My Pillars of Health: Part 2-Movement
If you missed part one of the pillars, welcome! This is a four part post that includes the four Pillars of Health that I beleive are the foundation for wellness. There are so many incredible tools that compliment the basics, but without a good foundation you won’t get very far! If you are looking to start your journey towards optimal health, the pillars are a good place to start. These concepts are also crucial to return to when you get overwhelmed with paleo and dry brushing and all the other fancy words you hear thrown around in the wellness media.
Part 2- Movement
Ahh fitness. One of the most important aspects of my life. I get it-you might read this and feel a dread in the pit of your stomach when you even think about doing anything active. But here’s the thing, it IS possible to love moving your body. I think the key is truly understanding why it’s so great for you (hint-it goes far beyond losing weight) and finding what makes you feel good.
A lot of people workout for those muscle gainz and shedding some lbs. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make some physical changes, as long as it comes from a place of love and not a place of guilt or lack. But moving your body has so many more benefits than just what you see on the outside!
Just 20-30 minutes of movement a few days a week can add years to your life. It also lowers blood pressure, improves your immune system, and increases insulin sensitivity (maintain a healthy blood sugar level). It also does a number for your mental health. Exercise is a huge stress reducer-one of my favorite reasons why I sweat. Instead of reaching for that glass of wine after work, try going on a walk outside instead! You may be amazed at how much better you actually feel-in the moment and long term. Moving your body also releases endorphins, the feel good hormone! Actual chemicals in your brain that induce positive feelings and happiness, just by exercising! How cool is that??
But what if I’d just rather not?
You mean the above wasn’t enough reason to get you moving? No worries, I know how challenging it can be to incorporate exercise into your current lifestyle. I got your back! The tips below will help you get started (or pick up where you left off!)
If you tell me you’ve never worked out a day in your life, I’m not going to send you to the gym to do weighted deadlifts or sprints. Start with what is realistic to you! When guiding clients to add in more movement, I always start with walking. Walking is an amazing, low impact way to get your body goin. It’s also free, and doesn’t need to involve driving anywhere! You can simply set your timer for 20 minutes, and walk out your front door. Eventually it’ll turn into so much more, as you realize how good it feels to start moving! Pick 3 days a week where you can make time in your schedule to go for a nice walk outside.
-Find a friend
Exercising with a friend is one of the best ways to make sure you actually make it happen. By having a sweat date with someone, they hold you accountable! You can’t back out, because you don’t want to let your friend down. You also don’t want to let yourself down by missing out on feeling good, which you’ll realize after you finish the workout 🙂
Even if you can’t find anyone to go on a walk with you, or that yoga class you’ve been wanting to try out, just tell a good friend you plan on going and ask them to hold you accountable! It’s always encouraging when you feel supported in your goals.
–Do something you love
The key to exercising is finding something you actually enjoy doing. Just because Susie next door looks incredibly happy every time you see her running outside, does not mean that you have to force yourself to sign up for a half marathon! Exercise does NOT have to be dreaded. Do you love music and fast movement? Maybe try a spin class! Or do you really appreciate a more relaxing atmosphere? Go to yoga! Being out in nature more your thing? Take a hike! Do you love working out in groups? Many gyms have incredible group fitness classes. There are SO many ways you can move your body, don’t be afraid to try new things. You might discover that you really enjoy it! When you can make exercise fun, you are in alignment with what actually makes you feel good.
–Change your mindset
Mindset has a lot more to do with exercise than you think. It’s easy to dread working out when all you can think about is that first 5 minutes of out-of-breath death. But what about when you push past that part? When you’re feeling the music or listening to a great podcast? Doesn’t that part feel so dang good? The next time you feel like skipping out, think of the result. Remind yourself how good it makes you feel and how much you benefit from it.
Try to focus on the fact that you CAN go for a run, walk around your neighborhood, or swim some laps. That you GET to do these things! Think about exercise as something you are grateful for and a blessing that your body can do for you. Moving your body should never feel like a chore!
Most importantly, listen to your body. If you are truly tired and need rest, rest! What is your body craving? Some slow yoga or a hiit class? Our need for different styles of movement change everyday, based on so many factors. Stress, sleep, and hormones all play a role in what our bodies need! Working out should never ever be a punishment. You should not feel like you need to slave away in the gym for 2 hours a day because you desperately want to change something about yourself. Move your body because it feels good, and gives you the energy and joy you need to show up as your best self everyday!
In my health coaching programs, we zone in on movement and what a healthy amount looks like for YOU. I’d love to connect with you about how exercise can help you reach your goals. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org