I Like to Move it, Move it…Joyfully

Exercise or rather “movement” is a critical part of self-care. Especially now during the COVID-19 crisis many of us are moving less as our regular options may be limited and we are working from home. However, now is a GREAT time to explore new options to move. Many studios are reinventing themselves to offer virtual and on-demand content that you can do at your convenience in the comfort of your home. It can be difficult to get started for fear of embarrassment or judgement which is a reason some people don’t join fitness classes in person, but with virtual options, you don’t have to worry! And you don’t need a ton of space either. What are you waiting for?

Photo by Jennifer Enujiugha on Pexels.com

Being sedentary and not moving is (as my mother would say), “the kiss of death.” Now exercise and movement can look very different from one person to the next, but you do not need to spend 5, 6 or 7 days a week in the gym pushing your limits to feel the benefits. Also, you can start small if moving is not something you regularly engage in. Meet yourself where you are at and don’t limit yourself.

When it comes to the intensity and frequency of exercise, there are a lot of misconceptions. If it is not hardcore, is it effective? If you are not sore for three days afterward, did you even try? Here is the bottom line…any time you move your body, you are exercising, and you will benefit from it. Movement does not have to be extreme to be effective. And movement is never punishment for food you have eaten. Ideally, the movement you do will also be ENJOYABLE! There have been times in my life where I have exercised to the extreme and as a penalty for what I ate or as an attempt to control my weight and guess what eventually happened? It backfired. It was not sustainable, it was not enjoyable, and it was not healthy. Although it may have appeared that way from the outside.

I will admit that I am not a gym person. I don’t like going, and I don’t find working out on machines enjoyable; however, I love to move my body. If going to the gym works for you or you enjoy hardcore workout sessions, please keep doing that, but my guess is that many people don’t actually enjoy it, but they do it because they feel like they “have to do it that way.” Not to mention, some hardcore/fad exercise programs have damaging health consequences when someone pushes themselves past their limits.

Because I don’t like going to the gym, I have to get creative to get my exercise in. I love dancing. Growing up, I trained professionally 6-7 times per week, now as an adult, that is not realistic, but yet, I still love to dance. So I have found (you have to look) dance options that work for me.

Here are some of my favorites:

LaVita Loca Fitness with Kelli LaVita – Kelli offers my favorite virtual workouts for all levels including Zumba which is my number one go to. Kelli is also offering her classes on-demand. Classes range from $5-8.00. Regular updates on her Facebook page.

Private Yoga Classes with Allison Derrico via zoom. Allison is my cousin and a great yoga instructor. My mom and I have been taking weekly private yoga sessions with Allison via zoom since March. Allison leads us through a variety of gentle stretches, chair poses and restorative practices. I highly recommend checking out private yoga sessions to get you started. If that is not appealing, you can always search on YouTube for other options to explore yoga. Remember, every BODY can do yoga!

Body Groove – Body Groove on demand offers a fun way to move your body. I recently purchased the annual subscription and there are a ton of options available. I like that the it is gentle and fluid. No rigid repetitions and strenuous movement. A variety of styles are also available.

567 Broadway – Anyone who knows me knows my love of Broadway and that I have a strong performing arts background (hence the name, Dr. MC’s Self-Care Cabaret), so I was thrilled to stumble upon these Broadway inspired workouts. Easy to follow and so much fun! More available on the website. Later today, I am taking a Livestream class with the creator Jospeh Corella though Broadway Dance Center in NYC and I cannot wait!

So go ahead and get started moving today. Don’t just sit on the couch and hope that it will find you.

In case you need more convincing, here is a list of some known benefits to exercise:

  • Reduced stress
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Improved mood
  • Improved memory
  • Increased productivity
  • More energy
  • Better sleep
  • Better executive functioning
  • Improved immune system
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Possible weight loss
  • Increased balance
  • Decreased pain
  • Improved cardiovascular function

That’s a lot of reasons to move!

There are lots of other ways to incorporate movement into your routines such as cleaning the house, yard work, and gardening. I recently read a life hack that said to do 25 jumping jacks every time you go to the bathroom…hey, whatever works!

What do you do for movement? Comment below to share with me what you like to do for joyful movement?

Also, I am taking a break from the Talk-Back Tuesday Facebook LIVE sessions while I restructure my plan for delivering you meaningful content and tips for better self-care. However, you can always watch a session you may have missed on the LIVE tab of Dr. MC’s Self-Care Cabaret or my YouTube Channel.

Stay well,

Dr. MC

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Published by Theresa Melito-Conners, PhD (Dr. MC)

I am self-care expert and a recent Ph.D. graduate in the greater Boston area. I look forward to helping you on your journey to wellness.

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