Get up and shake what your mama gave you!
Your exercise routine should speak to the core of who you are
I know. You probably don’t want to do it. It can feel like an absolute chore at times. We know it is good for us, but there are reasons we don’t exercise. Perhaps it’s a lack of motivation. It could be intimidation. Or, it could very easily be circumstantial…lack of side walks, concerning neighbors or cramped space where we live. But, even if we have fantastic neighbors and plenty of space we might not make it to the gym, press play on the video or go for a walk.
We know its good for us! We know that it benefits mental and physical health. We know that our cardiovascular and respiratory systems benefit in addition to our bones and muscles. But, sometimes we need a lil extra push to get that motor started.
Set your why. What did you show up for? It needs to be something that speaks to the core of who you are. It is usually not enough to say I am doing this to lose weight to fit into these jeans or that outfit. We may want to fit into them again or for the first time, but that is not going to lure you into exercise at 5am or after you get at to the end of a 10-hour day. You need to look deeper.
Perhaps you lost a family member to a cardiovascular disease and you’d do anything for just a few more hours in their presence. Maybe, you witnessed a friend lose a limb to Diabetes and at your last visit you learned you are pre-Diabetic. Maybe your work day is too stressful and you realize you are carrying that stress home to your children, family or pets and need a safer and more productive outlet than zoning out in front of a television show you may not remember.
The National Institute of Health tells us that “Health benefits from regular exercise that should be emphasized and reinforced by every mental health professional to their patients include the following:
1. Improved sleep
2. Increased interest in sex
3. Better endurance
4. Stress relief
5. Improvement in mood
6. Increased energy and stamina
7. Reduced tiredness that can increase mental alertness
8. Weight reduction
9. Reduced cholesterol and improved cardiovascular fitness”
Even with ALL of these reasons, it won’t be easy. But, to make is more palatable, you may want to re-consider the workout you are doing. I am not a fan of a certain very, very famous dance-like work out with a cult like following. It bothers me. Should I do that workout to build a routine? NOPE! Not at all. It will NOT be sustainable and even more…I do not WANT to do that exercise. But, I love lifting weights, resistance bands and kickboxing. I also enjoy taking walks with varied terrain, though I am not big on hiking.
I encourage you to set your why and then find something that sparks joy. Enjoy gardening? Pick up the pace while you are doing it (as long as you can be safe) to increase that heart rate. Same for house work. Pop on some music, make it loud and fun. Have too many people in your home that would disrupt your workout? Workout when they are asleep. Not enough time? Well, while 60-90 minutes of exercise is ideal…taking it in 10 minutes blocks is just as powerful.
Put on some good music, try new workouts on YouTube, grab the kids and go for a stroll after dinner. If you are physically able…get off one bus stop earlier, park further away, take one flight (if you can do two or seven…rock on) of stairs. Heck, stand up when you are working every hour and stretch, jog in place or literally start shaking your body. Will you look silly? Perhaps. Will your mind, mood and body feel better, most definitely!
Different exercises work best for different things and some exercises are contraindicated, depending on condition or illness. HOWEVER, we all need exercise, no matter how it looks. You know that my focus is Life Coaching as well as Food and Mood. For the latter, my specialties are depression and anxiety. Staying with that…for those experiencing depression, it will be best to get 20 minutes of aerobic activity in 3 days per week. Tabata? Jazzercise? Old Jane Fonda or Billy Blanks video? Random workout from YouTube? Barre? Goat Yoga?
Sound like too much? Start small and build. You will start to grow accustomed, develop the habit and keep going. Your brain and body will thank you.