February is upon us, and for many……we’ve already abandoned our New Year’s Resolution to exercise more. But how about this? Instead of exercise….think movement!
Exercise was a concept to address the negative consequences of our modern, sedentary lifestyles. What it really does is to separate people into “exercisers” or “non-exercisers” rather than all people being considered “movers.” Take out a piece of paper and write down what you think of as exercise on one side of the sheet of paper. On the other side of the paper, write down what constitutes movement. Being active doesn’t need to be tedious or something you “have to do.” It can include fun ways to reconnect with your body!
What we want to do is reframe movement vs. exercise and increase your enjoyment of physical activity. It really results in a mindset shift: This understanding that movement can be fun, joyful and that ALL movement counts! Humans were designed for movement and in fact movement is essential not only for physical wellbeing, but for improved mental health.
We should strive to “move” in some way every day. And just like our diet should be varied, so should your movement. Repetitive movements can lead to muscle imbalances and possibly overuse injuries. So even if you are moving using structured activities like running, stair climbing, weightlifting or spinning, you should vary your choice of exercises.
Not all movement is created equal, although movement shouldn’t be defined as good or bad. Walking ranks supreme in terms of ease, equipment, opportunity and connection. But your movement selection depends on your physical ability, preferences and goals. I love to turn on music and dance!
Movement is an opportunity for self expression. It provides a ton of physical, emotional, and mental benefits. Aim for 30-minutes daily and “just move it, move it!”