Easter is usually thought of as a celebration of life, it might also mean taking some time to reflect on our health and fitness goals and choose a new way of thinking and taking care of yourself and wellness.
If I were to ask most of you what your fitness routine looks like now, your answer might be that you have to or maybe you are training for something. Both of those are perfectly good answers, but what if you shifted your thinking and focused on nurturing your body. As I get older I am paying much more attention to what my body is telling me. The aches and pains, the slowing down and time it takes to recover are all things I have control over by listening to what my body is telling me. Choosing good nutrition, getting plenty of rest and exercising differently are all things I have changed…not the driven have to get in 6 workouts a week, no matter how I feel!
Here are a few things I have learned on how to start to move to a place where I am listening to what my body is telling me.
Set an intention for your movement. It is hard for me to reprogram my exercise regime; I am striving to live a life where each moment matters, setting an intention for a movement I will bring each day that will make that movement meaningful. For example, when stretching I am much more mindful setting the intention of being filled with energy as my day unfolds creates the space to take a walk or see friends.
Listen to your body. Each morning before I get up, I do a quick scan, instead of the usual jump out of bed. I started doing this with my friend Val, who suffered a massive stroke. It helped us both to know how we were feeling, “are you feeling overly sore or fatigued from yesterday’s workout?” I would ask her. And of course, she was but, we planned a more gentle form of movement or complete rest. But more of than not she was feeling creaky from not moving enough, so we would focus on gentle stretching to shake that feeling out.
Be flexible. Maybe your training plan calls for a long run today, but you are just not feeling it. Allow for flexibility in your plan for the day, week, and month. Be willing to change your plan according to what your body is telling you it needs.
Be honest. When making choices about movement it is important to stay in your own integrity. Avoid making excuses and placing blame when you choose something that is not in line with your goals. Own your decisions fully and make choices about movement that leave you feeling empowered and energized instead of feeling guilty.
Have a vision and set realistic goals for your health. Close your eyes and picture how you want to look and feel in regards to your health in one year. How does that feel to you? I journal my workouts, my nutrition, so I know what works and how I felt doing what…and it helps to start to embody that feeling and look at it as though you are already there. Once you have a detailed vision of what you want in your health, you can start to set realistic goals to get you there. Your vision will be the driver and motivation behind your choices as you start to take action on your goals. Remember, things that are worthwhile take time and dedication. No magic bullets here, the journey is worth it…you learn so much about yourself.
Ask for help. Ask a friend to be your movement buddy, or your re [Fre5H] Teammate to help you come up with a realistic plan for your goals and then help you work on your mindset. I will believe with you and hold you accountable for your choices.
When we start to tune in to what our bodies are telling us, we become more deeply connected to the inner wisdom that we all have available to us.