Thank you for the awesome and sincere question. You are asking what so many are thinking and feeling.
If you and I went for a walk, we would talk. If we went to the most amazing beach or behind dumpsters, we would still talk while walking. Then, before long, we would look down at our watch and 10, 15, 20, maybe even 30 minutes will have passed. We will have talked, connected and YOU WILL HAVE MOVED AND EXERCISED!
After, you will not have said, “I wish I had not done that” or “that was awful.” What we would do is set up a time to meet and do it again, because it was nice and it was good to have done. Let’s not even try to make a relationship with exercise. In fact, for a few moments lets try not to even ‘exercise’ at all. Let’s just try to think how you love being outside and playing with your kids, how a friend of yours likes swimming and hanging out with friends, and maybe how a cousin of yours likes doing yoga and loves Reiki.
Let’s just do more of what we like and call it a day. Forget trying to love exercise! I mean who says we have to exercise anyway. Sure it is optimal, but the more I keep telling myself ‘I have to’ exercise the less likely I will want to do it, nor will doing it happen with ease. Without knowing you, my guess is if I told you, ‘you HAVE to’ run 3 miles or do push ups, you would look at me with a death stare.
I don’t love brushing my teeth, I just do it two times a day because I know there are benefits. However, I could be doing other things with my time besides brushing my teeth! Sometimes it even hurts, but I still do it the next day despite the discomfort.
I understand I am annoyingly positive about the whole exercise thing and it seems it happens with ease for me. For many years there were components of exercise I did not love and often felt imprisoned to do it. If I didn’t I would have thoughts, “I was bad or I would get fat”. Now, it comes natural to do because I know it is only an option, not a requirement.
What is exercise anyway? It can be walking a few more spots in the parking lot, taking a flight of stairs, walking and talking on the phone, vacuuming, dancing, walking your dog, playing with a child… let’s not even think about naming it ‘exercise.’
What is something you can do that would get you moving a bit more? Just a little bit more… One efforts worth of more!
Make shiFt happen, Dr. Dara