Let me guess, part of your New Year’s Resolution was to “exercise more”. What does that REALLY mean? How do you know if you are doing the right exercises? If you are doing it “more”, are you really getting the benefit you want from said exercise? Are you enjoying the exercising you are doing, or are you just making yourself move because you think this is the way to get that super cute bikini beach body you think you are supposed to have?
Being active DOES NOT mean that you need to work out 6 days a week for an hour at each session. That simply gets you to burn out! It’s a hefty goal if you are just beginning a exercise routine. It creates an unhealthy relationship between you and the joy that movement can, and should be. I’ve pushed myself to do those workouts and my body did not appreciate it. Some people enjoy this type of torture, but I’m going to venture that this is not you.
Why Exercise Even If You Don’t Feel Like It
So, you ask, how long should I be working out and what kinds of exercise should I be doing? This is a great question! Before I answer this, I’d love to take you back to your childhood.
Yes, you read that right, and just bear with me here. When you were a child, you didn’t play because you thought that you HAD to. You did this because it was fun and you got enjoyment out of whatever it was that you were doing.
Picture this time. What were you doing? Who were you with? What is the best part of what you were doing? For me, it was playing basketball and kick the can with my neighbors.
So, how does that translate into what you could or should be doing for workouts now? Working out should be fun! It should bring you joy. If it doesn’t, then it is just more WORK that we are adding to a busy, already stressful day.
Your workouts should be a release of negativity and toxins. It should be a way to clear our minds and bodies. Our bodies were not meant to be stagnant, but we also don’t need to torture them!
If you want to make working out a healthy and fun change in your world, I have some suggestions for you. Stop talking to yourself as if this is a chore. If you are telling yourself negative things about working out, you are creating a path of resistance to move. If you find something that you love doing, you won’t feel as if it is such a chore to go do it. You won’t hate doing a workout for 15, 20, 40, 60 minutes, or however long feels good to you. I’m also going to venture to say that some of your good friends would also enjoy doing these workouts with you. Grab your tribe, or someone from your tribe and get moving together!
Your workouts don’t have to take as much time as you think. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve heard that this should be fun and enjoyable. It will cease to be fun if you are pushing yourself to keep going longer than feels good. So, do your running, skipping, swimming, yoga or whatever it is, for a shorter period of time to start and build up your love for it as you go.
Movement can be a gentle activity such as going for a walk. Bonus points if it is outside in the fresh air and you get some vitamin D! It could be simply having a dance party to one of your favorite songs. Did you realize you can think of cleaning your home as a ezercise? Score! Any time you are moving your body, give yourself some accolades for a job well done!
The problem with these “New Year’s Resolutions” is that we come into them hot out of the gate and want results NOW! We push ourselves to the limit and get burned out just as quickly as we started. Lasting change does not happen when we burn the candle at both ends. It happens when we make meaningful, loving changes.
So I challenge you, my dear. Go back to a time when you enjoyed moving your body. Stop beating yourself up thinking that you need to hit the gym 5-6 times a week in order to see any change. Let yourself find and enjoy a new way of moving that makes you happy. Life is too damn short to keep stressing ourselves out over every little thing.
Love what your body can do. Love what your mind can do. Love yourself.
YOU ARE WORTH IT!