How to Find the Joy of Movement
Movement is medicine! And I’m not talking about how it makes you look. It’s all about how it makes you feel!
When you move around (in any way), you’re more patient, more focused, and more relaxed. Movement also promotes better sleep, improves gut health, and shifts stagnant energy – all things that come in handy any time, but especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed.
Finding time to move each day is an opportunity to connect to your mind and body – not an obligation or yet another thing on your to-do list. It can even be fun…
Here’s how to find the joy of movement:
Think of it as movement rather than exercise A lot of us have negative associations with the word "exercise." We immediately picture getting chosen last in gym class or jumping awkwardly in the back row of a dance class. But what if we reframe this? What if we simply aim to move our bodies every day – and that movement can take whatever form we like?
If you’re not quite ready to go back to an in-person group workout – that’s absolutely fine! Your daily movement can be a long walk to the farmer’s market or a hike with the dogs. It can be two hours of raking leaves or 30 minutes of playing tag with kids.
Our bodies just want to move, it doesn’t matter how. Whatever you are drawn to without making it complicated… do that!
Schedule time to move your body. Literally. I’ve got all sorts of things tucked into my Google calendar – client meetings, interviews, podcast episode recordings … and time for movement. I’d never skip a client session because I “didn’t feel like going,” and I treat my runs and yoga the same way. They’re just as important to my well-being and success!
View it as reward and respite I’m neck-deep in editing my book before it goes off to the printer, and sometimes my daily walks in the woods are my one break away from the computer screen. If you’ve got a demanding career or busy kids, you can probably relate. For many of us, our workouts are the only time we have to ourselves! If that’s your reality too, make an active decision to view this time alone as sacred. Whether you’re hiking or taking an online Pilates class, movement can be a break and a breather… and a form of self-care.
Write yourself a pep talk Each night, a good friend of mine scribbles little notes of encouragement to her Morning Self. They say things like “I know you’re going to want to sleep in, but you’ll feel so great if you ride your bike to work. You can do it!”
You could also add notes to the alarms you set for yourself. “6:30 am You’re going to have so much energy!” or “7:00am Your Afternoon Self thanks you for taking that cycling class.”
Cement in your mind how good you feel after People very rarely regret workouts, right? But that pesky gap between knowing and doing sometimes prevents us from doing the things we know are good for us.
Help your brain form the neural pathways that develop habits by focusing on how you feel after moving your body. When you’re lying on your mat after that hot yoga class, actually say – out loud – “Hot yoga makes me feel amazing.” When you’re lathering up in the shower after a long run, tell your body wash, “Running makes me feel invincible.” Yes, it might feel silly, but it works!
Remember every step counts When your days are packed and you can’t fit in a “real” workout, it’s easy to throw in the towel and throw yourself on the couch. Even if you don’t have time for a sweaty high intensity interval training session, just add a tiny bit more movement to your day—take the stairs, park further away, add two more blocks when you walk the dogs, have a quick dance break while cooking dinner.
We’re all busy. We’ve all got piles of legitimate excuses, full calendars, and cozy beds that are more appealing than running trails early in the morning. But our bodies (and hearts & minds) require movement. Find some way to move your body that you enjoy and then make it a daily, non-negotiable
And if you need a movement pep talk? No one ever says, “Ugh, I sure wish I hadn’t hiked to that beautiful overlook.” or “Starting my day with yoga was such a terrible idea!”
Once you get moving, you’ll be glad you did. It is hands down the biggest mood-booster, making you feel like a happier and more energetic version of yourself long after the movement is done!