Your body is an incredible machine.
Without even thinking about it or telling it what to do, your body automatically knows how to pump air through your lungs, when and how hard to make your heart beat, how to filter out toxins and bacteria, and how to learn new things and remember all of your favorite memories.
In order to keep our bodies functioning like a well-oiled machine, we have to treat it that way!
We can’t expect our cars to run well if we don’t maintain it, and the same goes for our bodies. We can’t expect our bodies to function at their best if we don’t constantly train and condition it to do so.
There are a few pillars of health that are essential to prioritize if you truly want your body to function well and be healthy for many years to come, and one of the most important of those is movement.
Movement is your lifeline. Consistent exercise allows your body to stay alive, dynamic, and fluid! If we don’t move and exercise regularly, we start to feel stiff and tight.
Not only do we feel stiff and tight in our muscles, but we also get stiff and tight in our airflow, blood flow, nerve function, and everything that’s happening behind the scenes.
If you struggle to find regular movement and exercise in your routine, here are a few easy tips, from Chiropractor Alison Bremner, to follow that can help you get active and give your body the movement it needs.
1. Find Something you Enjoy
No matter who you are, it is nearly impossible to stick to something that you hate doing. Oftentimes people want to start exercising, but they loathe the thought of going to the gym by themselves. If that sounds like you, it’s okay!
There are still so many other things you can do to be active that doesn’t require you to be in the gym for two hours a day! Especially if you are living in Boulder, there are TONS of unique fitness studios that you can join, including yoga, barre, pilates, or CrossFit.
If you want to go to the gym but aren’t sure what to do, look into hiring a personal trainer or going with a friend who has a little more experience with weights. You can also find people on Instagram or TikTok who create workout programs that are easy to follow at home. The options are truly endless. Find something you enjoy and stick to it!
2. Set Small, Realistic Goals.
You don’t have to go to the gym for two hours five times a week in order to benefit from exercise.
You don’t have to run 3 miles every day in order to get better at running. You don’t have to jump into something as intense as CrossFit if you are new to working out. Even if you only exercise for 20 minutes 3 times a week, that is a huge improvement from not exercising at all! Movement does not have to be an all-or-nothing activity.
If you feel like going to the gym but only have 20 minutes, go for it! If you want to go for a run but can’t run more than half a mile, run that half mile! If you are still trying things out, it’s okay to go to a yoga class on Monday, a spinning class on Thursday, and hit the weight floor on Saturday. There is no strict schedule that you have to follow.
Any exercise is better than no exercise, and it’s a lot easier to say “I am going to work out 3 times this week” as opposed to “I am going to go to the gym for 2 hours Monday through Friday”. Set smaller goals for yourself and stick to them!
3. Make it a Part of your Routine.
Once you find something you love and you have an idea of how often you want to do it, make it a part of your routine. Add it to your schedule, just like you would a hair appointment or a coffee date with a friend, and stick to it!!
Appointments for exercise are appointments you make with yourself; you don’t want to let yourself down, do you? Nobody likes a flaky friend who gets you excited about something and then bails. So, don’t do that to yourself! If you plan to exercise 3 times a week, look at your schedule and see when the best time would be for you.
Consider your work schedule, your social events, and the weather. Make it fool-proof and set a time that you know you can commit to. After a couple of weeks of doing this, you will get used to it. Don’t let anything get in the way of your appointments with yourself and your exercise!
4. Track Your Progress.
Most things are not linear. Exercise and fitness are the same. Rarely are you going to start a new exercise routine, be in love with it from the beginning, and stick to it forever without any ups and downs. It’s normal to have ups and downs in life, especially when you are starting something new.
This is why it’s so important to track your progress. Whether you are formally tracking your weight and strength in an app, or if you are just taking an occasional progress picture for social media, looking back on your progress will motivate you and keep you going when you are not feeling your best. This is going to happen and that’s okay!
When you are feeling sluggish or disappointed in your progress, it’s so helpful to be able to look back on your progress and be proud of how much you have accomplished.
5. Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself.
Nobody is perfect. Yes, including you!
If you are new to this movement and exercise thing, it’s so important to celebrate your wins. When you meet your goal of exercising 3 times a week, recognize your accomplishment! You are the reason why you met your goal and you should be proud of yourself!
Sure, it’s easy to get down on ourselves when things don’t go exactly according to plan, but it’s essential that you take the time to acknowledge what you have done well, what you are proud of, and what goals you are working towards. If you miss a workout because you had a really busy week, or if you are just feeling down and not wanting to get to the gym, it’s okay.
It happens. Forgive yourself, move on, and do better tomorrow! Again, movement is not an all-or-nothing thing. You are allowed to have good days and bad days.
Just remember that you can get back on track at any time and pick up exactly where to leave off.