Part 2 of the "Optimize Your Life" series is all about EXERCISE. Let's dive in!
Find Enjoyable Exercise.
Movement should make you feel good, and I truly believe that everyone is capable of finding exercise that resonates with them. If you're having a tough time discovering this, there are a few things you can do:
(1) Explore! Check out your local YMCA for access to a variety of options and engage in whatever seems fun or interesting. Seek out adult sports leagues, boutique gyms, and fitness groups in your community by asking around in conversation, and looking in your local newspaper and on Facebook.
(2) Pair it with something you love. If you enjoy coffee and being outside in nature, walk to the café. Mix up your route to keep it interesting. Pause in the park or on the beach to stretch and incorporate some bodyweight exercises.
(3) Buddy up! Exercising with friends is not only fun, it also holds you accountable.
(4) Uncover your "why." Why are you exercising? If your answer is to lose weight, for example, take it one step further. Why do you want to lose weight? These questions bring us closer to our truth, and once we understand our truth, we are more likely to sustain our practice.
Schedule it in.
Schedule your movement for the same time each day – this will make you more likely to stick with it. Just like you wouldn't cancel a business meeting, a date with a friend, or your child's doctor appointment, don't cancel on yourself. Regular movement is part of your self-care, and it greatly affects your wellbeing. If you are good, everyone else will be better as a result.
Make your activities meditative by being present as you engage in them. The mind loves to wander, but what happens if you reel it back to now? Get into your body by connecting with your breath and notice how this optimizes your efforts. The more you practice, the more natural it becomes.
Start Slow & Steady.
If you are new to a practice, know that you'll have to build foundation. Go slow and be patient with yourself. If you are in a class setting, actively listen to the instructor's cues. Consider taking a few private sessions to ensure you are performing exercises safely and correctly.
Move Throughout the Day.
This is especially important for people who work desk jobs. Park farther from your destination to incorporate extra steps, take the stairs, bike to do your errands, briskly walk during your lunch break, work in the garden, and cook your meals instead of ordering.
Set a timer on your phone that goes off every hour. When you hear it, stop what you are doing, get up, and move for 5 minutes. Not only is this good for your body, it also increases mental sharpness and elevates work productivity. Bonus points if you go out in nature!
Mix it Up.
If your movement starts to feel like a chore, mix it up. We are organic, ever-evolving beings, so just like diet, what worked for you 6 months ago may not work for you now. Go back to the exploratory phase and have fun!
Interested in exploring Yoga or Pilates, but not quite ready to jump into a class setting? Contact me to set up your free body assessment today.