It’s been years since I’ve had a regular exercise routine: whenever I started a program in the past, I would get derailed and discouraged.
I’ve spent time thinking about the optimal times in the day or week to workout, if I would want company or not, as well as how to push hard enough to create growth, but not too hard to end up sidelined with an injury–an off-ramp to my exercise routine in the past.
In the last month, all of the experiments I have been doing to figure out what would work for me are paying off: I’m starting to see changes in my body and how I feel and move, and it’s led me to some realizations about how I think about movement and how to practically align my lifestyle with my values.
Number one, it’s about consistency.
Picking a time and sticking to that as your time to move. I found that first thing in the morning is the best time for me to work up a sweat, whereas after work I like to take a walk. During the day, I’m more aware of my core and find myself activating it throughout the day, as if my muscles are now awake and ready to do the work of holding all my viscera in place.
That leads me to number two: Core strength is built all day long.
I’ve never heard anyone talking about this idea, and I wonder how many fit people walk around doing this unaware, because it is second nature? For those of us who are not already endurance athletes, how much of an impact can activating your core (think, pulling in your bellybutton towards your spine while sitting, or engaging your stomach muscles before picking up something) do for your overall fitness? My experience is that it has had surprising effects in terms of my mood, self-awareness and groundedness.
Finally, you don’t need my permission for this, but I’m going to suggest it:
Move your body how it feels good to you.
Maybe you don’t know what would feel good right now, or it can be hard to imagine this if you are struggling with chronic pain. This is where you can create some experiments: what does a yoga class vs. Youtube yoga feel like? How would it be to take the stairs vs. the elevator today? What about setting a phone alarm to remind you to breathe deeply and activate the chest and abdomen on the hour? If you are willing to explore what truly feels good to you, you may make some interesting and even surprising discoveries.
Wherever you are in your relationship with movement, know that you are not alone if you find it hard to figure out what works for you. At Qwibil, we can help you create a movement plan that honors where you are right now, and encourages you towards your overall health goals.
If you have questions or concerns about finding the right dose and dosing schedule for you, the doctors at Qwibil are happy to help you.