Your mindset can make all the difference as to whether or not you stick to a new plan. So let’s try to change some common misconceptions about moving. Let’s learn to love movement.
This is never really true of anything. We have the time. It’s about how we prioritize our time, and it this case whether we prioritize movement. Most of us have the ability to reorganize our schedule. If you get together with friends you could ask to go for a walk instead of meet up for food or coffee. If you sit down in front of the couch you could get up and march in place. When you pump gas you could do some exercises. On a phone call at work you could do some exercises. But we often feel embarrassed to move in front of others. Screw them. They aren’t moving. And if they aren’t they don’t feel as good as you when you move. Most likely they are just jealous that you don’t care. And, you might even inspire someone else to move.
- As a side note, even if you think you don’t have time, you can tweak little things. Park far away at the mall, doctor’s office or work. Take stairs instead of the escalator or elevator. At a shopping plaza walk from one end to the other instead of moving your car. Get creative in ways you can MAKE MORE STEPS during the day. You’ll be moving and exercising the grey-matter.
- Here is just a small sampling of the places you can fit in movement during your day (especially on really busing days): brushing your teeth, pumping gas, in a meeting (non-essential, no customers), at the copier, waiting for something to print, or while microwaving anything.
- In the past I’ve always gotten hurt
If you have always been hurt when you start a movement or exercise routine, let’s regroup. It’s time to find a way to move that doesn’t hurt you. Because movement doesn’t have to hurt. Allow yourself to start with something gentler or ease into movement slowly. Movement doesn’t have to be harder, faster or feel bad to be better. Take your time building up. Seriously, start with trying to add five or ten minutes five days a week. If you can do more, fantastic. But if that is what you can commit to now, commit to just that. Don’t let an “easy” workout or a “short” workout be your excuse to skip movement. Just do it. Half the time you’ll go longer once you get going. Put on a good playlist or podcast or call a friend you’ve been missing and take her on a walk with an earbud. If you are feeling pain or notice you don’t feel good a day later ease up next time. Something else is wrong if you are in pain after walking for five or ten minutes. You need to be able to walk to be healthy. You don’t need to be able to compete in an Ironman.
- Be aware though that you should check-in and listen to your body. If something is hurting while you are doing an exercise maybe you can tweak how you are doing it or perhaps you can try something else. Ask around. Start a conversation. “When you started ______, did it hurt? What did you do?” Be a part of the Movement Movement.
I cannot tell a lie. It is hard to relate to this one. Not that I always feel like getting up and moving, but more often than not, I love the way movement feels in my body. You need to find what excites you or motivates you. Find a few friends, colleagues or companions and join a class, start a walking group or rent a few exercise videos from the library. Laugh when you aren’t great at an exercise right away. If you need competition to get inspired and make it interesting get a fitbit and self-compete or compete with friends. There are so many options: hiking, kayaking, walking, running, cycling, aerobics, Pilates, dancing in your room free-style. List the first three types of movement that come to your mind now: _________________, ____________________, _____________________________. Don’t think. There is no wrong answer. Just write the three types of movement that pop in your head. Which one interests you most? See? Even if you think movement is boring. Some types are less boring than others.
- I have bad knees or bad (insert just about any other body part here).
Wrong. Worst excuse ever. There is almost no injury that movement won’t improve. There is always something you could and should be doing. You just have to experiment or find the right person to guide you. Walking in a pool might be an option. Pilates with the right instructor might be fine. Move, while listening to the feedback from your body and you will feel better. If you’ve ever pulled your back, you know this to be true. Lie still and it just gets worse. You can’t run a marathon with a pulled back, but you must move. Not moving only makes things worst (most of the time).
Bull Shenanigans. Are you moving? You are doing enough. There is something to be said for wiggling your toes. All movement counts. If you are a former athlete or runner, you may be rolling your eyes right now, but this is exactly how we have to rethink movement. You toes are trapped in shoes all day. Wiggling them is something. And they like it. Your whole body likes it. Really don’t feel like moving one day? Come up with the smallest, most inconsequential-seeming moves you can. Stop judging yourself and your movement and just move something.
Okay, in fairness this one may actually be true right now. But this is definitely a mindset we need to change for our wellbeing because this comment is the equivalent of saying I don’t like eating or breathing. Would you be happy if you became a quadriplegic tomorrow? No? Why? Because you actually like moving. You just need to redefine what movement is to you. Movement is what gets you though your day. It enables you to have all your interactions with the world and those around you. Appreciate that and try to make choices to move more to encourage your body to keep moving lifelong.