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Reframe Exercise

By: Amanda Thompson

Like most words exercise has a different meaning for everyone. Some will cringe when they hear the word thinking it’s time consuming, I’ll be sweaty, I must join a gym etc. Others can’t wait to sign up and train for every opportunity that crosses their path.

What happens when the term exercise is presented as move? How does the word ‘move’ make you feel? Do you feel the anxiety leaving your body? Do you feel as if your personal expectations are easier to meet when you commit to moving more vs exercising more? Take a moment and ask yourself these questions and reflect on your thoughts.

The best exercise for you is one you will do. You do it because you enjoy it! Take a moment this week and ask yourself “What is the best exercise for me?”. It can be anything from walking, running, yoga, lifting, dancing, playing basketball with your kids in the driveway, gardening - the choices are endless.

As you begin to focus on your movement goals start by putting yourself first. You know your capabilities better than anyone else. You know what has worked best for you in the past. You know what you look forward to most went it comes to being active. You know the goal you want to achieve.

Tips to get started:

• Start low and go slow. Don’t over do it, commit to 5-20 minutes of exercise each day. If you are just starting less is more until you feel comfortable. When you are ready increase the time interval 5 minutes until you are consistently moving 20 minutes a day 3-6 days a week.

• Consciously choose to move instead of sit. Stretch while you watch a TV show. Set a timer on your watch to stand for a few minutes every hour. Set a timer to do 10 reps of a strength exercise every hour (squats, lunges, bicep curls etc.) by the end of the workday you have done 8-10 different exercises and your muscles will thank you for it!

• Keep it safe and make it fun. Don’t over do it. Listen to your body and know your limits. If you enjoyed 5-mile hikes in the past but have been out of the game for a few years it’s probably not the best idea to start where you left off. Overdoing it or injuring yourself will set you back, the goal is to move forward. Take it slow and ease into your movement plan.

Listen to your body, don’t over think it, just get moving!

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