By the Coastrek Team
We all know we need to move our bodies to live happier, healthier, brighter lives. But how many times have we committed to “being healthy” only to end up back where we started? Deflated, demotivated, and down on ourselves. How many times have we bought a gym membership and a fresh pair of runners, only to discover that we don’t want to run on a stationary treadmill or lift dumbbells over our heads? How many times have we committed to eight-week challenges only to realise it makes us miserable and hungry?
Living a healthy, happy, wholesome life is a choice we make every day. But the beauty is, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Health doesn't have to mean brutal workouts that make you feel sick to the stomach. Health can mean gentle, wild, and wonderful movement.
Exercise isn’t a chore or a punishment when you discover what movement makes you sparkle. Movement brings us calm, energy, joy, strength, and wellbeing. Movement can combine all the things that make us thrive. It can be emotional, mental and physical. But most importantly, movement can (and should) be fun.
So, how do you find a form of movement you love? This blog will show you how to find a type of movement that you really enjoy, so you can do it most days for the rest of your life.
Move With Your Friends Because Happiness Is Contagious
Exercising is so much more fun when you’re with the people who make you smile and spark joy in you. It’s pretty much impossible not to enjoy yourself when you’re surrounded by your best group of girlfriends.
If you’re feeling a little down in the dumps and a little unmotivated to get moving, one friend with a bright smile or positive energy can turn your frown around. And we’re not just saying that. Lifestyle Medicine expert Dr Darren Morton is a strong believer in “together feels better”, pointing to a Harvard study which found happiness is so infectious, a positive person can boost the joy of their friends.
Incorporating fitness, fun, and your fabulous female friends is key to finding the movement you love.
Include A Good Dose Of Nature
Moving your body every day has so many amazing health benefits. Walking for just half an hour a day can reduces your risk of chronic diseases including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, dementia and can even reduce the risk of experiencing depression and anxiety by up to 50%. So, there are a whole heap of reasons we should be walking every day (even if we can only squeeze in a quick one).
But physical activity in nature is even better for you. Why? Because nature helps us manage stress, our mood and mindfulness. We are born and bred to climb rocks, walk on grass, feel the fresh air on our faces, and swim in the ocean. It's where we were meant to be and that's why it feels like coming home. Because it is home. For the mind, the body and the soul. So, incorporate a dose of nature into your physical activity and you’re bound to find a movement that excites you, energizes you, and invigorates you.
Try Different Things
Finding the movement that’s right for you may not come straight away. Some of us are lucky and have that ‘lightbulb’ movement. But for others, it may take some time to find what makes you feel good. It may be a while before you find the physical activity that makes you excited, sparks joy, and is something you want to do.
If you’ve signed up for the gym and find you’re dreading it every single day, then don’t be scared to ditch it and try something else. Life is much too short to waste your precious time doing boring or brutal workouts. When you find the movement you love, it won’t feel like a chore or a punishment, but a reward. So instead of worrying about sticking to the latest fad, explore and experiment to find out what’s right for you.
Think: Consistency Over Intensity
Health and movement isn’t about finding what works fast. The quick-fix solutions and the fancy slogans may sound sexy, but they’re not looking at your needs long term. Your health is forever, not just for the next eight weeks. That’s why it’s important to find movement that you can do consistently. Day in and day out. Week in and week out.
So, when you’re discovering what kind of physical activity works for you consider these questions: Am I happy? Is this actually enjoyable? Can I see myself doing this in the long run? Consistency beats intensity every damn time. Because your health and wellbeing is forever, not just for right now.
For many people, it's simply walking. Walking is now the most popular form of exercise and to be honest, we’re not surprised considering the physical, mental and emotional benefits it gives us. We love hiking because you get the added benefits of adventure and nature, tapping into our inner explorer and adding an extra layer of fun. But for you it may be dancing, swimming, cycling, trampolining, hula hooping, surfing, yoga or Pilates. It may be rollerblading, sailing, soccer, basketball or Zumba. There's hundreds of options, and it's up to you to work out what's going to make you feel amazing. But one thing's for sure: you've gotta find something.
Have you got tips on how to make exercise more fun? Join us in our Facebook group and let us know!