“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” ~ Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
On May 7th, we introduced Pillar #5 of “The Year of the Best You” – Movement Matters. Today, we will recap how the month went in the area of physical activity. Our May worksheet encompassed 1 task – recording our activity to get an overall idea of how many minutes we spend in movement per week.
The main takeaway from recording my activity is that I easily achieve 150+ minutes of activity per week, and that I tend to spend most of it engaging in activities I enjoy. My main forms of activity over the 3 weeks included brisk walking (both outside and on our treadmill), strength training using my own body weight (such as push ups and plank) and yoga – all accessible and low impact. Over the years, I have done a variety of forms of regular physical activity from exercise classes to weight training to Pilates, just to name a few. Now, in my mid forties, I am tending to focus on activities that I both enjoy and minimize my risk of injury.
What activities did you record or do you do on a regular basis? Has it changed over the years? What factors come into play when choosing an activity? Do you find it easier to have an accountability coach such as an exercise partner, trainer or class to attend? Sometimes it is valuable to consider these factors so we can re-examine what motivates us to be active and continue on that path.
Overcoming the two most common barriers
Over the years, the two most common barriers to engaging in regular physical activity that I have heard include ‘I do not enough time’ and ‘I am too tired’. Trust me, I have voiced these two reasons myself many times. Overcoming these barriers certainly depends on the day, age/phase of life, health status and other factors, but two tips that have worked for many people are as follows:
1) Schedule activity into an upcoming week as if it were an appointment.
2) Moving our bodies actually gives us energy and helps us sleep at night.
Movement matters figuratively as well
The benefits of physical movement to our mind and bodies is unquestionable, but movement in a figurative sense can also enhance our well-being. Moving on, moving in a new direction, moving into a new role – all signify change, and usually personal growth. Our son graduated from high school on Friday so the concept of this type of movement has been on my mind. We heard many speeches over the course of the day, from the ceremony to the banquet, often laced with inspirational messages. My son is moving on to university in the fall and into a new phase of life for him. This movement is exciting and necessary for him to pursue his dreams and reach his goals – two very common graduation messages.
In a similar vein to the above-mentioned graduation messages, I would like to leave my own message to young graduates that incorporates a couple of things that I have learned since graduating from high school 27 years ago:
“The life you are in search of is right here, right now. Do set goals and plan ahead, but not at the expense of enjoying the present moment. Follow what you enjoy and don’t be afraid to live with a sense of ease. We set ourselves up to expect that ‘life is hard’ so it can easily become that. Instead, this life we move through offers us opportunities to be who we want to be and overcome the bumps along the way.”
Stay tuned next Sunday as we discuss Pillar #6 of the “Year of the Best You” – Nutrition.