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Exercise Is More Than Working Out

Updated: Oct 1, 2022

Changing your mindset about exercise can help you look forward to it. Here are four ideas to move more throughout your day.

A woman in a light green shirt and black pants exercising with green hand weights with a brown coach in the background and hardwood floors
Care for your mind and body by finding movement that you love.

I have a confession to make.

I have never had a gym membership, but I love to exercise. In fact, I exercise every day. Walking outdoors. Practicing yoga. High-intensity interval training. Occasional running. These are just some of the ways I move.

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Gym memberships are wonderful and there are plenty of fabulous gyms sprinkled throughout our communities, offering well-rounded classes and programs. But with my current work and teaching schedule, and raising young children, exercising at home, walking outdoors and attending yoga classes at local studios just works best for me right now. This is a routine I can stick with.

And every time I exercise—no matter what time of day—I feel a burst of energy and a lightness to my mood.

I used to run and do high-intensity interval training to the point of exhaustion. I would force myself to push through it, thinking: Keep going. Just keep pushing through. Learn how I realized I had an eating disorder and how I overcame it.

It wasn’t until I learned that exercise is meant to be enjoyed and not something I needed to force that I really started looking forward to it. I began to look at exercise as moving my body in healthy ways that feel good—not just exclusively in short bursts of targeted exercises.

Former exercise goal: to be the skinniest, fittest version of myself Current exercise goal: to be the healthiest version of myself Because skinny doesn’t matter. Healthy does.

How do you feel about exercise?

Think about what type of exercise you truly enjoy. Is it practicing yoga? Zumba? Swimming? Try more of that. You’ll be more likely to stick with exercise when you find something you like doing. Start to notice how exercise makes you feel during it and after. Are your thoughts more positive? Do you have more energy to do the things you want to do?

Whether you have a gym membership, choose to exercise at home or attend local exercise classes, help care for your mind and body by moving more.

As always, speak with your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine.

Practice It: 4 Ways to Move More

Here are some quick tips to (realistically) incorporate more exercise and movement into your day.

  • Exercise in the morning before the rest of the house wakes up. You’ll have more energy for the rest of the day. And you might not need that cup—or three—of coffee.

  • Check out my Stand Up for Your Self-Care YouTube Channel, and rent exercise and yoga DVDs from the library. Pop them in when you have 20 to 30 minutes.

  • Go on a family walk or walk with a friend outdoors. You’ll get the added benefits of connecting with others and with nature.

  • Alternate between standing and sitting throughout the day. For example, take a call while walking or stretching.

Note that this website and the Stand Up for Your Self-Care YouTube Channel are for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Speak with your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine or wellness plan.

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