Over the past few longer and sunnier days, I’ve found myself wanting to move more. I seek being outside walking around instead of hibernating. This sense of longing certainly comes and goes throughout the year – not due to a sports injury but instead due to my own lack of planning (around weather changes, ever changing schedule, not leaving gym clothes out, etc.)
Over the past few years I have learned to be patient with myself during those times I am not exercising regularly and instead focus on what does work. Focusing on phrases such as “I am willing/open to change” help to make this feeling turn into a thought then into a habitual action.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults need roughly 2.5 hours a week of “moderate” intensity aerobic activity combined with 2 days focused on muscle strengthening activities to reap heart healthy, muscle strengthening benefits. This can include a brisk walk, bike ride, tennis, water aerobics and even pushing a lawn mower.
Planning provides my mind with a format of my day. I like to create a list that includes all that I need to do without specific times. That way I can make sure I workout before dinner [or first thing in the morning or after grocery shopping]. This method of measured movement allows for change based on where I am at physically and emotionally allowing for prioritizing to naturally happen.
Setting a time limit allows me to give it all because I know there is a set end point.
Typically I like to break this up into different sessions such as:
- Every other day walking/jogging for 40 minutes;
- 2-3 times a week doing Pilates/yoga/strengthening.
How long do your workout sessions typically last? Barbara Brown Taylor provides inspiration that motivates moving, exploring, living in her book An Altar in the World.
Play often is overlooked as a source of exercise. Tap your loved ones to suggest an hour at the park or beach. Single? Give an hour of free time to a parent, then play with their kids.