We are going to talk about moving yourself and not “exercising”. “Exercising” immediately creates resistance because you construe it as “work” and not “fun”. In addition, this subconscious reaction is associated with “pain” and “guilt” if you don’t perform the task. However, “movement” sounds easier, more interesting, and fun. We can always choose to “move” a little, but “exercising” may take a whole plan to execute the act. Studies show that we suffer from decision fatigue later in the day if we’ve made a bunch of decisions throughout the day while using mental energy to make the “right decision”.
Considering this predicament, we can routinize or systemize as much of our lives as possible so that decisions are not required or they take very little mental energy. What if you made the decision to always move around when you can? This way, a simple habit is planted and “exercise” becomes a natural part of your day. For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator most of the time. This is a habit you can enjoy because you know you are feeding your body the movement it needs to stay healthy. If you add up a lot of these little daily “movement” acts, you have accomplished a healthy amount of exercise.
If You Don’t Like It, Don’t Do It
It’s as simple as that. I hate running. I have never understood how people enjoy jogging or running marathons. It is just not my thing. However, I love playing sports! You put me on a basketball court and I’m competing my arse off! I just love playing games and sports and the whole time I’m playing I am getting a ton of exercise. I also love riding my bicycle. It is “fun” to me so this is an excellent way for me to get exercise. Just find a few activities that you already enjoy, which require movement. Do more of that! Do not bother forcing yourself to do activities, which are not fun. It won’t last. It is associated with “pain” in your brain so your subconscious will find a way to avoid that activity eventually. Conversely, if your movement “feels good”, your subconscious will support doing more of the activity. The wonderful thing about moving in a way that feels good is you’re eliminating “shoulds” from your life associated with forms of exercise you don’t enjoy. You will no longer be ruminating “I should be doing this”.
Benefits of Movement
When you move, you are oxygenating your blood and brain. You are also strengthening your heart muscle. These are a couple of the most potent benefits associated with movement. You are also increasing serotonin, which increases happiness and self esteem. Notice how movement has a ripple effect towards all parts of your being. It is all connected.
Amount of Movement?
Remember, all movement counts. I don’t care if you’re just moving up the stairs for a few seconds on your way to the bathroom. That counts. Keep doing those short movements all day long. If you’re watching TV, squat down to pick up something off the floor. Revel in all these movements and feel that you are taking care of yourself. You might consider getting a Fitbit or some other tracking device so you can prove to yourself how much benefit you are reaping from all the little movement activities throughout the day. Trust me, they add up quick and with just a little extra movement you can find yourself in the top 5% most active people on Earth. This is the place you want to be while improve the process of loving yourself.
Movement is Play Time
Be playful about it and have fun. What movements did you enjoy as a kid? Did you play with a hoola hoop or roller skate? Figure out how to do some of that now. I loved playing soccer, other sports, and riding my bike. I do those things today and enjoy it. You can always figure out a way to have fun with movement. Often, your childhood activities are signposts to your inner true self. Live it and love it.