January 2nd, 2016, I went for a run, more like an interval walk/jog workout, but let's call it a "run" for simplicity sake. It was a brisk 34 degrees on my run and I felt inspired to write this post. I'm always gaining inspiration from my "runs." I was inspired to write this post and basically wrote it all out in my head during this workout. Too bad I couldn't use my brain power to transcribe it onto something electronically while I was on my run; oh well, technology will get there someday I'm sure.
I felt inspired to share with you all the power of movement to improve one's well being. Yes, we all move throughout the day, in some way or another, but I'm talking about being inspired to truly "move more" this year...get in a groove. I know a good portion of the population talks about resolutions and making "big changes" as a "fresh start" to the new year, but what about just motivating yourself to simply, "move more" or do more than just the minimum.
A tidbit of information about me; I'm a bit shy in person, so I think that's why writing has become my favorite method of communication in recent years. I always feel like I get my point across better from writing than getting tongue tied in person. I'm 40 years old, a mother of 3 young boys, have never been an athletic type by any means. I actually always avoided gym class in grade school like the plague, making every excuse concocted by kids to get out of gym class. I truly hated being involved in team sports and did what I could to get out of them, so the only activity I sort of got into in high school only was tennis, but even that was hard for me to get into hard core. I am far from the competitive type. I've never enjoyed competition, just don't have that bone in me apparently, but I have always had motivation to succeed on a personal level.
I do wish with all my heart I would have taken up running as a kid. I think I would have liked it, but again, that meant competition and I also disliked the competitive aspect of being on a track team. So, here I am now...almost middle aged I guess you could say, not athletic, but have always tried to remain active in some way to stay healthy. I love going to the gym to work out on machines, some classes like yoga or pilates, although I'll admit life has made it harder for me to get to such classes lately (need to change that), but running I can do most easily and it gives me tremendous strength physically and even more mentally. I do some of my best soul searching and thinking on my runs.
Moving is Believing
You probably know where I'm going with this, but let's take it down a notch. I think the reason most of us lose our motivation when we make big promises to ourselves, i.e. losing weight, eating better, helping ourselves feel better (mentally or physically), we make unrealistic goals. Why not just take those baby steps toward our goals, but making sure those baby steps are productive steps (goals); i.e. up your 30 minute workout from 30 to 40 or 50. Try replacing a sedentary daily activity with 20 minutes of walking or cleaning, or something to get that heart pumping.
Why not try a new activity just for fun to start. If you're not active at all or a runner, why not sign up for a "fun run" like one where people get dressed silly or get splattered with color. There are so many fun options out there these days to get people excited to move more! If you sign up and complete just one of these fun runs, you're almost guaranteed to do another and feel pumped up enough to continue on a positive "moving" path.
Move More Groove
Go ahead and join that boot-camp style workout class you were inspired to join come the new year, but unless you're completely committed and can deal with the pain of a huge change like that, try something more your speed. Ask yourself what your groove is, what it is you truly enjoy and what makes you feel most "alive." Is it biking, hiking, swimming, cleaning the house, walking around the mall? Seriously, whatever it is you enjoy doing activity-wise the most, the one that gives you the most pleasure, you know the endorphin pumping motion that gives you that natural high...take that activity and just bump it up a few notches. If you actually enjoy cleaning the house, (unlike myself, unless I'm already pumped from a run) put that activity to more motion. Get up and do it more often than you have been.
Be Real to Yourself
Be realistic. You know yourself. You know what motivates you and what doesn't. I think the biggest downfall we have as human beings is comparing ourselves to others. We are all unique individuals, yes, we're similar in many ways, but if you dig deep into your core, your soul, we are different and each of us requires different things to be happy, to feel alive, etc...
Stop comparing yourself to people you see on TV (celebrities) or in magazines and family and friends on social media. I know it's easier said than done. I catch myself doing just that at times, but if you can move past that and just focus on "you," not others successes or achievements, whether it be physical or mental, you'll be ready to work on "you" for you.
You've already read about my 3 little guys. I'm tired by the end of the day, mentally and physically; most of it is probably in my head though. Luckily it's gotten a little easier since my twins are no longer babies (those years are a bit of a blur now). My point is, it's not easy to get motivated to go on my runs. I pile on excuses just as we all do..."it's too cold, it's too hot, I'm not feeling great, my back hurts, my legs are sore, I was up all night...." The list can go on and on. I have to shut off those thoughts and concentrate on the positives, let them outweigh my negatives and I go out there and do it!
My positives that outweigh my negative thoughts sound like this, "I'm only getting older, so if I keep moving I'll feel better as I age....my kids are active, I need to keep up with them more, I'll look better in my summer clothes, I'm happier after I run, I feel amazing when I run, I feel thinner after a run, my kids see me moving and want to move more, my kids get excited to stretch with me after my run, I'm influencing my kids to be active with my activity, my husband notices I am happier after a run which in turn makes him happier....and there are more I'm sure.
So, don't let those negative thoughts control you. If I can find just 40 minutes to do my running workout (currently I'm averaging 3X per week) with 3 young children, I'm sure you reading this can find at least (at minimum to start) 30 minutes to an hour 3X/week to do your "groove", your "moving more workout" to help improve yourself.
Again, do it for YOU! Don't do it for someone else or you probably will not succeed. It has to be for you. I do feel that I run for me even though I know it impacts my family around me, it's really for ME to feel better inside and out.
Another aspect I'd like to add on about doing a workout for yourself and not others is, stop caring about looking good doing it. Get yourself well equipped to move more and don't worry about how you look so much. Ok, if you're single and trying to find a partner I get trying to look good, you can still look good, but don't obsess over it. I personally am a married woman and don't care much about my looks when I run as you can see in this photo on here (I hate this picture below by the way, eek...), but I am comfortable achieving my goal, to me that's more important in helping me achieve my goal once I step out of my house to workout. I'm warm, I'm well equipped enough to keep myself safe and can complete my workout.
I'm putting this unattractive photo on here to prove that I'm just like any other person out there trying to get fit and stay motivated. I know it's super goofy, but it was cold and I was comfortable in my gear. Just be you and get out there! You'll feel better about yourself and those around you will notice. Those endorphins will do wonders for you if you get moving. Oh, and don't forget to eat real food too. Stay away from the processed food when you can or your efforts will be worthless and your energy will sink, trust me.
My Groove Equipment
If anyone's curious to start "running" as their move more groove, here are the pieces of my ensemble that I love and work great for me (miss non athletic, just trying to stay motivated and healthy).
*Disclaimer: The Vest, Long Sleeve Tee and Compression pants are from Old Navy, but I don't have a proper product link to share, so you'll see the Amazon alternative below.
Arm Band for Smart Phone
These are actually a wish list item because my current wired ones are getting on my nerves because I pull them out of my ears a lot while running.
Gloves (The best active gloves ever! Costco carries these a lot)
So, if I've motivated you in any way to start moving more this year, please let me know below in the comments. I would LOVE to hear another person feel strongly about making even little changes to improve their well being. Happy New Year! Cheers to good health!