Guess what? You don't have to. Unless you *want* to.
This pleading refrain came from a client who wanted to increase her energy, had redefined "exercise," wanted to move, and then felt completely overwhelmed with HOW to do it. In the past, she had joined a gym, didn't really want to go, so she didn't. Then she would feel bad about herself for not using it along with the stress of spending money on something that looks good on paper but in reality, not so much.
Another client was talking about getting back into her physical activity routine for stress reduction. She was describing that she would need to first get her knees and low back in shape, so that she could get back to running. She stated this as much enthusiasm as taking a standardized test. I asked her, "Do you like running?" You can guess her reply: "Nope."
This quandary of feeling overwhelmed of where to begin, underwhelmed by limited choices, or stuck in uninspiring routines is not uncommon. It is a weird, warped experience of begrudgingly moving one's body, yet wanting to check out of it at the same time.
Play! Fun! Joy!
I went to an indoor trampoline park with my son recently. Pure JOY! Do you think I got my heart rate up and engaged muscles that I don't normally? And then after, found new ways to stretch to help those muscles recover?
You do not have to tolerate moving your body in ways that don't feel good.
Sure, there are times when you are stressing (in a good way) your heart muscle or any of your other 600+ muscles that may not feel comfortable for those last few reps or moments because you are asking your body to change, grow, and evolve; however the ways you are moving can be downright inspiring.
If you are feeling stuck, bored, overwhelmed, or underwhelmed, try these suggestions I offered my clients and use myself:
1. Become a researcher - discover how YOUR body *wants* to move
2. Look to your childhood for inspiration
3. Ask 3 people what they do to move their body
4. Give yourself permission to not like an activity - or LOVE it!
5. Keep trying new activities
Remember that your body is essentially a walking ocean. This fluid nature calls for diverse expression. There are SO many ways to move and nurture your body - and brain - to evolve your best self. EnJOY!