I’ve been thinking lately about how exercise became a thing to add to our ‘ to do’ lists. Yes, we know moving is important and it’s something our bodies need to be whole and healthy – just as good nutrition, sleep and positive relationships are human requirements.
If moving is an essential element of life, why have we removed it and made it an abstract ‘add on’ to how we live. It seems to me to have become segmented. We drive to the gym and do an hour of lifting heavy things and squats and then tick our exercise box.
Imagine if you could find a way to integrate squats and have strong arms as part of your everyday activities. It may just mean making some small adjustments to the everyday tasks and activities of the day.
Let me give you an example. Yesterday, I was hanging out the washing on the line, with the basket sitting on a bench for easy access. But you know, I could easily put the basket on the ground and bend down to pick up the clothes and reach up to peg up the washing.
How funny it is to think I make the road so easy where I can, then go to the studio to bend down and reach up. I know that moving makes me feel great, and I love working out in the Pilates studio, but when life is busy, and I can’t get to the studio or the gym – I can still move. I can still have that feeling of energy and also release in my body like I have after a workout.
I hear people tell me regularly, that they wish they have time to fit in an extra Pilates class, or talk about the challenge of finding child care and the extra cost of doing more ‘ lessons’. These are all legitimate challenges, but let me encourage you that these don’t need to be roadblocks to your life of movement and health.
Think about movement and the way you can become mindful and intentional through your everyday life activities. Whether at work, with the kids, or home, you can still get in your ‘exercise’.
Movement should be natural and part of our everyday. Learn to become intuitive and listen to your body. Pilates is has been a great learning tool for me. It’s through mindful movement that I have learnt to know what my body needs.
Learning to sense when you need to get up from the computer and take a stretch. Even just moving to a standing bench for half and hour at a time. If you’re at home, you could stand at the kitchen benchtop to pay the bills rather than sitting at the desk.
My husband works from home, and when he is on phone calls, he’ll often wander around the garden and pull some weeds while he talks.
If I have text messages to respond to, I sometimes lie on the roller with my phone, as I text responses.
Maybe while brushing your teeth you could challenge your balance and stability and stand on one leg. This is one of my son’s favorites! (He saw on youtube that it’s a way to get a 6 pack!)
Find ways to move. Respond to your instinct and trust yourself. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get to the gym or can’t fit in the exercise class some days. You can find improvements and results in your body with the small changes to your day. All the little bits and pieces add up! They really do. Don’t feel like a failure if you didn’t get the gym clothes on today. Move around the home so you can feel good, healthy and pleased with yourself. Give it a go, and see how making small changes will add up to a more positive, full and healthy life.