Anyone else sing shyfx shaaaake youuuur booooody, when they read this or is it just me? Just me! Ok moving on….
Massive disclaimer to start out, I absolute know how hard it is to get up and start moving your body more when you have zero motivation! I am the worst at this… sooo many days wasted on the sofa watching Netflix cause I can’t be bothered with anything. But let me tell you, once you do it once and then once more and take each time as it comes, lawwwd does it make a difference.
The last year in particular I’ve struggled quite a bit mentally, had a slight breakdown (which you can read about here) felt a marginally better, then fell hard again. This time I went to the doctor, who diagnosed me with generalised anxiety disorder and low level depression (yay) and I was put forward for CBT therapy. Throughout this therapy period we noticed one major thing that lifted my mood and symptoms quite substantially and that my friends….. was exercise.
I know GROAN! We never want the fix to be something that’s hard work but laying on the sofa watching Netflix got me nowhere (except further into a hole of ignoring my responsibilities) so I had to try something radical.
Moving your body, in whichever way you prefer, releases endorphins – we all know this, we all had a giggle at school when learning that exercise, chocolate and sex basically released the same thing. But that shit makes you happy – like it or lump it.
The only other hurdle to get through then is motivation and this will be different for everyone.
My top tips are:
Set a goal, Track your progress, Find something you enjoy and Do it at a time that suits you best.
So for example my goal is to lose weight and tone up because personally for me I’m happier like that. My other goal is to keep going, to keep moving my body in some way on a regular basis because I know this works wonders for my brain. But these don’t have to be your goals – you could be aiming for a marathon, wanting to improve your dancing skills, looking to lift your mood, to be more social – nobody can set your goals for you, find your driving force and run with it (although not literally if that’s not your bag, it certainly isn’t mine).
For me tracking my progress is seeing how my body is changing but also being conscious of how exercising effects my day to day life – I have more energy, I’m getting things done around the house, I’m more motivated at work – when you see the positive effects it will push you to keep going.
How do I move my body? Well in da cluuub it’s a cross between wanabe Beyoncé and kangaroo chic BUT in terms of traditional exercise methods I enjoy a whole host of things, the gym (especially classes), long country walks with my friends or family, yoga, dancing. The key is to find what fills you with joy, there is absolutely no point forcing yourself into a gym if you absolutely despise it, what’s the point in that? Life’s to short to do shit you hate! Work out how to move your body in a way that suits you and make it interesting, switch it up, do it with friends (not like that, gutter brain ….. well unless that’s your thing, I mean it all burns calories and makes you happy).
Timing is everything! I keep trying to force myself to work out in the morning and I know I’m setting myself up for failure ’cause I struggle as it is to get up. Lunch times are my fave; get out the office for an hour, switch off, refresh, get the blood pumping and then get back ready to smash the afternoon (or collapse into an exhausted foetal position). If you’re an early bird (firstly what’s your secret) get it in then, find a gym, walk the dog, dance around your home to your favourite tunes. Personally on the rare occasion that I do make it out of bed early, I like to do a little yoga sesh – it’s a great way to wake up, clear your mind and start your day feeling calm and ready. Even more rarely I’ll hit the gym post commute home but more often than not I choose Teen Mom OG and a big bowl of pasta (that Wednesday night TV though!!).
There is no one rule fits all and don’t let anyone make you believe any different. Think outside the box, find your muse, get a buddy – whatever you have to do, I promise you it’ll make some difference in your life – be that your mental/physical health, your relationships, your work.
As much as I want comfort eating to be the cure, unfortunately I now know that exercise is my friend – who’d have thought it, after years of skipping P.E. and claiming cardio to be the devil (I mean I’m still convinced that’s the case to be honest)
What’s your favourite way to move your body? Do you do it alone or with friends? 😉