Over the last twelve years I’ve seen thousands of people’s attitudes to exercise. There are a lot of common threads – weight loss, self esteem, injury management – but the biggest common thread is most people view exercise as a means to an end, and a lot of the time this also makes it a chore. If we see exercise as something we have to do, chances are we’re also going to see it as temporary. Imagine how great it would be if exercise could fit seamlessly and perpetually into our lives, and bring us something more than just physical results like…joy!
I’ve been thinking a lot about my own attitude to exercise, and how and why I do things. I know without a doubt I don’t want it just to be a physical pursuit – and the beauty of movement is it has so many multi-layered benefits. So here’s a list I’ve come up with to bring a little more happiness and joy into our lives, via your (hopefully) daily exercise program.
1. Find what you love doing. Close your eyes and think about what lights you up. Can’t keep still when you hear Beyonce’s latest song? Try a dance class – or make a boss playlist and shake your thang in your living room. Feel like you need to relax after a hard day at work? Keep track of your favorite yoga and Pilates moves in your daily Bump+Nutrition program and spend an extra ten minutes a day chilling out. Hate the treadmill at the gym? Take your walk outside – enjoy the warmer weather, the passers by, the beauty you can find in your daily surrounds.
2. Make it a date. It could be your partner, your best friend, a group of friends or your dog. Nothing makes moving more fun than catching up with a buddy. You’ll find you cover more ground, and multi task in a really easy, fun way. You’re more likely to keep your exercise schedule if you have someone to keep you company.
3. Location, location, location. I work in a gym, but my preference is for al fresco exercise if I’m not using equipment I can’t replicate. I love the beach, the bush, even my backyard if I’m pushed for time. The exercise options you have with Bump+Nutrition include a lot of options you could do anywhere. Maybe early evening somewhere beautiful might bring a smile to your face. Be as creative as you like, and remember the way you do things can be different every day if that’s what you feel like.
4. Timing is everything. Some people are early risers and can’t deal with the idea of exercise later in the day. Others are night owls. You can really make the most of your movement if you identify what really works for you. Enjoy the benefits of extra energy during the day, and better sleep at night by knowing how your schedule and body deal with your wellness program.
5. Set dressing. Make the time you spend moving more fun by buying some inexpensive workout clothes. It makes a big difference to have clothes that fit properly, wick moisture, and don’t fall down or get in the way when you’re doing your thing. Look for styles that support you properly and fit well. If you’re used to big baggy t-shirts and tracky dacks, you won’t believe how much more comfortable you can be in purpose made clothes.
I’d love to hear any ideas you have about how to bring a little more joy into your world through exercise. Life can be serious and stressful, and the more we can smile and have fun, the more we can create a calm, happier world. Take care, and most of all, enjoy yourself!
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