Move Your Body To Break Barriers And Not Your Body
Move your body with intention this year instead of doing it purely for the sake of burning calories. This will act as a more sustainable method of keeping your body in shape and one you’ll benefit from mentally. As we headstrong into the new year, health becomes one of our top priorities. But why? Is it because you want to lose some weight or gain more muscle? I really hope this isn’t your only reason.
It’s common knowledge that exercise benefits your body significantly, however, you’re forgetting about what’s inside. Your brain. Your soul. What about them? Your body is very closely connected to both your mind and your soul, so surely the brain gets rewarded in some way too?
I have come to learn that we cannot move our body without establishing the importance of having a ‘why’ first. More importantly, learning to understand yourself on a deeper level. Establishing what truly makes you feel good and what makes you feel downright lousy.
Move In The Short-Term
Okay, so I think most of us are quite familiar with the benefits of exercising regularly in terms of our bodies. However, most of these are experienced in the short term and after a while, they don’t become as life-changing or sustainable. That’s why people who exercise regularly often end up changing their routines. This is because it isn’t only about your body, it’s actually more about your mind and how you’re feeling within.
Science says that in the short term, physical exercise elevates the levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in the brain. If you’re familiar with ADHD, then you might’ve heard about these hormones before. But basically, many medications for ADHD function to increase the level of these chemicals in the brain.
Interestingly, you can increase these chemicals in your body just be exercising, and there’s plenty of reasons to do so too. If you increase dopamine, norepinephrine, and/or serotonin you’ll improve attention, focus, working memory, behavioral inhibition and effect. And it has been proven to be healthy and effective. Click here to find out how exercise and sports helped Olympic gold-medal swimmer Cameron van der Burgh beat ADHD.
However, don’t get hooked just being happy with this. These are great rewards, don’t get me wrong, but they’re not for the long-term and last for about an hour after you exercise. However, this is definitely going to boost your moods throughout the day and can seriously change one’s mindset in a matter of minutes.
Long Term Movement
This is what you want to tell yourself to work towards. Train yourself to make moving every day in some kind of way a gradual habit rather than a quick fix. More importantly, don’t do it because it’s going to make you skinnier or more built. You’ll get over that kind of motivation within a few weeks, especially when you don’t see immediate results. Rather do it for how it makes you feel.
Even better news, exercise has long-term benefits for the brain too. Studies have shown that exercise promotes neurogenesis. What is neurogenesis? It is the creation of new brain cells! I know, right? Amazing.
Break Down the Barriers
Therefore, because we all know that exercise is a major brain booster, you should use that to your advantage. If moving your body is something new to you, then, of course, it will be a challenge. Implementing anything new into an already-established routine is difficult. And even just hearing the words ‘work’ and ‘out’ can have a long line of barriers.
If you’re experiencing any the following common barriers, then here are some really incredibly helpful tips.
Barrier 1: You’re Put Off By The Word
Does the very sound of hearing somebody say ‘exercise’ or ‘fitness’ freak you out? If so, don’t be fearful of it and rather start calling it something else. Change the way you think about movement. Perhaps try referring to it as a time to play, or to move your body or even adventure time.
Barrier 2: You’re Have No Clue About Fitness
Many people get into a new fitness routine not knowing what they are really doing.
As a result, they get hurt, bored or frightened, because it’s not the right thing for them at all. It’s better to educate yourself first and come up with fun, creative ideas.
Go ahead and get into a nice brainstorming session! Use your creativity and think outside the box! Ask yourself what types of movement you love the most. If you can identify things that you really like, you’re going to be able to do it for a long time.
Here are a few ideas:
- School sports, community sports teams, or family sports.
- Dance classes, mixed martial arts or self-defence classes.
- Games: Tag, etc..Play!
- Hiking, walking, skiing, paddle boarding etc.
- Group fitness (added bonus of community).
- Walk around your neighborhood.
Barrier 3: You’re Out Of Time
Ahh! The most common excuse to not move your body. And this one comes up even more if it’s to avoid an activity that you really dread. It’ll be a different situation entirely if you enjoy it.
You can also be innovative and try combining movement with other things. Like I said, you can be as creative as you wish. Some possible combinations include:
- Social and physical health: Maybe you and a group of friends join a community sports team.
- Commute time and physical exercise: Get off a bus stop or two early on your way home.
- Family time and exercise: Include physical exercise in family time and make it fun.
I believe that it’s best to see it as an adventure. Slowly start playing around with new ways to move your body, other than feeling obligated to hit the gym. You could start by trying out different types of movement. See what you, your friends or kids like and stick with that. You may surprise yourself at how easy it is to incorporate more exercise into your day once the dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin start kicking in. More importanty, when you do it because it’s going to make you feel a certain way, rather than how it will make you look physically.
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