Do THIS (not THAT).

Over in my private Facebook group, we are doing some pretty amazing stuff. We are challenging the way we’ve always done things and we are creating some new habits that are serving us well.

I will be launching my 14 Days of Wellness again in the new year, so if now wasn’t the right time, hopefully January will feel better for you!

I did, however want to share what we talked about on Day 4 because my hope is that it might serve you over the busy holiday season when you may trade gym time for family time!

It’s all about finding ways to move more, and here is what I shared with the group. I hope it resonates with you and might inspire you to find small ways to make a big difference to your health (and stress levels) this holiday season.

Because I want you to love your life one bite at a time.

DAY 4: MOVE MORE…not less.

When I was a kid, we’d all be in the car (my parents, my brother and I) and when we’d arrive at our destination, my father would treat finding the perfect parking spot like getting an A on an exam. We’d find ourselves circling the parking lot, each of us yelling, “Look! There’s one!” and he’d glance over at the direction of our pointed fingers and mutter, “No, I can get closer than that…” and around and around we’d go until, finally, he’d spot that person leaving who had snagged a front row space and he’d smugly pull in, uttering things like, “Doesn’t get any better than that!” and “Look how close we are to the door!”, entirely pleased with himself for saving us all the extra steps.

I loved my Dad dearly. He and I were kindred spirits and I take after him in many ways. My father passed away 5 years ago, and my only regret is that he didn’t take better care of himself physically so that he might have enjoyed better health overall—mental, emotional and physical.

You see, physical exercise doesn’t just affect our physiology; it affects every single facet of our lives. And when we think of exercise, we often imagine endless running on a treadmill or lifting heavy weights. But that’s not the kind of exercise that works for everyone and that’s not what the people who live to be over 100—also known as centenarians—do for exercise at all.

They simply MOVE more than they don’t.

They walk. A lot. They garden. They move naturally because they are always doing things; they don’t sit around watching TV. Centenarians, by and large, keep moving by finding things they like to do and they live their lives knowing that being sedentary is the kiss of death.

It’s the same for all of us.

These bodies—these AMAZING, INCREDIBLE bodies of ours—were DESIGNED to move. They were not (AT ALL) designed to sit for 8 hours a day hunched over a keyboard! These bodies are meant to jump and run and kick and skip and stretch and swim and flow with life. They are happiest when they are moving because exercise—in any form—releases feel-good hormones that make us…feel GOOD!

And that is always the goal…to feel good. To feel as good as we can.

Exercise helps us do that.

They say that food is the most overutilized anxiety drug and exercise the most underutilized antidepressant. I have seen this in my own life and in the lives of countless clients I have had the joy and privilege of working with.

Exercise changes who we are.

Personally, I used to resist exercise. I loathed the thought of “sweating on purpose” and I preferred a night of eating and drinking over a yoga session or a kickboxing class. I just didn’t see the benefits of exercise and it all seemed way too hard for someone like me.

Fast forward 15 years, and I can’t imagine my life without a daily workout. Even if I just go for a walk or hike, or do some simple yoga stretches, there is nothing like the feeling of moving my body. It changes everything, including my state.

My dad suffered with depression and I meet so many people who struggle, as well. I get it. I can get to pretty dark places, myself. But one thing that always—always—makes me feel better is exercise.

Yes, we need to rest when we need to rest and rest is critical to our health and our self-care. But I find we can use the excuse that we need to rest so that we don’t also get our butts off the couch!

I have never done a workout or been active and regretted it—not once. I feel better for it every. Single. Time.

If exercise isn’t a habit for you, I encourage you to find something you like and just…do it! If you haven’t worked out in a while, think back to what you used to do as a kid and see if you can find something you can already connect with. I used to do gymnastics, so yoga and Pilates feel very natural and good to me. I was a sprinter in high school, so doing quick bursts on the treadmill or outside or completing a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout feels natural to me. I also like “tabatas” (HIIT that lasts only 4 minutes). These are awesome when I have NO TIME but still want to get those endorphins pumping!

No matter where you are in your fitness journey, there is an exercise for you. If nothing else, all you ever need to do is walk. Our bodies were literally built to walk (long distances—we are nomads) so invest in a great pair of running shoes, throw them in your bag and head out for a walk at lunchtime.

Here are some other easy ways to add more movement to your day that don’t require anything but a DECISION to move more:

  • If you take the elevator at work, get off one floor before yours and take the stairs one flight up. Tomorrow, try two flights.
  • While brushing your teeth for 2 minutes, do one-legged squats. One minute each side.
  • At red lights, squeeze your glutes (your bum!) and hold. When the light turns green, release.
  • At stop signs, do kegel exercises. These strengthen the pelvic floor (the action is like stopping your pee mid-stream) and they also strengthen our deep abdominals.
  • Instead of emailing a colleague, walk over to their desk.
  • Set a timer, and every 15 minutes, stand up and do a few low squats (alllllmost sit back down in your chair, but don’t…rise back up, back down, pulsing this way for a minute or so).

And, let’s all plan to park FARTHER away from the door as possible, not closer. We will save time circling the lot, we won’t be as frustrated in the process and we’ll get a few extra steps into our day.

Sending you big, sweaty hugs.

xo S

P.S. Speaking of healthy habits, on April 21 & 22, 2018, Roger and I, along with our team, are hosting The Healthy Brain and Body Show for the second year. We are so pumped to bring this show back even bigger and better! We would love to see you there as an attendee, where we will have so much cool stuff to show you. We can't wait to explore, connect, learn and shop at the show WITH you! Please say hello if you come. Roger and I will both be there the entire weekend. It would be a thrill to meet you. 🙂

And if you--or someone you know--might be interested in being an Exhibitor with us, feel free to send them here where they can view/download the Exhibitor/Sponsor Package. Note that we have SOLD OUT of Sponsorship spots and we are over 60% sold out of booths!

We can't WAIT to serve you, so remember to save the date! 

P.P.P.S. Let’s be friends! I’d love to connect on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram. Plus, if you haven’t already subscribed to my blog, you should! That way, you won’t miss anything. For joining, you get my personal meal plan, shopping list, and a week’s worth of easy, tasty recipes. http://sarahtalksfood.com/

 

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