“Movement is the song of the body.”

~ Vanda Scaravelli

When it comes to a true work-life recharge I’m sure you would agree that health and exercise are a vital part of that equation. For me as a Kinesiologist, a former personal trailer… as somebody who still teaches fitness classes, I put a high level of value in physical health for personal and professional growth. We can’t ignore our physical bodies and expect to be performing at high levels in our work and in the rest of our lives.

I was recently in Kenora, Ontario, where I had the opportunity to do a half day workshop on stress management, life balance, and health for a group of busy and hard working engineers. Like so many, not a lot of time, but a lot of high intentions to get their health and life balance at higher levels. At the break one of the fellows came up to me and said, “You know, I haven’t been to the gym in years. And if that’s what it’s going to take, it’s probably not going to happen.” So I asked him about what he was normally doing to stay active and it was a good reminder to share with you about the ways that we can make exercise successful in our lives, whether or not we like the gym.

So here’s what I said to him. The first thing that we need to do as individuals is to consistently do more than what is normal for us. You need to consistently do more than what is normal for you. If you’re currently active two or three times a week and you’re getting a little bit of exercise in, just know that that’s your normal.

To add on, it might mean a little more time, a bit more intensity, adding in an extra day, or trying something completely different. If you’re currently not active, then “more” doesn’t need to be much. And I think that that’s an important thing to remember because as many of us are trying to get back into fitness or trying to up the ante, we will think back to the fittest we’ve ever been. We’ll think back to all the things we needed to do at that time and how much work it was. Now your life may have changed at this point, so start from where you are now. Consistently do more than what is normal for you.

When I asked this fellow about what he was currently doing for his activity, he told me lives on an acreage. In the winter he’s shoveling snow regularly, in the summer time he’s cutting the lawn regularly, chopping wood, working on the land. And definitely staying active. He certainly wasn’t out of shape. He had a mistaken belief that fitness has to happen in a structured fitness environment. If that’s for you, fantastic, but if it’s not, find creative ways to get moving.

Work more outdoors, walk your dog, walk with friends in the neighborhood, try a class. It could be rock climbing, it could be kayaking at the local pool. Whatever it is that you find interesting that gets you moving. Dance in your living room in your pajamas for all I care. If your heart rate’s up, you’re doing it right.

Consistently do more than what is normal for you. Do things that are fun and engaging for you. And make sure you remember that it doesn’t have to happen in a gym environment. Remember that small consistent steps over time are going to get you a lot further on the path to health than a great big leap every couple weeks when the time and energy suddenly becomes available.

We know this intuitively but that “go big or go home” mindset shuts us done. Do what you need to do for yourself to stay on track with your health and if it’s happening in small steps, it’s better than if it’s not happening at all.

So until next time, I’m Michelle Cederberg reminding you movement matters and it is the key to work-life energy for this recharge that we’re on. Watch below for your video reminder.