Stress, hard work, and lots of thinking create tension in our bodies, which can lead to chronic aches, tightness, and pains.
We often turn to alcohol, medications, or sugar to alleviate these symptoms, but these only serve to worsen the situation.
However, exercise is an ideal way of releasing a build up of physical tension. Developing a regular exercise routine or program to suit your body's needs can be extremely rewarding.
But, the challenge is first to find a type of exercise (or movement) that you enjoy. As a personal trainer, I know that this is one of the most important aspects to developing a lasting and healthy relationship with exercise, not one that is riddled with guilt or shame.
Use these pointers to help discover for yourself what type of exercise suits you best!
THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU LOVED TO DO AS A KID.
• Did you dance, bike, or hike? This is a good place to start when looking for a new exercise routine.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.
• Know that movement is a lot like food. Once you understand how different types of movement nourish your body in different ways, you can put together a menu of activities to keep yourself in balance.
• Feeling frail and unfocused? Try a vigorous exercise to make you feel stable and powerful like kickboxing or running.
• Feeling tight and tense? Try a gentler exercise to increase lightness and flexibility like swimming or yoga.
WHAT’S YOUR PERSONALITY TYPE?
• If you are a quiet person who likes a lot of alone time, consider buying a small trampoline or a set of hand weights so you can move in the comfort of your home.
• If you like being around groups of people, you can find team sports like basketball or volleyball, which have the added benefit of human interaction and fun competition.
• You can also find a blend of the two by taking a group fitness class like Pilates, strength, HIIT, or dance.
WHEN DO YOU FEEL MOST ENERGETIC?
• Just as some people think more clearly in the morning and others think more clearly at night, some people prefer to exercise first thing in the morning, while others prefer to exercise later in the day. There’s no right or wrong; it’s simply a matter of personal preference.
THINK ABOUT CONVENIENCE AND COMFORT LEVEL.
• Look for a gym or yoga studio near your home or on the way to the office where you can work out. It’s important to find a location that’s convenient, and where the atmosphere is pleasant, comfortable, and welcoming. This will enhance your chances of going regularly.
And remember, exercise can take simple forms - it doesn't have to be complicated or super long. It can be going for a walk outside, taking the stairs, or going for a bike ride after supper.
Be experimental and find a routine you can nourish yourself with on a daily basis.
What will get you moving?