Movement is a celebration of what your body can do. Whether you are an athlete, a grandma, a businessman or a hippie, your body deserves to celebrate.
Celebration looks different to everyone. The athlete, for instance, may celebrate by taxing their body via hill sprints early on Saturday mornings. The grandma may celebrate by pulling weeds in her garden or cleaning the house and baking for her grandchildren. The businessman prefers taking his lunch period to lift weights at the corporate gym, while the free-spirited hippie uses yoga to celebrate their body and mind. We all celebrate in different ways. But does this all count for movement?
To be classified as “physically active,” one must do 150 minutes of moderate-vigorous physical activity per week, based on 2018 guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services. Many of you have already started to do the math in your head or thought of what activities you do that are categorized as moderate or vigorous.
Sure, we can discuss how “strict” movement needs to be. As a society, we tend to get wrapped up in the ways we should move. Often, we find people don’t know how to move, or they don’t feel they’re doing enough movement because of their perception of how physical activity should look.
Well, friends, you’re in luck: The physical activity guidelines also encourage you to move your way. Enjoy your activity. Get your heart beating a little faster than normal. Accumulate what you can, especially if you’re just starting to celebrate again.
My challenge to you: Think of three to five ways you think you should move (what you think is considered appropriate physical activity or exercise). Then, think of three to five ways you like to move. Compare the two lists — how are they different from each other? Do they overlap at all? Do the movements on either list bring you joy? Why?
For example, I feel I should be moving by lifting heavy, doing high intensity training, having a scheduled workout time and being great at all movement I do. I like to move by lifting moderately heavy to heavy, running/cycling slower and longer distances, walking, and recently I’ve taken up swimming. I do this whenever is convenient in my day.
See how some overlap and others don’t? If I exercised based on my “should” list, I wouldn’t be celebrating my body. Celebrating isn’t fun when you dread seeing it on your calendar.
If you feel your current celebrations aren’t working for you, in quantity or in quality, reach outside yourself. Many movement and lifestyle behaviors just need to be slightly modified to celebrate in a way that works for you. Find a personal trainer, health coach or someone else willing to hold you accountable in your celebration. Put movement on your to-do list, and check the box by doing what you can, with what you have, in the time you can make.
Celebrate well and celebrate often, my friends.
Blake Goodman is an exercise specialist at the Sam B. Cook Healthplex, 1432 Southwest Blvd.