Whatever form of exercise you choose – moving your body is one of the most important practices you can do for your well-being and for your happiness.
Daily movement reaps not only physical benefits – but mental benefits too. If you’re like me, the days you do get to move your body – those feel-good hormones spill over into the rest of your day, too. When I exercise, I eat well, I’m more patient and I have more energy. Even before I see physical results from working out – I feel them. I feel stronger, leaner and less bloated – which makes for an all around happier mama.
The physical benefits of regular exercise – like a healthier heart, a fitter, stronger body and the ability to keep up with your toddler – are evident. What about the mental ones? Have you ever had a post-workout high? Or walked away from a yoga class feeling lighter and breezier about life? There are actual studies to show the chemical reactions that take place when we move our bodies the way they were intended to move. Mamas – those hormones that feel so out of whack for at least half the month? (Who am I kidding – mine are only on point about 3 days a month…). Exercise may just be the medicine you need to get them back into balance. Daily movement can reduce the affects of depression and anxiety and lower your risk for these conditions. You may even notice you’re getting a better night’s sleep!
So why is it such a struggle to get up and go? It’s not motivation that we are all lacking, but rather the ability to stick to something long enough to see permanent benefits. If you look at anything you do on a regular basis, its because somewhere along the way you made it a habit. Brushing your teeth, washing your clothes, going to the grocery store – these are all habits. You decided that the benefits you reaped from doing these tasks out-weighed the hassle. In order to make exercise as easy as the rest of our habits – we must find the best way to fit it into our own individual lives.
I know I’m not telling you brand new information here. But I’m hoping to tell you in a way that makes you think. I’m hoping to reach a part of you that’s been sitting on the sidelines wishing she could just figure it out. I’m hoping to reach the woman inside that is just waiting for something, anything, to stick. I’ve been her. I AM her. I go weeks, months even, doing it right. I find the motivation to go to the gym. I find the will to say yes to myself and no to everything else. Then the results and the feel-good benefits keep me coming back. Then life happens. I skip a few days. Then a whole week. Next thing I know I haven’t been to the gym in 30 straight days (even though that charge still deducted from my bank account), I’ve eaten an entire family sized bag of Cheetos and I’m so tired I consider skipping my shower to sleep 20 more minutes. Again.
Sound familiar? It’s a cruel cycle. And it’s reality for A LOT of women. You are definitely not alone and there is absolutely nothing wrong with you.
I know you want to figure it out once and for all and just…stick…with it. My best advice? Pick ONE thing to work on. Commit to do that and ONLY that for 30 days NO MATTER WHAT. Don’t break this promise to yourself. If you do, then start over. Get a calendar to mark the days off and start tomorrow. Not Monday. Not next month. Tomorrow. Your one thing shouldn’t be too generalized, either. Be specific. Be honest with yourself about what you can actually do for 30 days. Drink 50 oz of water. Move 15 minutes a day. Give up fast food. Eat 1 vegetable a day. Just pick one – and do the dang thing, mama!
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You can do this,