You are not born to be still. You are a movement seeking creatures by nature and although many people may shy away from moving their bodies, deep down inside you crave it!
As a society we deal with huge amounts of stress from jobs, home life, relationships, finances and the list goes on and this manifests into body tension which can lead to physical ailments and disease. There are many people that try to mask and self medicate these emotions and physical symptoms with alcohol, drugs and even sugar, but such go to’s are really short term fixes and very unhealthy ways of dealing with life stress.
Exercise or any type of physical movement is one of the best ways you can release the build up of tension. We are all different therefore your choice of how you want to move your body will vary from others and there is no “right” or “wrong” way of doing this. Any regular routine of physical activity is a good thing and the way in which you do that will be dependent on your own lifestyle!
With this being said, the biggest challenge may be with the “How” and “When” to actually follow through with a routine that will be both safe and enjoyable. Finding the types of exercise that brings joy is the first step. Building it into a lifestyle is the second.
Let’s try and break this down a little….
Think about the types of activities you liked as a child. Was it sports, dancing, running, hiking? This is a great place to start when determining what kinds of activities would be fun and motivating. I loved dancing when I was a child. Tap and ballet were my favorite forms of dance back then. I now incorporate dance into a weekly routine as much as possible and although I am not tapping or attempting a Grand Jete (that leap in the air that involves a full split)
I can often be seen on the dance floor for 3 hours straight moving to my favorite rock bands on a weekend evening. Listen to your body when deciding on a form of exercise to fit your current lifestyle. Different forms of movement can nourish your body in different ways. Do you need focus and stamina? Try a more vigorous exercise routine such as running or kickboxing. Are you more tense and tight? Perhaps stretching exercises and gentle yoga would be a good match!
Did you ever think that your individual personality could be a deciding factor when trying to establish a fitness regimen?
Quiet people that like alone time may fare well with a small trampoline, working out with hand weights or following their favorite instructors and teachers on YouTube that can be practiced in the comfort of home.
If you are more of a social butterfly that loves to be around groups of people to help with motivation, you may prefer team sports for some fun competition, fitness classes at the gym, dance classes, pilates, etc…
Time of day to incorporate an exercise program is a big consideration too! Not only do you have to time block into your schedule, more importantly at what point in the day are you feeling most energized, focused and clear? Who does better in the morning hours? Who is more motivated after work or are you a night owl that feels ready to go in the evenings? There is no right or wrong time as it is totally dependent on personal choice. There is nothing worse than feeling you have to do something at a specific time of day. When this is the case you can rest assured that it will be a very inconsistent road.
Location, location, location! Look for the gym or studio that is near your home or office so it is more convenient. You want a pleasant atmosphere where you feel comfortable and welcomed which will then naturally increase the chances of going more regularly.
There are in between things that can be done that are not so regimented and can be incorporated into your day to day life, such as parking in a spot that is further away from your destination so you have to walk farther. You can take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Take your dog (or yourself) for a brisk walk in the neighborhood. If you are in airports frequently like I am, take a stroll instead of sitting at your gate waiting to board the plane. Look for opportunities to move whenever possible and don’t worry about what people say or think! Be open and find a routine you can nourish yourself with on a daily basis!
Studies show that 30 minutes of exercise a day is all that is required to reap big benefits!
Here are some picks to why you should be moving your body!
- Keeps you youthful- Brisk walking or cycling boosts oxygen and can shave off 10-20 years! It may also stimulate growth of new brain cells in older adults!
- Reduces infections- Moderate workouts temporarily rev up the immune system
- May prevent heart attacks- Not only does exercise raise good HDL cholesterol and lowers blood pressure, research shows it reduces arterial inflammation.
- Decreases stress- Regular aerobic exercise lowers the level of stress hormones. For many it helps with depression.
- Relieves hot flashes- Increasing fitness through walking or yoga enhances mood and can reduce some menopausal symptoms.
- Can prolong life- Studies have shown that being active cuts the risk of premature death by about 50% for men and women.
I hope you find this information beneficial.
I would be happy to be of further support to you!