If you’ve ever struggled to be consistent with your workouts — or maybe even dreaded them — this is for you! I used to be in that camp, but feel fortunate that I finally found a way to movement practice I love and look forward to each day. I want the same for you!
Below, I share five shifts that made a big difference for me. I hope they inspire you to lace up your sneaks, tip tap your dance shoes, or do whatever else makes your body come alive.
Remember: this isn’t about fitting into a bikini, hustling for a vacation, or looking good for someone else… it’s about YOUR muscles getting to stretch, your lungs expanding with air, your heart beating strong and efficiently, your head feeling clear and uplifted, and your entire body getting stronger, healthier, and more resilient, so you can do what you’re here to do.
How to Create a Movement Practice You Love
Move However You Want
One of the things that made the biggest difference for mei is being flexible with HOW I move each day. I just block off time to move, then let my body determine what it feels like any given day. I used to feel locked into intense cardio workouts or running on the treadmill, then wondered why I never wanted to workout. Now, I let my body lead.
Some days, my body feels like dancing, so I close my bedroom door and turn the music up. Other days, my body feels like a spin. Others, a walk in fresh air. Others, weights.
Everything changed when I no longer forced a certain regimen, but just committed to moving in some way each day. I allowed my body to choose what sounded fun. Suddenly, workouts felt fun and energizing, instead of boring and tiring.
Can you potentially make more progress sticking to one thing? Sure. Do I personally think it’s more important to move, no matter how it looks day to day? For me, yes. Try it and be the judge of what works for you!
Sneak in Movement Through the Day
I once read an article that said people who fidgeted throughout the day burned just as many calories as people who ran for 30 minutes. I don’t know about you, but I would MUCH rather bounce my leg at my desk than I would run for 30 minutes straight on a treadmill.
Once I read that, I began allowing myself to get my workouts in during small doses throughout the day. I take the stairs. I call my family while I walk. I do toning moves while I watch TV. I wear a step tracker so I can see how my steps add up while doing household chores or walking to grab a mid-day coffee.
Remember that you don’t HAVE to do your workout in one singular burst. If that works for you, great. But if you’ve always struggled to find time, take the European approach. Fit in your movement in little ways throughout the day.
Pair Movement With Something That Makes Time Fly
On days when you’re really having a hard time motivating yourself, try pairing movement with an activity that makes time fly. For example, maybe a spin bike takes forever if you’re just sitting there, but if you watch a reality TV show or scroll social media, you can probably get through 20 minutes in seemingly no time.
Or, if a walk by yourself feels boring, try calling a friend and watch how quickly 30 minutes flies by. If you want to binge a new Netflix show, sneak in some push-ups, squats, and crunches while you watch. Leverage another activity to make your workout fly.
Do It Messy
Acute workout outfit may be ideal, but some days, you just gotta get it done however possible. On winter mornings, I found that I had a hard time leaving my warm bed to change into a cold sports bra and leggings, so I just rolled out of bed and worked out in my pajamas and glasses.
Is it the dream? Maybe not. Does it get the job done? Sure does.
Forget perfection and get your workout in. Progress over perfection any day!
Experiment to Find When Your Energy Is Highest
One final shift that made a massive difference for me, that you can experiment with too, is playing with energy levels. I always wanted to be that morning worker-outer. Until I realized that I pretty much always hit snooze. Eventually, I experimented with trying something new to see if that would help, and I’m so glad I did.
I began working out during my lunch break (or even after lunch, once I started working from home). I realized that I had so much more energy to burn and loved the mid-day break. It energized me for the rest of the afternoon and gave me a second wind for work. Suddenly, I was no longer fighting my natural energy levels — I was working WITH them, and it made exercise so much more effortless.
Would love to hear which of these shifts you’re going to try first?!
I hope they help you fall in LOVE with moving. Because remember: it’s not about a season, a swimsuit, or a size… but how healthy you can feel, how strong you can be, and how jazzed your entire body is to get the chance to stretch, move, play, and be alive.
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