How to Build a Joyful Movement Routine

By, Chelsea Fechtner, MScN, CN

Ever feel like you just don’t have the time and energy in your day to fit in a workout? Or maybe you’re consistently skipping workouts because they feel like a chore? I’m about to share strategies that will help you successfully incorporate movement into your day without dragging your feet or relying on “willpower”. Instead, I want to show you how to create a movement routine that feels good in your body and works with your lifestyle.

    1. Choose Activities you Enjoy:If you’re not a fan of the gym, this one’s for you! First consider what you already love — maybe a sport you played growing up, hiking with your family, or dancing to your favorite music. These will all get your heart pumping while allowing you to make time in your schedule for activities you enjoy.

Here are some activities to consider:

    • Yoga
    • Pilates
    • Indoor bouldering
    • Tennis
    • Hula hooping
    • Golfing
    • Mountain biking
    • High intensity interval training (HIIT)
    • Dance class
    • Jump rope
    • Rebounder
  1. Mix it Up:

    Switching up the types of movement that you engage in is helpful for working a variety of muscle groups. However, research also shows that an expectation of variety in a workout class can have a positive influence on interest and enjoyment. Mix up your routine by trying out a new workout class that offers a variety of movements or take a new route on your jog or walk.

  2. Nix the Perfectionist Mindset:

    If time is an issue for you, try shifting your perspective. A workout doesn’t have to be an hourlong event and you don’t necessarily even need to change into your workout gear. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Instead, try fitting in smaller bursts of movement throughout the day and you’ll be surprised at how it adds up. You could try taking the stairs or walking to an errand, if possible. You could also squeeze in a 10 minute yoga routine before bed.

  3. Get Outside:

    Elevate the benefits of exercise by moving outdoors! Not only does this provide an excuse to get some fresh air, but exercise actually feels easier when we’re outside. It also increases revitalization, decreases tension and improves mood. An easy way to fit in outdoor movement is by either walking or biking to work. If this isn’t an option, you could also try running a few of your weekly errands by foot.

  4. Invite a Friend:

    For added accountability, enjoyment and benefits, invite a friend to workout with you! Research shows that working out with others increases calmness and improves our ability to handle stress. Having a workout buddy also provides an excuse to make a weekly walking date with a friend or can give you more confidence to try out a new activity or workout class.

Overall, movement doesn’t have to be something you dread. Instead, it can be an opportunity to find a new hobby, connect with a friend and get some fresh air!

References:

  1. Dimmock, J., Jackson, B., Podlog, L. and Magaraggia, C., 2012. The effect of variety expectations on interest, enjoyment, and locus of causality in exercise. Motivation and Emotion, [online] 37(1), pp.146-153. Available at: https://collections.lib.utah.edu/dl_files/fa/b6/fab61c42ea934cb9a09ca2f307b910fb00ec5435.pdf [Accessed 24 September 2021].
  2. Gladwell, V., Brown, D., Wood, C., Sandercock, G. and Barton, J., 2013. The great outdoors: how a green exercise environment can benefit all. Extreme Physiology & Medicine, [online] 2(1). Available at: https://extremephysiolmed.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/2046-7648-2-3 [Accessed 24 September 2021].
  3. Plante, T., Coscarelli, L. and Ford, M., 2001. Does Exercising with Another Enhance the Stress-Reducing Benefits of Exercise?. International Journal of Stress Management, [online] 8(3), pp.201-213. Available at: https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.539.8648&rep=rep1&type=pdf [Accessed 24 September 2021].

More information about SRM’s Wellness Program can be found here. Chelsea Fechtner, our Nutrition and Wellness Coach, is leading a free PCOS Wellness Support Group starting Tuesday, Nov. 9th, register soon!

October 26, 2021

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