This is me and I’m reflecting on my three-year anniversary since commencing my blog. As I reflected, comparisons between how I address writing my blogs and how exercise and the ease with which we adopt (or not) a regular exercise regime, tumbled into my head.
First tumble. Truth be told it hasn’t been a smooth and straight path. There have been highs and lows. Times when I could write forever and times when I’ve thought, “I never want to write another blog again”.
For seconds, it has been known, on returning from holiday or having been poorly for example and it’s time to get back to it, no amount of motivational quotes or the knowledge that I’ll feel so much better for doing it, can get me off the starting blocks. I simply feel stuck in my rut.
Third and final tumble. There is so much information I could share, multiple exercises that would be beneficial and so many changes I could describe that would enhance people’s quality of life. The enormity of the available knowledge can sometimes leave me feeling overwhelmed and I stall in knowing where to begin. When there is so much I could do I can end up doing nothing for the muddle in not knowing where to start.
A dear friend recently remarked when I mentioned some of the above, that she had assumed when it came to writing my blogs I rocked up at my computer, whirled my fingers over the keyboard in tune with my freely flowing thoughts and in no time my blog was composed, posted, archived. Job done.
So now you ALL know that that isn’t the case at all. I can handle that and in fact it is a great analogy to explain why effective exercise can be so challenging for us to commit to. If it were a simple matter of just rocking up to the gym, the cycle park, the walking trails to freely reach and stretch and strengthening our hearts and bodies in tune with the free-flowing knowledge of our bodies needs, WE’D ALL BE DOING IT ALL OF THE TIME. The reality is life gets in the way; time is short, energy’s low, inclination even lower. If this rings true consider this;
Make your daily routine your gym.
You may be reading this (and I’m delighted if you’re still with me) and you’re thinking that you do in fact run or you do attend a class or walk your dog once or twice a week AND you regularly get up from your computer every day, so this blog is not for you. Before you shut me down consider this as well; if you always move your bodily bits in the same way and it’s mainly with your legs and rarely with your arms above your head or out to the side, you are in fact rarely challenging the bodily bits you probably most need to challenge, especially if you spend much of the day in the same position.
Here are some thoughts to connect the reality of knowing you want to improve your health with you actually improving your health:
First up, BE REALISTIC about what you can do within the framework of your life. Waving your arms above your head in a shared office could have you sectioned OR trigger a mexican wave if handled well through sharing your plans with your work colleagues in advance. Dancing to your favourite tunes while you cook could get messy BUT WILL fire up your heart and lungs, strengthen your arms and legs, clear your head and could even bring the first smile of the day to your face.
For seconds, PLAN AHEAD and make one small change at a time. Review your diary and see what your schedule looks like. You may have the time to do something but will you have the energy or motivation to do it given what preceded the window of opportunity? If you never just go for a walk might I suggest that you just go for a walk? Start with a walk once a week after lunch, after work, round the block is a step, well several actually, in the right direction for greater health.
We don’t need anymore books, magazines, TEDtalks or theories on the best way to exercise. Marvellous though they are to absorb you could be using that time to actually
MOVE . YOUR . BODY .
Thirdly, COMMIT to the one small change. On a regular basis you could stretch up to your full height in the shower, in the loo at work, or reach your arms behind your back in the coffee queue, walk to give someone a message at work and WALK TALL while you’re at it.
Simply make it part of your day, like cleaning your teeth. We don’t question that or give that a second thought, we just do it.
Thinking that you’ll just fit it in through the day, is the same as saying “it’s never going to happen”. I know, I’ve tried it. WRITE . IT . IN .
If you think you do do some of these things and are feeling just a little bit chuffed, not wishing to be the thunder at your picnic but I wonder if you only do it when your body is so stiff it’s telling you it needs to move. That my friends, is simply not good enough and lulls you into a false sense of security, thinking that it is when it isn’t.
The tighter and stiffer you feel the more tightness and stiffness you have to overcome to feel ready steady go. Moving in the opposite direction to the one you’re repeatedly in, repeatedly throughout the day, whether you feel the need to or not, will repeatedly free you, loosen you and strengthen you with the MINIMUM OF EFFORT.
STOP . LOOK AT YOUR DAY . MAKE ONE CHANGE.
I’ll be back in the autumn. This means I can be the sun at your picnic ALL summer and I’d REALLY love to hear how you get on.