Body – Exercise and movement
Love the way you move…
Throughout this site, you will hear me talk about the interconnectedness of everything. The gut, mind, body and soul feed each other, so when one is out of balance, it throws the rest out. Each of these potential happiness pods affects how we think and feel because each release signals to let us know if something is out of whack, and the way this is done is through our emotions. When we feel bad, something is not right, it starts in our thoughts, becomes our emotions and eventually if not corrected, manifests into our body and our experiences.

So, on to the subject that usually has people saying “oh boy, is that the time…”…moving your body.

As you may have read on my gut and mind pages, the two are inextricably linked and flow to each other information about our state of well-being. This information is also stored in our physical body. Messages of happiness, love, excitement, thrill, eagerness all feed the body and convert to energy, messages of stress, anxiety, guardedness, pessimism, scepticism, fear, lack, feed the body chemicals which drain energy leading to lethargy, heaviness, fatigue and eventually pain or illness.

Then there’s another element that impacts the body. Your emotions are directly linked to your soul. They are your guidance system to let you know which direction is in align with your desires. Uncomfortable feelings like irritation, anger, frustration, lacklustre, boredom, exhaustion… are all telling you that your thoughts don’t match the person you want to be (more of that in my other pages). But as with the gut and mind, these feelings get stored into your body.

This is what Harvard has to say;

Vast scientific literature has detailed how negative emotions harm the body. Serious, sustained stress or fear can alter biological systems in a way that, over time, adds up to “wear and tear” and, eventually, illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Chronic anger and anxiety can disrupt cardiac function by changing the heart’s electrical stability, hastening atherosclerosis, and increasing systemic inflammation.

Source:https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/magazine/happiness-stress-heart-disease/

Bruce Lipton (founder of stem cell research, epigenetics, ex Harvard lecturer and author of The Biology of Belief) describes how his research led him to uncover conclusive evidence that the environment which house our cells make up just as much of our biology as our genetics do. This ground-breaking research proves that the emotions which travel through our body impact the structure of our genes, so the wellness of our physical body, and even our longevity.

https://www.brucelipton.com/

Right now you may be thinking “oh boy”, too much! But in reality, this information is liberating because it means that in just a few quick, easy steps you can feel better than you do now. Half of our struggle is fighting against one area while trying to get another to cooperate.

To put this into context, you may be wanting a fitter, healthier body but if your gut is not right, it is going to lead to you feeling fatigued. Then to compound the matter, if your gut isn’t quite right, it is sending negative thoughts to your brain also working against you when you’re considering that workout or not.

So start with the easiest path…get your gut supported (see my page and blogs on gut), do a little meditation or mindfulness (see my page and blogs on mind), and already you will begin to gain more energy in your physical body and a positive outlook to help you with moving that bootie.

Now if your emotions have gone too far and you’re suffering the big stuff like anxiety and depression then a little exercise thrown in the mix at this stage is going to bring you along a lot quicker. In fact, in a lot of countries, Doctors are prescribing exercise instead of pharmaceuticals as a first step.

Harvard health describes a biological cascade of events that results in many health benefits, such as protecting against heart disease and diabetes, improving sleep, and lowering blood pressure. High-intensity exercise releases the body’s feel-good chemicals called endorphins, resulting in the “runner’s high” that joggers report. But for most of us, the real value is in low-intensity exercise sustained over time. That kind of activity spurs the release of proteins called neurotrophic or growth factors, which cause nerve cells to grow and make new connections. The improvement in brain function makes you feel better. “In people who are depressed, neuroscientists have noticed that the hippocampus in the brain—the region that helps regulate mood—is smaller. Exercise supports nerve cell growth in the hippocampus, improving nerve cell connections, which helps relieve depression,” explains Dr. Miller.

https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/exercise-is-an-all-natural-treatment-to-fight-depression

When your mood has gone to such extremes that you are experiencing anxiety or depression, it may be too difficult to find happy thoughts or energy for big exercising. But you can

  • feed your gut fermented foods and drinks,
  • do 15 minutes a day of quietening your mind by sitting still or listening to guided meditation
  • and you can find 10 minutes to move each day

which will start to lighten the load

Meditation is so important to give your mind the break it needs from processing negative thoughts (check out my pages for ideas to help every temperament) and allowing new good feeling thoughts to come in.

After just 3 weeks of this, the gut, mind and body will start to balance, and the soul can begin to creep in to your experience with inspired action you can take to feel even better.

The important aspects to consider, always, is finding things you love to do and doing them at a time and place which will inspire you. Don’t set your goals according to anyone else’s. Only you know you best, remove all expectations and simply find things to enjoy.

Remember, if you need help, that is what I am here for. I offer online coaching on exercise practices which will be perfect for your temperament, lifestyle, budget and desires. I have even been happy to take people through a routine right in their own homes to show them how to find fun ways to move without having to leave the house or spend a cent.

All sessions begin with an online assessment then a skype session where you walk away with your own personal assessment and strategy for exercising.
Here are my top tips for you to put together your own plan.

What do you love? :

Getting to know yourself is critical in this exercise (pun intended). If you’re struggling with feelings associated with depression and hopelessness, then trying to push yourself into fast, vigorous exercise is never going to get you out of bed. But you might be enticed into deep, slow breathing (like yin yoga) which will get you to connect to your body and calm the mind. Similarly, if you experience anxiety related symptoms then doing slow, calm movements may only exacerbate these feelings because it allows more time to think. Therefore, more vigorous workouts will help to shake out all that high-intensity energy already circulating and distract your mind from thinking, resulting in a calmer body and mind post-workout.

Now, that still doesn’t mean you need to sign up for cross-fit. Vigorous for you may mean a fast walk, or boot camp style exercises using objects in your house like dips off the side of your coffee table. Another important factor is whether you most enjoy training with others or rather in the seclusion of your home.

Once you know what you love you will find it easier to come up with ways to do it, and here are some of my fav workout ideas…

YouTube-free personal training in your home:

This is number one on my list for good reason… Whatever you feel like doing you will find here…dance, flat tummy, six pack, core abs, cardio, stretch, fat blasting, muscle building, toning, Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi. If you can think of it, you can find it. So, start by putting in the search field the name of the activity you want along with the amount of time you’re willing to do and hey presto you will find options perfect for your mood and timeframe.

Search items to consider; activity, time, difficulty, equipment or no equipment
As an example; full body workout 30 minutes beginners no equipment

Some of my personal favourite trainers are; Tracey Anderson (cardio and long lean muscle tone), Sean Vigue (full body fabulousness with stretching, easy to hard), Five parks yoga (all types from beginners to advance), Yin yoga (restorative practice), GymRa (full body workouts, muscle and cardio).

Blast that music:

You will condition yourself to feel good and want to exercise when you hear motivating music. Your brain will start to associate those awesome tracks with feeling good so all you’d need to do is play the tune and you’ll want to workout.

Trick yourself:

I do this ALL the time. When I don’t feel like I’m “in the mood”, I’ll tell myself that I’m literally going to do 10 minutes of heart pumping or just 15 minutes of stretching. From time to time that’s all I do, and I’m happy with that because I’m doing it purely to feel good. But more often than not, I start to feel so good moving that I chose to go longer!

Think outside the box:

You don’t need to do traditional exercise. Why not take up something you’ve always fancied doing. Ever wanted to horse ride, ballroom dance, take up martial arts… There’s millions of ways to move PLUS you’d be ticking a bucket list item. A guaranteed happiness inducer 😉

Clean the house:

Isn’t it amazing what a mood booster cleaning is! And usually if you do it at speed it does work up a bit of a sweat. This may be enough for you or it may be just what you needed to warm up, then head straight into a 20-minute session, and you’re done, PLUS you get to look around afterwards with satisfaction. Cranking the music is a great way to get your juices flowing.

Buy a membership:

This used to be my all-time favourite because going to the gym meant I didn’t have to think, just turn up and have someone else push and motivate me to awesome tunes. Of course, buying a membership is a motivator because you don’t want to pay for something and not use it.

Saying that my hairdresser used this tactic for a completely different reason!!

She said that when she paid for a membership, she would feel like she didn’t want to waste the money but would end up finding other ways to move so that she didn’t have to go to the gym. She would often end up on the golf course doing 18 rounds just so she didn’t have to do a gym workout.

Whatever works right!!!!

Start up your own class:

Since having kids and being a single mum with a business, going to the gym became a nuisance as I would lose precious time getting there. So instead I have a group of friends who join me once or twice a week, and we do our workout together at home. It’s a great way to get you motivated because you can buoy each other on while finding cool, exciting exercises you all feel like doing.

I will say it again and again and again. The reason for exercising should be focussed upon feeling good. Let go of the need to look great for the start because that is a hard condition to live up to in the early stages, and one little low self-image day can throw you right back on to the couch with potato chips. Make it all about feeling great, and you will never be let down because as you continuously look for ways to move that leave you feeling wonderful, you can never go wrong.