Getting Moving: Building A Consistent Movement PracticeMar 17, 2021
Fitting movement into our day can sometimes be a real challenge—it can often be the hardest part of exercising. Getting started with a movement practice or trying to be consistent is one of those things that can drag a lot of feelings with it, often pulling us for a loop emotionally—we feel we want to do it, don’t want to do, might do it, should do it, will do it, regret overdoing it last time, not enough this time, guilty, apathetic, resigned, motivated, overwhelmed…
AND all of this mental/emotional energy has often been expended before we actually have even started moving our bodies! So sometimes, getting started or building up a consistent movement practice can be a little tricky.
In the BB Membership we talk a bunch about getting moving and how to build a consistent practice—we explore strategies not only for strengthening and pain management, but also ways to develop and build movement into our lives in a way that works and feels sustainable.
Personally, I am not interested in forcing rigid schedules, strict parameters, or finding a magic “mindset switch”—I am also not a fan of guilting, shaming or beating ourselves up for not working out. Moving our bodies—the why, how, and when—are personal and layered choices and our bodies are AMAZING whether they move or not!
However, I do feel that moving our bodies really can add a significant layer of resources to our lives. Movement not only changes our physique but changes our bio-chemistry, helping us ground, energize, metabolize stress—conditioning our bodies in ways that physically and emotionally support us through our day.
So how do we work with the stickiness of getting started?
My biggest tip is to gently AND honestly evaluate how much you are moving these days and START WHERE YOU ARE!
Too often, I see people trying to get started by aiming to exercise 1hr everyday or 3x a week, waiting to make a home gym or get the right magical exercise schedule…. this tangle of jumping to big exercise goals when you are not moving much now, rarely works and often leaves us overwhelmed and quitting before we have even started!
The main thing is to START. And start SMALL. Start with just a little more than you are doing now. Start with 10 minutes a day or 1 class a week. Make starting and showing up the ONLY goal. The reason for this is that you want to create a positive association with the idea of moving your body rather than this "UGHHH… I will do it next time" pattern. So try picking something with low friction—an amount that you WILL do—so that the loop of wanting, wishing, and not moving again… can transform into a positive cycle. You want to have the feeling “I did it"—and no amount of this feeling or moving your body is too small to matter.
Exercise also has the habit of falling into the perpetual “later to do pile” primed with fantasies of waiting until our schedule changes, having more space, less stress, or more time… This waiting for a mythical perfect circumstances is also a big trap! If exercise is something you want to support you in your life there is a good chance you need the benefits now.
So, learning how to work a little movement into our day when we are stressed, busy, overwhelmed or feeling stuck is the precise habit that builds the consistency. AND often, it is during these difficult times when we need it most. The thing to remember is that a little movement can make a big difference. So even 10 minutes is better than nothing, and small changes add up over time and keep us connected to our bodies and a practice.
Culturally, we tend to value BIG changes, HIGH moments and FAST body results, and with exercise promotion this is too often what is being sold. The benefits are actually in the everyday—choosing a little time to move can change your body, and growing in a supportive direction over time is a powerful thing. This kind of deeper change does not happen quickly and is built in the tiny choices we make that ultimately end up shaping our lives and our bodies.
AND if you are ready, I have created a little program, GET STARTED to help you get moving— check it out HERE.
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