I was recently interviewed and asked for my number one piece of fitness advice, how I stay motivated to work out. My response? Movement in our bodies creates movement in our lives.
What does that mean? I work out for more than just the physical benefits - yes, exercise gets my blood pumping and makes me feel great in my body, but it's so much more than that. When I move my body, my thoughts and feelings also shift. Maybe it's endorphins, or perhaps it's simply spending time with me, but when I have a hard decision to make, a challenge I am facing, or am just feeling "stuck" with something in my life, I know that moving my body will help me work through it.
If you follow me over on Instagram, you probably saw that I ran the NYC Half Marathon yesterday. You may have also seen that I almost DIDN'T run the race. While I do run consistently 3-4 days per week, serious training for the race was virtually non-existent due to a crazier than average schedule this past month.
Training aside, I knew that I could finish the race (hey, if I ran the Brooklyn half last year with a broken toe, I could do this!), but I was still hesitant so I asked myself WHY? Side note: as my clients know, I totally recommend having a conversation with yourself - either by actually talking out loud or by writing in a journal. Often my biggest "aha" moments are when I simply open this dialogue.
What came up was fear and ego. I was afraid of not running fast enough, of loosing to a former (faster) self, of being a disappointment (to whom, I don't know?).
This made me realize that I needed to practice exactly what I preach (and ironically enough, the same advice I gave during that interview): movement in our bodies creates movement in our minds. I needed to run not to prove anything or to get a PR, but rather to move through a thought pattern that was not serving me - that idea of not being enough, of having something to prove.
And so I ran. With no expectations except to breath, to move, and to listen to my body. I came out the other end not only incredibly proud of what I had accomplished, but also with a totally fresh mindset.
Now you don't have to run 13.1 miles to shift your thoughts - any sort of physical movement will do the trick. So the next time you are feeling stuck, or have a decision to make, or just need a shift in perspective, try this: go for a walk, get yourself to a yoga class, or simply stand up and take a stretch break at your desk. Not only will this help you work through whatever it is you are working with, but you'll also be more motivated to incorporate that physical movement into your daily routine.
How (or more importantly WHAT) will you move today? Let me know in the comments below!