For many, exercise feels like punishment – something you do because “it’s healthy” or worse – something you feel like you have to do to burn off whatever you ate.
That sounds miserable. Well, today is your lucky day because you no longer have to feel that way!
Joyful movement is a way of moving your body that emphasizes pleasure. Moving your body regularly has major benefits including mental, emotional, and physical.
It can be hard to get into the habit of moving your body when you don’t love the movement you are doing. No one likes to do things they hate.
We hear it all the time at UCAN: “I just can’t get motivated to go to the gym.”
Well, here’s the thing about motivation. Motivation arrives when we pursue things we enjoy.
So first, do you enjoy going to the gym? Do you look forward to it? If not, maybe the gym isn’t your favorite space to be active and there are other ways to move your body that bring you more joy.
If you like the gym but you still dread it, then maybe there are other things to do at the gym that makes the whole experience more fun.
We make time for the things that are fun. So the key to finding motivation is to land on the form of movement that is fun.
When you find a form of exercise that feels good and is enjoyable, you will create a relationship with exercise that will last. Who wouldn’t want that relationship? I do!
Now you may be wondering “how do I even start to enjoy movement?”. Here are 5 ways to start finding movement that you enjoy!
Tip #1: Figure out the types of movement that would make you feel the best.
The very first step to creating more joyful movement in your life is figuring out what type of movement you like to do. Some examples of types of joyful movement include, but are not limited to, walking, hiking, kickboxing, dancing, cycling, trampoline, yoga, Pilates, weightlifting, kayaking, skiing, and swimming.
Tip #2: Embrace mindfulness.
It is important to be in a state of awareness while you are doing any type of physical activity. Check in with yourself and ask yourself how you are feeling as you do the exercise or if you would rather be doing something else. Sometimes it takes experimenting with a couple of types of movement to find something that you really like.
Tip #3: Take it slowly.
It is not necessary to go from 0 days of exercise to 7 days a week for exercise. Take it slow and listen to your body.
Before starting, it may be beneficial to ask yourself how many days you can work out and create time in your schedule to do the exercise.
If you plan to go for a run but you are dreading it, then maybe running doesn’t bring you joy and you’d rather go for a walk. Give yourself permission to reduce intensity to increase the fun-factor.
Tip #4: Add more convenience.
When thinking about physical exercise, it is important that you are motivated and excited to do it.
Making joyful movement a habit can start with making it more convenient for your day, including just taking a walk at your lunch break if it is the only time you have to move your body that day.
Make the joyful movement fit into your schedule.
Tip #5: Connect with friends to make it fun.
One of the best ways to create a habit of more joyful movement can involve having a friend to do it with. This can create someone that you have to be responsible to. Sometimes going with a friend can make physical activity way more exciting!
The greatest part of joyful movement in your life is that it is all up to you! You have the choice to decide what you like to do, so do what makes you happy!