How many of you currently have an excuse for why you do not incorporate movement into your life daily? Legitimate or not, this situation is all too common and is one I have found myself in countless times! From not having enough time or money to not enjoying any form of movement, the excuses can run the gamut of reasons. But I can say this, as soon as you commit to making it a part of your daily life, you’ll soon find it is something you cannot live without.
Exercise has become somewhat of a drug to me countless times in my life. I find it one of the ultimate enablers of empowerment in my life, because it is something I can have complete and total control of and is something that actively makes me a stronger version of myself, not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. I have often relied on my daily movement practice to manage stress, as it can be a great escape from reality or a means of getting out of my head.
Over the years I have toyed with many different forms of exercise, including, but not limited to, weight lifting, running, spinning, HIIT, yoga and barre. For me, it’s not just about finding something that works. Yes, we all want to see results from our efforts and do something that produces results, but to me, it’s about so much more than getting results. It’s about doing something I enjoy, because if I enjoy it, I will do it and I will do it consistently. Consistency breeds progress, not the other way around.
When I decided to embark on this journey of sharing my passion for health and fitness and coaching others, I played with the idea of focusing on personal training rather than nutritional coaching. Why? Quite simply, because I love movement and love sharing my passion for it. However, the more I got vested in the world of health and fitness, the more I came to see how important nutrition is in order to reach your goals. I don’t want to say I did a full 180, but pretty much. I started to see, more and more, that real results were made in the kitchen. Exercise, however beloved by me, was just an added enabler and accelerator to getting results.
We’ve probably all heard the phrase, “You can’t out-train a bad diet.” And prior to my immersion into the world of nutrition, I basically brushed this off as untrue or maybe just partially true. Being an active person for most of my life, I really believed that exercise was the solution to a smaller waist line. After all, my goal of obtaining Janet Jackson-like abs (circa That’s The Way Love Goes), had to mean spending hours in the gym working on my fitness. It wasn’t until I started experiencing some health issues that I decided to take a closer look at my diet and started to scale back on the physical component.
While I still LOVE movement and pushing myself to achieve physical feats, I learned that putting too much effort into that one part of my life was leading to burnout and physical dysfunction. Yes, my relationship with exercise had reached dysfunctional levels. I was no longer making myself stronger, I was actually making myself weaker. My health was declining, which lead to me having to give up any form of movement for a period of time. I focused too much on the exercise component of my health and fitness and failed to see I was completely neglecting other aspects, such as my overall wellbeing, which could only be rectified through a closer look at my diet, my stress and my sleep. It was at this point I made a commitment to approach my health and fitness from a more holistic standpoint and to really care for and nurture my body.
Sometimes we need a jolt that tells us it is time for a reset.
And this is exactly what this moment in time did. It sprung me into a different sort of action. I craved knowledge and better understanding of the body and what it takes to attain the best health. While I still maintained a goal of good physical fitness, it was no longer my primary driver. It was simply a means to better enable my overall health.
This also meant exploring other types of activity. I had been so laser focused on one type of movement to achieve results, I was basically jack-hammering my body on a daily basis and not allowing for adequate recovery and alternate forms of movement that would further aid my health. It was at this moment that I found respite in the practice of yoga.
I’m going to be super honest here. I had been introduced to yoga many years prior by my dad, who had tried desperately to get his new passion for Bikram Yoga to rub off on me. He would even offer to pay for classes just to get me to go, because I often used cost as an excuse for why I did not want to go. At that time I did not see the benefit of yoga and, in all honesty, found it boring and un-engaging. I believed that exercise had to be intense to be worthwhile. So I had relegated myself to thinking weight training and spinning were the only way to get the results I was after. And I could not have been any more wrong!!!
Fast forward many years later, and yoga has become a pivotal part of my life. I’m often quoted saying that if I had to choose one modality of exercise, yoga would be it. Why you might ask…well, many reasons; more than I want to discuss in this post, but the most important reason being, it’s one of the few places I can get out of my head and be truly present, even if only for one hour. And I cannot tell you how freeing that feeling is. We are all pulled in so many different directions daily, it’s nice to find a place where you can totally disconnect with the craziness of life and connect with yourself in a more deep and meaningful way. Beyond that, the physical benefits of yoga are greater than I would have ever imagined. For me, it really covers the bases of everything I look for in physical activity; physicality, spirituality, relaxation and renewal all rolled into one. Most other movement practices, at least for me, only tap into one or two of these components.
I didn’t intend for this to be a post about my love for yoga and its plethora of benefits, but goes without saying, if you can find a daily movement practice that becomes this meaningful to you, you will find something that will be consistent in your life. Something you want to do, even when you may be strapped for time or money. Yes, I said it, money! You don’t have to join a fancy gym or yoga study to make movement a part of your daily life. In fact, being 5 weeks postpartum, exercising outside the house is not even an option for me. So I have found ways around that barrier. I subscribe to a service that brings yoga to my living room. And while it does not have the same energy and community as a yoga studio, it is something I can do easily and consistently. And I’ll take easy and consistent every day over nothing.
With that said, while I do not intend to guide people on specific modalities of movement as a part of Stronger Me coaching, I will encourage the adoption of a daily movement practice and finding something that you not only enjoy, but something that you can commit to daily. However, as a part of the coaching process, I can help you identify movement that suits your lifestyle and personality and encourage and enable you to commit to it consistently.
Consistency breeds progress.
Stronger through daily movement,