Exercise or rather “movement” is a critical part of self-care. Someone recently said to me that “sitting is the new smoking.” Ouch, that hits hard! Especially where so many of us sit for long periods of time throughout the day depending upon what we do for work. But the key to moving our bodies is that it should be joyful. That’s right – your relationship to movement should make you happy and feel joy.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for us to take control of our health and well-being. And lots so of local studios are now offering online classes and YouTube is full of great options too!
I know that it can be difficult to get started for fear of embarrassment or judgment or feeling like you are not capable of doing it. I get it, I really do, but a lot of the barriers that we have to exercise are ones that we put there in our minds. Meaning they are not real.
You have heard me also quote my mom before when she says that not moving is “the kiss of death.” It is ok to start small, to modify, and explore different options and find an instructor that resonates with you, listens to you, and does not shame you. Exercise is not a means to lose weight!
Exercise and movement can look very different from one person to the next, and you do not need to spend 5, 6 or 7 days a week in the gym pushing your limits to feel the benefits. 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 a punishment for food you have eaten. 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 joyful, 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 just don’t like going, and I don’t find working out on machines to be joyful; 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. Additionally, I enjoy walking, swimming, gentle yoga, stretching, and more.
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!
Here are some of my favorites to get you started with Joyful Movement:
LaVita Loca Fitness with Kelli LaVita – Kelli offers many workout options for all levels including Zumba which is my number one go-to. Kelli is also offering her classes on-demand. Very reasonably priced. Regular updates on her Facebook page. Also, keep an eye out on the podcast for an episode with Kelli.
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 2020. 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! You can also learn more about Allison in her recent podcast episode.
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.
There are lots of other small 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?
Be sure to like, subscribe and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up-to-date information on self-care! You can also watch any of my previously recorded videos on the LIVE tab of Dr. MC’s Self-Care Cabaret or my YouTube Channel. OR catch me on Instagram, where I have been sharing more expertise on self-care!