Exercise: 6 ways to move when you have a bad case of the “I don’t want to’s”
As human beings we were meant to use our bodies move and exercise.
Just look at a baby. They marvel at their new skills of movement every day. They exercise to the max just learning how to manipulate their own little bodies. My own children would jettison sleep time and again in lieu of practicing standing up and down in their cribs, much to my exhaustion and chagrin.
Yet somewhere, down the line of growing up, we got mixed messages about moving our bodies. I for one, was not an athlete in school. Yes, I begrudgingly participated in all the group sports like basketball and soccer, but none of those activities were a passion of mine nor was I particularly good at them. My parents tried in vain to get me interested in something, anything, related to moving. But I was content watching TV, playing with my friends and doing other hobbies.
When I finally decided on my own that I had to exercise – I took extreme measures. Intense Step aerobics classes, working out on elliptical machines for hours at a time, running, etc. My associations with movement only became more negative and more polarizing for me. Exercise became something I HAD to do not at all that I wanted to do. Can you relate?
I only recently came to terms with this and shifted my thinking about movement when I found my love of kettlebell training, bodyweight movement and yoga. Finally, I had found my inner athlete!
I finally found my inner athlete! Click To Tweet
She was there all along but was searching for it in the most punishing and disrespectful way. I was jogging because I felt it was so revered in our culture and that I would be admired for doing so even though I despised it. What I didn’t realize is that I was attempting to do an exercise that is completely wrong for my body mechanics and for who I am as a person and what speaks to me, and therefore it made me miserable.
I believe that many people are still looking for their inner athlete in all the wrong places which sets up this apprehensiveness or ambiguity around exercise. We don’t want to do it so we don’t, which makes us feel guilty (and tired) so we push ourselves to do it which only works temporarily because we hate what we’re doing so we stop.
Rinse and Repeat.
I have seen this time and time again with my clients and I believe I now know what it takes to create a lifetime positive relationship again with movement as we did as babies and small children.
The list I’m providing below is only a jumping off point. You must dig deep to find the types of exercise that truly resonate with you, your own body mechanics and your lifestyle to truly make this a sustainable practice.
Please add your own suggestions in the comments section below!
And grab my complete resource guide for learning about and implementing a plan that is perfect for you!
1. Pick up a class-pass and sample a few new types of exercise classes that you have never tried before. Don’t make assumptions about what you will or will not like until you try it. If Soulcycle is not your jam, maybe Pure Barre will be, or Zumba, or Orange Theory or something else! Class pass gives you tons of options without the need to purchase a gym membership.
2. Sample putting on some music and notice how your body likes to move naturally. This will give you a good sense of what types of movement patterns work well for your body. For instance, I find that I often like to do movements that are forward based, like downward dogs and planks but I tend to shy away from movements that are backwards based like bridges, crab walks and any other back bending type of exercises. Notice where your body naturally goes to when you just move in your own time and rhythm.
3. Download or stream a guided exercise class from your on-demand list, Apple TV or Roku. Do it from the comfort of your own home, at your own pace and in your own timeframe. (to get some options on my favorites, click here)
4. Play! It’s so so important to play like a child would. My trainer has been teaching me how to do this both with primal practice and even in simple ways like trying to climb a tree. Yes, I actually attempted to climb a tree. Here is proof. But playing can be done in so many ways. Playing frisbee with your kids, gentle and playful wrestling with your loved one, rolling down a hill – whatever! Take a minute and think of 3 things you can do that would be just plain old fun and exhilarating for you. It counts. In fact, sometimes, I get the best workouts just by playing around and having fun.
5. Try bouts. Studies have shown that people get the same cardiovascular benefits from small bouts exercise as in long ones (with walking). It may not feel as challenging or beneficial but that is just something you have to tolerate. Because the truth is that if you aim for 5 10 minute bouts of exercise, it’s the same thing as 1 50-minute bout. But, you actually be more willing and motivated to do it when you know you only have to do 10 minutes at a time or book out 10 minutes versus a whole hour. Make sense?
6. Grab an accountability partner. Have a set time each week to walk or run or hike or whatever with this person. Make sure it’s someone who is just as motivated as you are and will push you to go even when you don’t want to. It won’t work with someone who always ends up convincing you to go grab lunch instead!
What else helps you get over a case of the exercise “I don’t want to’s? ” I think we can all agree we can use all the strategies and support we can get right?
These are only a few suggestions. Download my compact yet complete resource guide for starting and executing an exercise plan to find your inner athlete, by clicking below.