Integrating Fitness into Daily Life
For so many years I have tried the common route to fitness by going to the gym and doing workouts. I’ve done it for short periods of time, six months being the longest, but eventually, I quit. Yes, I like the feeling I get from working out, and I do prefer feeling fit versus not.
The first problem is that exercise feels like one more thing to squeeze into an already too busy life. Feeling this way increases stress, which ruins the whole point of exercise and actually interferes with weight loss! And if you keep failing at something, it doesn’t always mean to keep pushing on. It may mean it’s time to go about things differently.
The second problem I’ve found is that most gym workouts don’t engage my spirit, heart or mind. They are pretty mechanical. This really leaves me uninspired and unmotivated. After struggling with this for so long, I’ve realized that I need to be engaged in as many aspects of my being as possible when I exercise. It can also mean including my family in my exercise activities.
If exercise isn’t a whole being experience or a shared family experience, I just won’t keep up with it.
I need to find a way to fit fitness into my life so it doesn’t feel like a chore. Instead of adding another “to-do”, I like to give normal daily activities a makeover by infusing them with fitness! For example, I do ten push-ups against the kitchen sink before I do the dishes and another ten when I’m done. When I find myself going up some stairs (because I chose not to use the elevator!), I put some extra energy into it. I really move when I get the chance to. Small things like this that can all add up!
So after decades of trying to get fit and lose weight through the expected method of gyms and workouts, I’m giving it all up.
Yes, sometimes quitting is the right thing to do! My intention is to fill my day with as much movement as possible. To integrate movement with other needs or activities, including work, the house, time with my son, daily errands, our family activity and even my marriage. And to choose exercise activities only if they inspire and motivate me. That’s the bottom line.
These books inspire me:
- Move a Little, Lose a Lot by James A. Levine MD, PhD
- Le Personal Coach: A French Trainer’s Simple Secrets for Getting Fit and Slim without the Gym by Valerie Orsoni
This will be a real lifestyle change and one that I can stick with and do well into my old age. Follow me step by step as I figure out how to get fit by integrating fitness into my daily life. My journey begins here: Adding Strength Training to Everyday Activities.
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Mari is a licensed practitioner of Chinese medicine, a singer/songwriter and the creator of Mamashine. She is also a survivor of postpartum depression. Mari lives with her energetic son, her husband and various animals in Austin, TX.