Moving your body regularly is essential for your overall health and well-being; there’s no doubt about it. It seems to be a truth we’re all aware of, yet we can often find ourselves experiencing difficulty being motivated and staying committed to engaging in consistent exercise. We’ve all been there! So let’s cover some important tips on how to stay consistent with daily movement.
A reminder of the benefits & importance
Let’s dive into a quick summary of why exercise is important to your health. There’s nothing like a little reality check to help boost motivation and inspiration.
Physically, exercise benefits essentially every system in the body: cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, endocrine, immune, lymphatic, reproductive, nervous system, and most obviously the skeletal and muscular systems. It helps to improve brain and cognitive function, increase energy levels, support better quality of sleep, lower risk for injury and disease, and so much more. But there are also incredible mental and emotional benefits as well, such as reducing depression, anxiety and stress, producing endorphins and “feel good” emotions, and increasing self-esteem and empowerment. Physical movement can also help us to process through emotion, and keep stagnant energy moving through our body.
That’s a whole lot of bang for your buck.
All of these benefits are significant to your overall health and well-being, and shows just how deeply connected it all is; remember your health is so much more than just your physical body. Now let’s look at some topics and tips to inspire consistency with daily movement:
5 Tips to Stay Consistent With Daily Movement
1) Your intention, motivation and mindset matter
This should always be your starting place. It’s extremely important, and sets the foundation for how you experience and relate to exercise. Start by creating some self-awareness and check in with why you are engaging in any particular form of exercise. Are you punishing yourself, or acting out of self-loathing? Are you obsessing over maintaining/achieving a certain weight or body appearance? Are you exercising to burn off what you recently ate, or what you’ll soon be eating (a “calories in, calories out” mindset)? Do your best to notice your own patterns of behavior and thoughts without judgment or shame; the goal is to simply be aware, so that you know what you’re working with. Then get curious – how are these serving you and how are they hurting you?
After creating all that self-awareness, open yourself up to new perspectives and ways of relating to movement. Slowly and consistently offer yourself more loving and supportive intentions and thoughts. Your body works so hard every day to keep you alive – how can you use exercise as a way to express gratitude for your body, or as a tool for healing if your body is struggling? With every walk, bike ride, HIIT workout, and strength training or yoga session, show up knowing you are taking the time to care for yourself on every level – mind, body and soul. Soak in the gratitude for being able to move in the first place! Move because you love yourself, even if you’re just beginning the process of learning how to.
In summary, do your best to approach movement as a form of self-care and self-love to support your overall health and well-being.
2) Check the standards you’re holding yourself to, and release your grip on perfection
Again, create some self-awareness. What standards and expectations are you consciously and subconsciously living by? Are they causing stress and unnecessary pressure? Are they supporting your goals and allowing you to be your best self? Remind yourself of all the benefits of exercise to your health, and why you’re choosing to move in the first place. Release what’s not serving you.
You don’t have to always engage in intense workouts for it to “count”; movement of any kind is going to be beneficial. And yes it’s important to get a range of different types of movement and exercise in and to challenge yourself, but something is always better than nothing! How can you celebrate even 10 minutes of mindful stretching? What’s important is to show you for yourself, and how you do that can look different every day.
3) Honor both the vision you’re working towards, and your needs in the moment
Setting goals and having a vision to work towards can be incredibly motivating and empowering. Take the time to center into that vision for yourself – what exercise will allow you to do, and how it will support you showing up as your best self. What’s important to you? How do you want to FEEL? Commit to these things, and to yourself.
It’s equally important and beneficial however, to always be in tune with your body to listen to what it needs, and what’s sustainable and works for you. Know yourself well enough to be able to tell when you’re just feeling a little unmotivated, or when you actually need to rest or to pivot that cardio workout to something more mellow and restorative. Pushing yourself too hard can do more harm than good, and finding those limits and cues for yourself is highly personal. Especially for those navigating health challenges, it’s important to listen to your needs in each moment.
Find harmony between staying committed, yet flexible! Again, it’s about taking care of your body, not pushing yourself to your breaking point.
4) Give yourself a challenge
There’s nothing like a good challenge to work towards to get your butt into gear! The key here is setting something APPROACHABLE and realistic, and something you actually want to do. You don’t do pushups currently, but want to start doing 100 a day? Maybe scale that back to start with 25 or even 50 a day. Or wanting to run a marathon or some sort of race? Plan out milestones (or find a trainer or someone who’s had success in this arena before to help you). We love small wins along the way, right?? Stay committed, get good at it, watch yourself get stronger. And then, if you want to up the challenge, go for it!
This will also help you step out of your comfort zone, grow in so many ways besides just physically, and to have fun in the process. Personally, I’ve been doing 50 pushups a day (actually 5-6 days a week because we also need rest!) for a few months now, and it’s been really awesome to notice the push ups getting easier, and visible changes in my arms! I’ve found the challenge to be motivating, and I’m so proud of myself for staying committed, yet flexible if I need to take 3 days off instead of 1.
5) Have FUN with it!
Engage in movements that bring you joy, challenge you in empowering and uplifting ways, and allow you to feel energized and alive. Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore or a burden, or leave you feeling defeated. Explore different movement practices to find what works best for you and that you can actually enjoy, from workout videos and group classes, to outdoor playful activities and sports. There are SO many beautiful and creative ways to move your body.
I hope these little tips have been helpful, and encourage you to reevaluate your relationship and approach to exercise. Use movement as an opportunity for mindfulness and connection to yourself, as well as a method of self-care and love. Start small, and remember to allow your choices of movement and exercise to support you and your current needs; you’re in control and have the power to create your own reality!
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