5 Ways to Change How You Think About Exercise

“Think of the magic of that foot, comparatively small, upon which your whole weight rests. It’s a miracle, and the dance is a celebration of that miracle.” Martha Graham

For years we have been told that we HAVE to exercise for at least 60-minutes every day. And exercise has to be completed in spandex, in a gym, dripping sweat. Oh yea, and it’s going to hurt. Well, I call bullshit.

It’s time we change how we all think about exercise. First, let’s stop calling it exercise -which seems to have a bad connotation. Let’s flip the script and call it movement.

Remember, movement creates endorphins – handy little tools to make you feel happier. There is no limitation to how or when that can happen; in other words, even small moments of movement can make you feel better.

And there is no requirement for the intensity of movement. Going for an easy stroll with a friend, taking a restorative yoga class, or just dancing in your kitchen while making dinner are great ways to move more during your day.

Having a hard time flipping your own script? Here are 5 reasons (& ways) to change how you think of exercise:

1. Remember, Every Movement Matters

Remind yourself that this is not an all-or-nothing situation. If you know you may skip your typical workout, schedule different movements throughout your day, like a few short walks around your block or climbing your stairs a few times every hour. Movement does not have to be done for a long duration or in special clothes. Try a short 5-minute circuit every hour in your office.

2. Use Fun Fitness Tools

Create an environment in your home that stimulates fitness by keeping various pieces of fitness equipment in easy access for use: a pair of Lebert EQualizers in the living room, a stability ball in the bedroom, and a Bender Ball in the kitchen. Also, post a list of exercises that only take a minute near all of the equipment in your home.

3. Make Movement Meetings

Change the happy hour routine. We tend to make plans that revolve around drinks and food. Instead, schedule movement meetings where you meet your co-workers or friends for a hike, try a new dance class or even try a workout at home together.

4. Stand Up More Often

Create a stand-up workspace. While holiday parties or the newly cold weather can damper your workout routine, you can still create movement and energy throughout the day by standing while you work.

5. Walk After Eating

After every meal, take a walk. Even if it is around the outside of your house 10x, around the office block, or to the end of your street and back, get outside and walk. This will help you get more movement into your day but also aid digestion.