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How to Love Exercise

by Elise Museles

How to Love Exercise

Have you ever jumped out of bed with a smile on your face thinking, “Hooray! I can’t wait to run five miles! And what luck – it’s overcast and windy!”

No? Me neither.

If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably seen me pretzeled into yoga poses or preaching the gospel of exercising even when it’s cold or cloudy, so it makes sense that you’d think I’m one of those ‘can’t wait to exercise’ types. And I usually am! But over the last few months I’ve been facing overwhelming deadlines and even I, the devoted exerciser, have fallen off the exercise bandwagon.

But I’m pulling myself back up! Here’s how I’m doing it:

Think of it as movement, rather than exercise

A lot of us have negative associations with the word ‘exercise.’ We immediately picture getting chosen last in gym class or jumping awkwardly in the back row of a Zumba class. But what if we reframe this? What if we simply aim to move our bodies every day – and that movement can take whatever form we like?

Your daily movement can be a long walk to the farmer’s market or a hike with the dogs. It can be two hours of raking leaves or 30 minutes of playing tag with kids. Make it your goal to “move my body every day.”

If you’re not interested in the gym or structured classes – that’s absolutely fine! Our bodies just want to move, it doesn’t matter how. Whatever you are drawn to without making it complicated… do that!

Schedule time to move your body. Literally.

I’ve got all sorts of things tucked into my Google calendar – client meetings, interviews, school conferences … and time for movement. I’d never skip a client session because I “didn’t feel like going,” and I treat my runs the same way. They’re just as important to my well-being and success!

View it as reward and respite

I’m neck-deep in writing a cookbook, and sometimes my daily runs are my one break away from the kitchen. If you’ve got a demanding career or busy kids, you can probably relate. For many of us, our commutes and workouts are the only time we have to ourselves! If that’s your reality too, make an active decision to view this time alone as sacred. Whether you’re hiking or taking a yoga class, you’re engaged in self-care.

Write yourself a pep talk

Each night, a friend of mine writes a little note of encouragement to her Morning Self. They say things like “I know you’re going to want to sleep in, but you’ll feel so great if you ride your bike to work. You can do it!”

You could also add notes to the alarms you set for yourself. “6:30 am You’re going to have so much energy!” or “7:00am Your Afternoon Self thanks you for taking that spin class.”

Cement in your mind how good you feel after you move

People very rarely regret workouts, right? But that pesky gap between knowing and doing sometimes prevents us from doing things we know are good for us. Help your brain form the neural pathways that develop habits by focusing on how you feel after moving your body. When you’re sitting in your car after that hot yoga class, actually say – aloud – “Hot yoga makes me feel amazing.” When you’re lathering up in the shower after a long run, tell your body wash “Running makes me feel invincible.” Yes, it might feel silly, but it works!

We’re all busy. We’ve all got piles of legitimate excuses, full calendars, and warm beds that are more appealing than running trails. But our bodies (and hearts & minds) require exercise. Find some type of movement that you enjoy and then make it a daily, non-negotiable. The rewards will be tenfold. Promise.

How do you feel about exercise and movement? Have you found a way to be consistent…and enjoy it too? Tell me all about it in the comments!

8 Responses to How to Love Exercise

  1. mamaste May 15, 2015 at 1:19 pm #

    Elise this is so true. I am spicing up my “exercise” routine by going to Anti-Gravity yoga a couple of times a week. It’s an intense core workout and lots of fun.
    I feel if I mix it up, and take a focus each month, I am able to stay on track. Thanks for this!
    xoxo

    ~Mamaste

    • Elise Museles May 16, 2015 at 12:51 am #

      Thank you, Mamaste, for the reminder that mixing it up keeps it fresh. Anti-Gravity yoga? Sounds so fun. xxx

  2. Jenny May 15, 2015 at 3:01 pm #

    I have read that taking breaks even when you are super busy and feel like you don’t even have 5 minutes to spare – can actually make you more productive. Destressing with a bit of movement can be so great – but I always have to remind myself that I am not losing time but gaining productivity – and sanity. Thanks for this post!!!!

    • Elise Museles May 16, 2015 at 12:50 am #

      Thanks, Jenny! Such a good reminder about gaining productivity (and sanity!). xo

  3. Graciela May 15, 2015 at 3:04 pm #

    It seems like sometimes I put everyone else first! I do need to schedule me time. It is hard to think of exercise as a reward, but I find like Mamaste said, it is good to variate it. If I don’t feel like going to class – I go take a walk on the beach. I feel good playing hookie and still get to move.

    • Elise Museles May 16, 2015 at 12:49 am #

      Graciela,

      I love your flexible approach! As long as you are moving, it doesn’t matter if it is different than what you had planned. Thanks for sharing.

  4. april June 3, 2015 at 4:07 am #

    words i need to hear right now, elise. i used to be so good about making movement (what i call exercise also!) one of my dailies, right along with brushing my teeth. but lately something’s changed . . . and it’s become a chore. a chore that isn’t getting done. i will take and apply your advice – thank you!

    • Elise Museles June 3, 2015 at 3:24 pm #

      April! I hope that this is just what you need to get moving…and have fun while you are doing it! Thanks for sharing here. xx

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