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Get Moving!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

I have learned that I require movement. This is still a surprising concept to me. I was the kid who hated PE class. Picked last for teams, I was clumsy and non-competitive. I thought I hated exercise. In college, I would swim laps to pass the time while other friends were working out in the weight room or taking karate class. Eventually, I noticed that it was stress-relieving and rather lovely. But after I graduated college, I had no money for a gym membership, and working so many hours left no time for "optional" activities.

Now, in my 40s, I'm rediscovering what I was on the verge of really integrating as a very young woman: When I move, I am well. In every sense, I am well when I get activity often. My attitude is brighter, I am uplifted and optimistic. I parent with more patience and enthusiasm. I love my work, and am much more efficient. I sleep better. I laugh more, I am more confident and happy. And it is easier to follow my food program. Everything goes better when I move at least 50 minutes five or six days a week.

And I like it. I 've found activities that I truly enjoy, most of the time. That doesn't mean that I don't have to talk myself into my workouts sometimes. I do. But once I get started, I am having a good time. I like the challenge. And I like the way I feel.

My advice to anyone starting to change their eating habits or improve their health is to also start looking for ways to have a good time moving. Walk 10 or 30 minutes per day. Take a fitness class. Do a yoga video on YouTube. Check out the SparkPeople fitness videos. Many fitness activities can be done at home if you're shy of exercising around others. And if you want to benefit from the social aspects of exercise, but don't want to join a gym, invite friends over to do a fitness video or go to a park where others are working out. Experiment with lots of things until you find a few you can smile doing. You don't have to love them. But dread is bad for fitness outcomes, so find things you can at least have a good time doing. Loving your exercise activities can come later. In the beginning, notice how moving is good for your soul.

Get out and move this week! Have a beautiful week, friends!
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