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Creating Sustainable Movement Practices

Movement is one of the pillars of health. As most of us know, movement supports healthy weight management, blood sugar regulation, heart health, and strong muscles and bones.

Movement can also support our mental health and elevate our mood through increasing our endorphins, which produce feelings of positivity and reduce the perception of pain. Movement has been shown to decrease feelings of depression, anxiety and stress.

At this point however, most of us know the benefits of movement, but I think many of us are lost at how to incorporate movement into our lives in a sustainable and (fingers crossed) enjoyable way.

Therefore, I have a few tips to help create some sustainable and enjoyable movement habits!

1. Choose your WHY

It’s all well and good for you to have external motivation, such as your doctor telling you to exercise or you wanting to move to look a certain way, but to truly be motivated you need to decide what YOUR internal driver is. Why do YOU want to exercise?

It could be because you want to feel strong and able, maybe it’s to reduce your risk of disease or because it simply makes you feel happy 😊!

Have a think about your WHY, and when you feel you’re lacking motivation, remind yourself of your WHY, and use it as a mantra to get you moving!

My why’s:

  • To clear my mind.
  • For better energy.
  • To prevent disease.
  • To be strong enough in my body, that I am able to experience life/ nature without limitations due to my ability/ 

2.  Start Small 

It’s easy to want to push yourself when you first start a new movement routine. However, this intensity is usually short lived, and can lead to injuries and burnout. We want you to feel GOOD after moving so that you want to move again! So, start small and build from there. 

3. Be Realistic

Set expectations for yourself that are achievable and realistic. Choose forms of movements and timeframes which are easily achievable, e.g. ‘I want to go for a 30-minute walk 4 times this week’, rather than ‘I want to go for a 30-minute run and stretch every day, and do weights 3 times at least’. By setting a task that you can easily achieve you set yourself up for success and can be pleased with yourself if you do better!

4. Find a type of movement that you LOVE 

The most sustainable form of movement you can do, one you enjoy! There is no set way to move, any movement is good movement. Shop around, break out of the box, keep it varied. Movement doesn’t have to be cardio Monday legs Wednesday, weight Friday. Movement can be gardening, hiking, dancing, bouldering or playing soccer with the kids!

Your mental health is as important as your physical health, so if you’re hating every second of that run you’ve been forcing yourself to do, maybe it’s time to think of something else! 

5. Make Time

Movement should be just as important as work, so pop it in your diary just like you would a meeting. Remember you’re allowed to be realistic, allow the time that you can, pop it in your diary and tick it off when it’s done.

Tip: Try to intertwine movement into other things you have to do, e.g. coffee with Carol could be a walk with Carol and the dogs? Have to drop the kids off or go to work, give yourself the extra time to walk or ride, instead of driving, catch the train or the bus, walking to the further away stop. 

6. Rest 

Rest is just as important as movement! So don’t get too carried away going hard every day, and never giving yourself rest days. Movement, especially high intensity is still a stress on your body, and without rest can lead to burnout. Vary your movement between higher intensity and more gentle movement, and always allow a rest day or 2.

Our Naturopaths are always here to support you in finding a movement which is best suited to you and any conditions you may have.

To book a consult go to www.mnhc.com.au or call us on 03 9572 3211

 

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