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.

  • I Don’t Have Time

This is never really true of anything. We have the time.  It’s about how we prioritize our time, and, in this case, whether we prioritize movementIf 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.  On a phone call at work you could do some exercises.  But we often feel embarrassed to move in front of others.  Ignore 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.  And, its highly possible they are so busy they aren’t noticing anyway.

1) 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.

2) 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

Movement doesn’t have to be harder, faster or feel bad to be better. Take your time building up.  Start with five to ten minutes five days a week.  If you can do more, fantastic.  But if that is what you can commit to now, commit to it.  If you are feeling pain or notice you don’t feel good a day later ease up next time.  Your muscles can progress faster than your tendons and ligaments.  So if you work at your muscles’ pace of change (six to twelve weeks), other parts of your body may be struggling to keep up. Your tendons and ligaments and other soft tissue can take six months to two years to make the same changes that happen in your muscles in a few weeks.  So cut that softer tissue some slack and slow down or do a little less.  It’s not just about muscles.  It’s how the whole body is going to react to adding exercise.  And if you get hurt, you definitely won’t keep going.

  1. Be aware 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.
  • Exercise is Boring

I cannot tell a lie. It is hard to relate to this one.  I love the way movement feels in my body.  You just 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 next three 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.  Walking in a pool.  Pilates with the right instructor.  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 can and should move.  Talk to your doctor about your options.

  • I’m not doing enough

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.

  • I don’t like moving.

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 to become a quadriplegic?  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.