Have you ever noticed that when you love to do something, you don’t spend time trying to figure out how you’re going to fit it into your schedule? Harvey MacKay, entrepreneur, motivational speaker, author, and syndicated columnist said, “Find something you love to do, and you’ll never work a day in your life,” and there’s some truth to that logic.
Creating a healthy and balanced lifestyle is about figuring out what makes you happy. The problem is, we forget to give ourselves permission to be happy and joyful. We lose ourselves in all of the advice and easily get confused about who we truly are and what we actually want.
Getting to know yourself is key in making exercise and movement a life-long habit, and this is a key you want to hold.
What Does Finding an Exercise You Enjoy Really Mean?
Finding an exercise you really enjoy means you have fun doing it! One question you may want to ask yourself along the way: “What type of fitness can I see myself doing for the rest of my life?” For those of you who have already found it, this answer may come easy. For others, it may be time to tap into your creative self and affirm your answer to this question.
Opening Yourself Up
Don’t be afraid to open yourself up and try something new. Fear is there to protect us, but it can also keep us stuck. Take time to look at your fears and ask yourself what may be keeping you stuck.
Consider things like:
“I’m afraid I can’t keep up.”
“I don’t know how to use the machines. I hate asking for help.”
“I’m afraid I’ll make a fool of myself.”
Keep in mind that fitness is a journey, not a destination. If you’re afraid you can’t keep up, do the moves slower until you get stronger. It’ll be more fun that way, plus… safety. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Many people have this preconceived notion that the gym is filled with people with perfect bodies. That’s not true. Not only is everyone on their own journey, but we’re all in different legs of that journey. And, everyone deserves to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle. No matter what shape we’re in ▢▽◇⬯, no one benefits from over-emphasizing appearances, and you’ll be amazed by how you can find your people in every new place you go.
The bottom line is don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and be the real you. Never forget that you’re not alone. Most importantly, go at your own pace and be safe!
I always told my students that asking for help and assistance is a sign of strength, not of weakness. Would you judge a 16 year-old for asking you to show them how to make a right turn without skipping the curb one more time before their driver’s test? See. So don’t hesitate to ask a gym employee or trainer for help and (hopefully) meet a good person along the way. That’s what these people are there for and most will be eager to help!
Exercising regularly has many benefits. Some of these may include:
- Boosting energy
- Falling asleep with ease (Tip: Don’t exercise too closely to bedtime or it may inhibit you from falling asleep because of increased energy.)
- Reducing LDL cholesterol and raising HDL cholesterol
- Improving mood
- Reducing levels of anxiety and depression
- Building stronger bones
- Strengthening and defining muscles
- Assisting with weight loss
- Lowering your heart rate and blood pressure
- Improving self-esteem
What’s Your Excuse?
If you find yourself making excuses not to exercise and move, you may not have found your sweet spot yet. Take notice of when you find yourself making excuses about your exercise routine. It could sound like…
- I’m too tired to exercise.
- I have too many things to do; I don’t have time.
- I’m too old to start exercising.
- I’m not athletic.
- I’m overweight.
- I don’t have the right outfits or clothes to start exercising.
- Exercise is boring.
- The kids have homework.
- I’m just not motivated.
If you find yourself making excuses, look for ways to turn these excuses around. For example, if the gym is boring for you, try taking a walk in nature. If there isn’t a trail available to you, tour your neighborhood (but be safe!) or look for a track at your local park, high school, or university. If you find yourself saying that you’re too tired to even move, 1. Ask yourself if you’re being a drama queen 😏, and/or 2. Opt for shorter, lower impact intervals. This is a great way to motivate yourself and fit some exercise into your daily routine.
And true children oftentimes have a bountiful amount of homework in hand when they hit the door after a long day at school. Children, however, need a break too. Taking a fifteen minute family break and playing tag or walking the family dog is a great way to spend time together as a family and get in some much needed movement and fresh air. Enjoy your time together and find creative ways to get your bodies moving.
Focus on What You Love to Do
If you hate going to the gym, most likely you won’t be able to maintain a gym membership and get the most value for your money, no matter how good it may be for you. So if you like being outdoors, hiking or playing tennis may be the exact exercise ritual you’re looking for. Design your life and build your exercise routine around the activities and places bring you joy. Life’s too short, after all.
The Bottom Line
Exercise and physical activity are a great path to feeling better and finding balance. Holistically speaking, it is all connected. (I know, duh.) You can’t have a healthy body without a healthy mind or spirit, so be sure to put your mind and spirit first and the body will follow!
If you’re looking for a general a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. If you want to lose weight or meet specific fitness goals, you may need to exercise more. Remember to check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program, especially if you haven’t exercised for quite some time, have chronic health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, or arthritis, or you have any other health concerns.