First off, I am not a personal trainer – So I am definitely not going to be giving any individualised advice or any in-depth information about moving.
However, I will talk about movement in a more general way.
We know that moving our body is important and the guidelines are that we move our bodies for 30 minutes a day. But what if you don’t like exercising or what if you genuinely do not have the time to go to a workout class for that long everyday?
Or maybe you do like exercising and you go on a kick-start plan and then a few weeks (days?) later you fall off the wagon. Not for the first time.
What do you do then?
Do not panic. I’ve got you covered.
Change your mindset
Instead of looking at exercising as something you HAVE to do, as something you don’t want to do at all but it’s something else you need to cross off your todo list, re-frame it and look at it as something you GET to do.
You GET to move your body in a way that is going to keep you strong, and your bones strong and healthy.
You GET to move you body so that you feel good about yourself (everyone loves an endorphin).
You GET to move your body to relieve the stress and tension in your body – and doing so will make you into a less shouty mum.
We need to re-frame moving our body from a negative place, where we only do it because we HAVE to or only because we want to lose weight, and instead look at it from a place of self-care and respect for your body.
We only have one body and we need to look after it!
When we are moving our body it should be fun and something that we look forward to because it makes us feel good – not only physically but mentally too.
If we know that moving is going to make us feel that way then it makes sense that we are going to find it easier to be consistent and keep showing up to do some joyful movement.
Think of getting movement in as being an opportunity to take some time for yourself and your own needs.
Your mental and physical health will thankyou for taking that little chunk of time out of your day to focus on self-care.
So what movement should we be doing?
You do not need to do a workout you hate.
You do not need to do a workout because everyone on Instagram is doing it.
You definitely do not need to be exercising to make up for what you have eaten or what you are going to be eating.
There is no one-size-fits all when it comes to moving your body.
Everyone is different and not everyone is going to enjoy the same type of workout. Some people are going to love cardio or lifting weights whilst someone else will hate the thought of doing either and that is okay.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that if you aren’t doing HIIT workouts, running or lifting heavy weights in the gym you are failing or not doing it right – but that’s really not the case.
The right movement is the one that suits your individual needs the best. The one that you can show up for consistently. The one that you cannot wait to do.
How do I find what workout suits me best?
You may have some idea of what exercise you like doing – you might love walking, running, yoga, pilates, lifting weights… the list of exercise ideas is endless.
All of those exercises are amazing choices too.
A lot of people hold the belief that walking or yoga or any of the Low intensity steady ways of moving are not as beneficial to you as Higher intensity workouts and strength training – but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
ALL exercises are beneficial.
Some may have different benefits than others – but over all they are all good!
If you are not sure what exercise you enjoy doing, grab a friend and try out some different workout classes together if you don’t feel confident to go on your own.
There are some really fun classes out there now.
You know yourself best, if the idea of joining a class makes you cringe and you prefer to workout on your own the selection of workouts on youtube is endless.
Or start going for a daily walk. Set a timer for 15 minutes and walk in one direction until the timer goes off then turn around and walk the 15 minutes home.
Use it as an opportunity to explore your local area, or explore somewhere new.
The good thing about walking is that you can take the kids with you too.
Download the couch-to-5k app and give that a go if running sounds good to you.
Your kids can join in with you with this one too, or tell them to grab their scooters and scoot alongside you.
A helpful tip if you don’t like exercising is to think back to when you were a child and to remember what is was you enjoyed doing then. Did you enjoy climbing trees? Playing netball in after school club?
Can you bring any of those things into your life now? Join a local club if group sports are your thing, if you used love climbing trees why not try rock climbing?
How often? What if I don’t have 30 minutes?
We know that 30 minutes every day is the ideal amount.
However, we don’t all have 30 minutes to work out for whatever reason.
So what do you do then?
Break it down.
Break it down into 5-10 minute chunks.
If you have 5 minutes in the morning, do 5 minutes of something then – even if it’s doing some star jumps or walking up and down the stairs.
Do another 5 minutes at lunch time.
Another five minutes after you get home from the school run.
Another five minutes after you have finished your evening meal.
Another five minutes before you go in the bath.
You get the idea.
The point is, you do not have to do the 30 minutes all in one go.
Find a way that it works for you and your life and do that.
Make it easy.
Add little bits of movement into your day.
- While waiting for the kettle to boil do some squats.
- While brushing your teeth do some toe lifts.
- Instead of having a ‘take these upstairs’ pile on the bottom of your stairs – just take them straight upstairs.
- Do some lunges on the stairs.
- Park your car further away from the shop to get a few extra steps in.
- If it’s going to take you less than 5 minutes to drive there, can you walk instead? (Remember to factor in some extra time if your kids are walking too!)
- Instead of meeting a friend for a coffee, grab a takeaway cup and go for walk!
The little things add up.
The secret is not to force it. If you try something and don’t like it then just move on to the next thing. I promise you there is something out there for you and it may even surprise you!
What movement do you love to do? Anything new you fancy trying? Let me know!