July 16, 2014

Why Exercise Shouldn’t Be Hard Work

"The reason I exercise is for the quality of life I enjoy" 
Kenneth H. Cooper 

Most people have a love or hate relationship with exercise, but what if we called exercise, ‘body movement’ instead? What if we focused on finding activities that move our bodies, but didn’t feel like ‘exercise?’ What if exercise didn’t need to feel like hard work?

There is no question that moving the body is vital to our physical wellbeing but it is also a non-negotiable if you want a healthy and happy brain. Exercise has proven to be an effective way to ward off and manage depression, and generally makes us feel great. Exercise contributes to a great quality of life. So how can we incorporate movement into our regular routines? 

Start by doing something you love. 

What activities allow you to move your body but you don’t think of as ‘exercise’? For me dancing is one of my loves and it feels ‘effortless’ to me, in a way that going to the gym never will. Swimming is another activity that I love for the sensation of moving through water, the cardio workout is just a bonus! 

The trick is to try a type of body movement that is something you love, something you enjoy and something you look forward to doing. When we love something, we are internally motivated to do them and we will continue to do them, and that is the key to keeping up any routine. 

I hear so many women say they struggle to find the motivation to exercise, but by moving our bodies in a way that we enjoy, we can start to break down some of the internal resistance we often come up against when we start to think about exercise.   

There is so much in life that is genuinely hard work, but living well is about limiting the amount of things we feel we ‘should’ be doing, and increasing the amount of things we love doing and exercise should be part of that approach. 

When we enjoy the way we move our body it increases our happiness, optimism and health. How can you start moving your body this week, and do it with a smile on your face? :-)
Jess xxx

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