and improve your mood. The crazier the better, and get the kids to join you!
- Think and prepare ahead. If you know you could make 30-45 minutes to go to the gym, or take a class between work and home, then have your gym bag ready to go. Don’t stop home first where leaving again seems “harder”. Have the clothes you need for lifting weights or taking that yoga class with you.
- Check your thinking. Quit telling yourself the story that you “don’t have time” to move your body. Your brain will believe you if you repeat the same message over and over, even when the message is not accurate. All you need is a little creativity about when, how and where you will make time to engage in some fitness.
- Get a buddy on board. Starting a new habit is so much easier when we have someone else who is willing to do it with us. So find someone you like and trust that has a similar goal as you and make a plan. Write the plan down and make agreements about what you will do, where and when and for how long. Then you have built in accountability and encouragement to keep with this new activity until it becomes habit.
I have seen numerous clients benefit greatly by beginning to move their body on a regular basis. Even people that are morbidly obese can begin a safe fitness routine. Often those who are overweight, experience joint pain or have other physical ailments do best in water activities such as walking the lazy river at the YMCA, or taking a water aerobics class.
When we stay open minded and curious about what IS possible, a whole world of feeling better physically, emotionally and mentally can open up to us! You can choose to start today!!