Ah exercise. That only chestnut. Something that for me has been some what of an arch nemesis over the years.
I have a love/hate relationship with exercise. So much so, that the word itself used to make me cringe and immediately start making excuses.
I used to be a fan of the gym. I went every lunch time at work without fail. I’ve done boot camps, I’ve had personal trainers, I’ve done workout DVDs, I’ve done gym classes. It was all about shifting kilos. The only thing that mattered was the number on the scales. And I tried to make excuses before every single class/visit.
Afterwards was a different story though. Afterwards I felt exhilarated and empowered. Yet before each session, that feeling had been forgotten, and it was straight back to the excuses. Memberships lay dormant, personal trainers were cancelled, DVDs collected dust.
As I said – it was all about the numbers. I was punishing myself for getting fat. I had put on the weight and eaten the crap, so I had to lose it. What would people think of me? I was completely coming from a superficial place. I saw exercise as a form of torture. Something you do to be thin.
But it’s not just for weight loss, and it’s not a form of torture. It’s really not. One of the best things you can do for your body, it get it moving. You body wants to move. It wants to feel useful, not stagnant. The thing I’ve discovered for myself, is that moving your body doesn’t mean punishing it. It doesn’t mean it’s about weight loss. It’s about health.
Of course, if you need to lose some excess weight for health reasons, physical movement will definitely help you there. But mostly, we need to move our bodies because it’s nurturing you. It’s getting your blood pumping and those endorphins flowing. It’s keeping you alert, strong, energised and healthy.
In my experience, if you are despising the exercise you do that much – you won’t keep doing it. Simple. Why punish yourself for something you loathe?
There are SO many ways to get your body moving though. Find what works for you. And mix it up. Keep your body, and your mind engaged by giving it some variety.
For me, nowadays, I come from a completely different place when it comes to moving my body. I exercise because I know it’s good for me. I couldn’t give two hoots about what the scales say. I move my body because it’s the best thing I can do for myself. Because I want to make my body to be strong and I want to be as healthy as I can be. I do it because without a strong, healthy body, I’m no good to anyone.
I’ve shut down my gym membership. It’s all about yoga and walking. And running… well… sometimes running… I have a love/hate relationship with running too. I LOVE the feeling of hitting my stride and the power that comes with it. I LOVE the sense of achievement I get from going that extra kilometre. I LOVE the high afterwards. But actually getting out there is the hard part for me. Actually putting on those runners and get through the first 5 minutes of mental torture are hard. So I stick to walking – all while pushing over 20kg in children and pram!
And I do yoga. My beloved, enriching, soul-centring yoga. There are so many yoga options to choose from too. I adore Ashtanga Yoga, but one of my beautiful besties does Bikram and adores it. There is definitely a yoga practice out there to suit everyone.
Another thing I realised is how much “incidental exercise” I do. As a stay at home mum of two little ones, I move – a lot. I recently did a 10,000 steps challenge for charity, and each day I had clocked over 10,000 by about 4pm. All without thinking. Had it been back in my office days though, I would have been lucky to get to 2,000. Who knew mopping the floors and running after children could be so good for your body?!
So what can you do this week to get your heart rate up a little? Small changes you can make to ensure that moving your body becomes a regular part of your day. Try a new class? Walk to work? Dance around the house to your favourite music (one of the funniest ways that I know to get your body moving!)?
Be it paddle boarding, ballet, walking the dog or pilates, add a little extra physical activity to your day, and I guarantee you’ll feel clearer in your mind and body. Love that beautiful body of yours by moving it daily.
What’s your favourite type of exercise? Do you clock up a bit of “incidental exercise”? Are you an excuse maker? Let’s chat in the comments below. 🙂
Have a wonderful week, gorgeous. xx