Starting Where You are and Making Movement Fun
I remember when I started to find movement fun. Trust me when I say, it was not always the case. I was in middle school when it happened. I had a friend who joined the house basketball league so I wanted to join too. Before then I spent hours in front of the tv watching all my favorite shows. Movement wasn't something I thought about or even knew how to do. We were all beginners to basketball when I joined that house league. None of us even really knew the rules, but it was so fun. It was the first time I ever did any organized activity and I remember the feeling of sweating and runing and being part of a team. I found it exciting when we won, and even when we lost, we were in it together. Eventually I was actually okay as a basketball player and I was on teams that would travel. Even more motivation to move and practice because it meant we got to go to more interesting places. By the time I was gratuating from high school, I had played a few different sports at various degrees of success including crew, cross country, track and field, soccer... By the end I left high school with the honor of being part of the European Championship Basketball team as MVP.
I knew I wouldn’t touch a basketball after my senior year. I was really proud of what I had accomplished and I always craved activity and movement as an adult especially when I was determined to lose that teenage fat. I did kungfu, I tried ultimate frizbee and when I found triathlons, I felt like I was coming home because it was a competiton with no one but me. I felt like I was on a team again because everyone around me felt that way too. Sure we pushed each other but all you ‘win’ is that you did it in the first place. Sounds like heaven to me.... and you get a medal?!
As you build your life to the fullest remember that you must address all 4 areas of your life -- Mind, Body, Relationships and Money. As we start to head into spring we are going to deal with the body because when you feel good in your skin, it carries over into all the other parts of your life. To deal with your body we must start to get you moving. If you find ‘exercise’ to be torture for you then start to change your perspective. Make movement fun, forget the exercise! Especially if you arent moving right now the goal is to get you moving in some way because something is exponetionally better than nothing! Your heart will thank you, your joints will thank you, your energy will thank you. Make movement a priority!
There are so many simple things you can do to start making movement a priority. Simple things like Walking longer distances from your car to the store and dancing while you are cooking are great and fun activities that add movement into your day. The secret to making movement even more fun is to make it social. How many of your friends can you recruit to adding some team time into your life with a weekly walk, a dance class or a night on the town? Let go that having a body you love requires fancy equipment and degree-like knowledge because it doesn't! You just need to move.
Below I have included 5 stretches you should do everyday and 5 movements you should do everyday!
5 Stretches to do every day
Cat and cow for back
Figure 4 for hips
Half moon with arms binded
Gym class pose for hip flexor and quads
The front bow for hamstrings and calves
5 strength movements for a healthy body
Bird dog for core
Plank for core
Wall pushups for arms
Wall sit for legs