More Movement For Health

Four weeks later and I have met one of my two fitness – or wellness – goals.

How about you? Did you meet your fitness goals? I hope so. And, if not, today is always a good day to start. Or tomorrow, if you are reading this late. Remember, be gentle with yourself. More movement in our lives is simply about moving to feel better – as our bodies were created for motion. And movement for health can be easy and fun – and it can be kind.

My first fitness goal was to finish the book, “30 Days of Movement,” by Hannah Setzer which I finished yesterday. If you haven’t gotten yourself a copy yet, it is well worth the investment in You.

My second fitness goal was to start walking thirty minutes on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I have not managed this one yet. It’s only been two weeks since hubs retired, and we’re still getting oriented. Like everything else around here, my walking might have to fit in wherever I can fit it.

Daily Walk in Nature

My latest book to read is “Body Kindness” by Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN. I’m only a few pages in, and it is fantastic so far. Her book is blowing me away with all the ways we can be kind to our bodies. In next month’s blog, my goal is to update you on some of these ways.

What would you say is your fitness level today as compared to when you were a kid? Were you more active as a child? Or are you more active as an adult?

When I was a kid, I was pretty slow. I used to get picked on, not only by other kids but also by my fifth grade coach, for lagging behind so much. It never occurred to me that food allergies or sensitivities might be holding me back from being more athletic. Now that I know so much more about myself, it makes more sense that I was unable to keep up with my peers.

Beautiful Skies

One of the ways I have tried to be fit over the years, even during high school and to this day, was by adopting the calisthenic exercises done in grade and middle school. They were effective for me in many ways. Helping me “wake up” in the mornings before work. Stretching my muscles when they were aching. And, if done regularly, helping me to develop stamina and agility.

These exercises made a big difference in my fitness life. I was in two car wrecks in my twenties, so the exercises help stretch my shoulders and neck. I have had physical therapy in the past, and also do those exercises on a regular basis to keep pain at bay. In addition, I have also done yoga, Zumba, Pilates, Tabata, PIYO, and other fitness programs in an effort to get “in shape.”

What does getting in shape mean to you? Is it running? Is it going to the gym? Maybe doing pushups? The answer to this question is different for everyone. Often people want to be “fit” but think it has to be hard work. Instead, if we think of fitness as something we enjoy, our perception shifts and we can find exercise to be fun instead of dreadful. For instance, my favorite sport to play was soccer. Because of my slowness in grade school, I used to be the goalie. Today, if I tried to play, I’d probably not get far.

There are some exercises or sports that a person shouldn’t do at certain ages or fitness levels. And that’s okay. If a certain movement cannot be mastered, we shouldn’t risk injury or beat ourselves up about it. Our bodies are all made differently, and we all enjoy different forms of movement. Some people enjoy planks, while others enjoy triathlons. By reassessing and considering alternatives to what we used to do or like, we can find a new favorite exercise or sport that will fulfill the purpose of movement and bring joy at the same time.

Magnificent Sunrise

So, if you were to choose a new exercise or sport, what would it be? Would you choose golf? Maybe yoga? How about dancing? The key is to choose a movement for the best health of your life – make it fun, make it easy or challenging, but make it doable.

Me? Through the end of the year, I will be repeating Hannah’s book. I love her varied workouts and inspiring “pep talks.” This time I will be alternating days with circuits of burpees and mountain climbers. Right now, I’m at fifty per day. I’ll take Sundays off from the routine and just walk for thirty minutes. Well, unless someone makes an offer to go hiking. I love to hike!

Movement doesn’t need to be hard. Movement can be anything we want or need it to be. It is about getting our muscles toned, so our bodies can carry us for the remainder of our years – here on this beautiful, beautiful earth.

So, be kind to yourself. Don’t push yourself so hard that you quit or cause unintentional pain. Getting fit is about feeling good not bad. It only stands to reason that if our bodies were made for movement that we move them – as vigorous (but safe) or as gently as we feel comfortable doing so.

Let’s give ourselves an honest go of it and move healthier in the coming days and weeks.

I think we can meet our goals. How about you?

See you next month!

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