When Two Negatives Do Not Equal a Positive

Exercise is a word that invokes many emotions, not all of them positive. While some folks get downright giddy at the thought of their daily exercise routine and pack their gym bags the night before, for many of us the thought of exercise causes stomach churning anxiety and any excuse to avoid moving is deftly utilized. Just like momma, poppa and baby bear, we find ourselves waiting for the perfect moment to exercise. If it is too hot, too cold, too humid, too early, too late, too soon after eating or too soon after waking, we delay getting up and moving and settle back down onto our built in glutial cushion. We soon discover that the time to get up and move is never “just right” for us.

It doesn’t matter if those negative attitudes stem from a less than positive body image, our perceived lack of coordination or hauntingly vivid memories of bad experiences back in middle school gym class. Our negative feelings about movement and exercise lead to negative self images which result in long term negative effects on our bodies, minds and spirits. Yes, that’s right, we just broke a math rule because two negatives, in this case, do not make a positive!

There is the saying, ‘you are what you eat’. Well, in my opinion, ‘you also are how you move’. Our bodies were designed to move, and to move a lot. That daily movement not only keeps our muscles, skeletal frames, organs and nervous systems in good working order, but daily movement also nourishes our minds and souls. Many of us complain of stiff joints, back pain and weak muscles. We experience brain fog, fatigue and depression. As we sit and feel the aches and pains, we are bombarded through every form of media with advertisements for pills, miracle foods and devices that claim to make those aches and pains go away. And many of us spend a lot of money trying the “cures” that are waved in front of us. We have been led to believe that swallowing a pill to make the pain temporarily disappear is better than listening to and understanding the messages our body is sending via the aches or pains.

Think of ‘Daily Movement and Exercise’ as ‘Clean Eating’s’ twin. They are inseparable. We know that ‘Clean Eating’ will nourish every part of our bodies. As we shift to a Clean Eating lifestyle, we learn to listen to and deconstruct our cravings. Likewise, listening to and deconstructing your aches and pains will help you understand the type of movement your body needs to be healthy, balanced and strong. So before reaching for the “quick fix” in a bottle, take an honest look at how much you move every day. If you find in your self reflection that you are spending most of the day connected to a screen or using your glutes as a cushion instead of a muscle, keep reading for a few tips on how to figure out how to get moving.

How do you get yourself past those thoughts that keep movement and exercise on the periphery of your life and learn to enjoy it as part of your daily routine? The trick, in my opinion, is to find a routine that meets your individual needs right now at this specific point in your life. The routine should be fluid and change, just as you grow and change. Start with where you are NOW. Focus on this moment, this place and this time. Deconstruct the aches and pains, try a consistent movement routine (walking, dancing, yoga, barre) and then re-evaluate the messages from your body. You might have new aches and soreness from the consistent movement, but how are they different from the old ones? How are your thoughts and emotions affected by this new routine? Adjust your idea of daily movement as necessary.

The concept of bio-individuality does not just apply to diet and nutrition. It also applies to exercise. Not all of us benefit from running 10 miles or from doing difficult yoga poses. For some us, the thought of being in a gym or workout class is downright scary. Being around others, trying to follow directions and worrying about how we look can possibly take the pleasure out of the movement and prevent us from focusing on form and the mind/body connection. For some of us, the group experience is just the right kind of positive peer pressure to keep us honest. We also have different budgets that guide us, and there are many ways to move your body on a daily basis without the expense.

If we think about exercise a little differently, then perhaps instead of avoiding it or doing it while hating it, we will instead embrace a routine that benefits our body and mind. Making the decision to move as your body was intended to move on a daily basis is not about exercising, just as nourishing your body with foods that are filled with nutrition is not about dieting. Choosing to nourish your body, mind and spirit through movement is about lifestyle change and attitude shift. As a result of the shift in attitude you will get stronger and leaner, you will be happier and find clarity.

Here are a few things you might want to consider when looking for the right movement routine that will be best for you.

How fit are you?

Are you simply looking for a new routine and have exercised almost every day of your life? Or is exercise something you have successfully avoided for years and are new to all aspects of movement?

What are your goals?

Are you looking to use exercise as a way to lose weight? Do you want to build strength? Are you seeking focus and mindfulness?

What is your personality?

Are you timid? Are you a strong personality? Are you tense? Do you love being in groups or prefer being alone?

Taking the time to think about your needs, physically and emotionally, before leaping into an exercise program will increase the likelihood that movement will be come part of your daily routine. As your lifestyle, fitness level and needs change, so should your routine. And as movement becomes part of your daily routine you will reap the benefits both physically and emotionally. The positive attitude toward movement and exercise will have positive results for all aspects of your life. Listen to your body’s messages, honor your bio-individuality and start moving!

You are not alone in this journey. If you would to discover how I can help you make lifestyle changes that will help you reach your health and wellness goals, simply fill out a Free Health History Consultation Request.

To receive a free copy of Clean Eating Tips, visit my Home Page and fill out the download request form.

Please feel free to share your thoughts! I look forward to hearing from you.



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