Some girlfriends and I had a tradition of renting a house in Berkley Springs, West Virginia, for a spring get-away. As young moms, we carved out the time for a much-needed break from our usual responsibilities. It was a treat to hike in the mountains, get massages at the main lodge, and do a little pampering. Part of that self-care was exercising, too. I remember one weekend in particular when my friends asked me to lead Body & Soul-style workouts at various points. This was in addition to the aforementioned hiking. When the weekend was over and I went to teach my usual Monday morning class, I remember worrying about whether I’d have the strength and stamina to do so. To my surprise, I didn’t feel weaker or more tired than usual. On the contrary, I actually felt stronger and better!
Of my own accord, I wouldn’t have worked out as much as we did in our cabin in the woods. But my friends kind of hoodwinked me into it. In helping them, I inadvertently helped myself. This got me thinking: what if we could find a way to trick ourselves into moving more? What if we could change our preconceived notions of what we’re capable of? What if, rather than feeling limited by our bodies, we could begin to feel strong and limitless?
Three ideas sprang to my mind. They are tips for shifting our thinking and our routines to make room for moving. They are a way to move from limited to limitless.
So, do something new to kind of force yourself into a new pattern. Lay out your workout clothes by the bed, so that when you wake up, the most obvious choice is to put the gear on and work out. Set a specific time to meet your spouse or friend for that post-dinner walk. Join a fitness class (like Body & Soul, of course) and make a date to grab coffee with a friend afterward, so you have to show up, whether you feel like it or not.
Top it all off by using language that reminds you of your own new mindset, e.g. “I work out on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” instead of “Yeah, I belong to that gym but I hardly ever get there.” All of the above leave you little wiggle-room to squirm out of exercise.
An active person picks activity over sedentary choices. every. time. Choose dancing over a movie, a walk over board games, tennis over a t.v. show. The more consistently you do this, the more you will see yourself as the active, strong person that you truly are, and that vision/belief will become a reality.
What do you think? Are you interested in shifting your mindset? Do you believe it’s possible? Can small changes impact your attitude toward fitness and movement? Are you ready to leave behind limits? Do you want to help others get moving too? Let me know. In the meantime, I’m going to go lay out my work out clothes.
Hilda Labrada Gore is the DC metro Regional Director and Director of Communications for Body & Soul. She is also the host of the Wise Traditions podcast (found on iTunes, iHeartRadio, Stitcher and at westonaprice.org).
Featured image used by permission from pixabay.com.