There are some lucky souls who just love to exercise, but for many of us, including me, it is more of a struggle. We know we should and probably need to do it, but that doesn’t change how difficult it is to actually find the motivation to get ourselves exercising. Just as the Law of Inertia states, an object at rest will stay at rest, unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. So how do we get ourselves to be that unbalanced force towards exercise?
The first step is changing our mindset around the subject. For me, the thought of exercise has always sparked unsettling images of cold gyms and worries of not knowing what exactly to do with the equipment. Or, it may just feel like a chore that can be pushed off indefinitely because there are other more important tasks to get done. What if we shifted these thoughts to be something we enjoy and are potentially even excited about? Using the word movement rather than exercise can help make that shift. It’s more dynamic and open. What type of movement has sparked your interest throughout your life? Do certain sports help you itch that competitive scratch you have, or maybe fulfill a sense of community? Does hiking in nature satisfy your soul on a spiritual level? Maybe gardening helps you feel accomplished. Swimming could bring a sense of peace. Movement can be found in many different forms, start by figuring out whatever activity calls to you. Ultimately, the important part is that we move our bodies in sustainable ways, and it’s much more likely to be sustainable if we like the activity.
Another helpful mindset shift is switching how we talk to ourselves about movement. Rather than thinking ‘I have to move my body’ , changing it to, ‘I get to move my body’ or even ‘I deserve to move my body’. Thinking of movement not as a chore we have to force on ourselves, but as a sort of gift. It’s amazing how much our bodies do to keep us alive without us even thinking about it. We breathe automatically, our hearts beat and pump blood throughout our bodies, our immune system fights off sickness, sometimes even before we feel symptoms, and so much more. Isn’t it amazing that we get to move these bodies that do so much for us in ways that are enjoyable while also benefiting them. We deserve to treat our bodies in this way, as if they’re our friends that we want to take care of.
Whether you have a chronic illness, mobility issues, disabilities, or are lucky enough to have full health, movement is important. It’s a form of self care that makes a huge difference for our minds and bodies. So, let’s start giving ourselves what we deserve.