I’m not sure how we got here but today when you use the word exercise, a lot of people even males start hyperventilating and the next thing you hear is ‘I don’t have time’. That phrase is basically a defence for covering up the truth about what is going on in their minds and that truth is simply FEAR. (For this reason, I will use movement and body movement for the rest of this post).
Fear that moving your body will be painful.
Fear that moving your body will cause you so much wear and tear that you can’t endure.
Fear that you don’t have the capacity for it.
The truth about moving your body is that TIME is not the problem. Firstly, a good number of us spend at least an hour on social media SITTING DOWN so it is not about time.
Secondly, it does not have to happen in a gym. It can even happen on your bed (wait, don’t get it twisted. There are a lot of lower body exercises and stretches you can do on your bed). So, if time and money are your excuse for not being in the gym; you don’t need a gym, you don’t even need a very large space to move your body.
Thirdly, the trepidation we feel is likely because when we see videos of people working out, most likely they are in the gym lifting heavy weights and screaming ‘GO HARD or GO HOME’ and then they flex their really huge steroid induced biceps so we tremble at the thought of needing several hours of exercise to attain that or the fact that we do not want to be that muscular especially for women. Note: lifting weights for women will not make you muscular and it is actually very beneficial for your bones and muscles to prevent osteoporosis in the long run.
Fourthly, most people consider body movement as a means to weight loss and so if I don’t need to lose weight, I don’t need to move my body. That is a lie you need to get rid of really quick. The way our bodies were created; our organs, immune system, health, mind and the whole body thrives better when we consistently move from place to place. YOU WERE NOT CREATED/DESIGNED TO BE SEDENTARY.
Lastly, it is important to note that a lot of the routines you see were designed for bodybuilders, so if it scares you leave it – you don’t need it. Walk, dance, skip, swim keep it simple. Don’t be too focused on burning calories that you miss out on the joy in movement.
Every time I catch a glimpse of my reflection in the mirror I just go – Girl!!! Why do you bother working out?
Normally I would just giggle and walk away but recently I had answer. This body is the reason I work out. I want to have energy to fulfill my God given mission here on earth for a long time to come. I understand that people say exercise is energy sapping, maybe yes in the first few days but after Day 3, your body adjusts and you start to appreciate all the benefits of moving your body. The best part is when you get up to work out and you feel like you are not up to it, midway in you are so pumped and excited. Why because exercise has been shown to improve serotonin levels which is a mood enhancer, so not only does it make you happier you also have more energy.
It is not about the 3-hour crash workout you do on Saturdays or the 30 minutes make up workout you do whenever you remember. Find creative ways to move your body, not only will you enjoy it, you will have no reason to hate yourself while you are at it.
Moving my body also helps me keep it toned, massages my heart and muscle and keeps bone diseases at bay. Of course, I get to enjoy the vanity of crushing on my reflection *wink*
Find creative opportunities to move your body; some of us want to go buy cereal round the block, we hop in our cars. Did you know people have lost massive amounts of weight by simply clocking 10,000 steps daily?
Except I go to the gym to attend an hour class (some elderly women stay for 3 classes, never tried it cos I’m running off to go do something else), I clock in minimum of 6000 steps daily and if it’s a day I’m bent on hugging my bed real tight I dance for 10 minutes.
It is not once in a while that counts, it is the simple consistent daily action. At some point your body will even desire more than the 10 minutes and ask for more. Some days you will do 10 minutes, some days 30 minutes. An average of 10 minutes a day 4 times a week is good. But I still encourage you to use your legs more often – walk, walk, walk.
Movement can be fun and it does not have to be hard, really long and nerve wracking to be effective. Sadly, we all know the health benefits but still refuse to do it. Did you know that exercise can reduce depression and improve moods? So instead of relying solely on illicit or prescribed drugs to boost your moods, why not try exercise?
Oh, and if you have been struggling with getting a good night’s sleep, it is time to move your body.
Every quarter on my Facebook page I host The Joy in Movement Series. One of the challenges I know women face is having a fitness routine and making time for body movement.
Although most of us know the benefits of body movements, we literally run away from it, so I do this to show you that you can experience the joy in movement. And most importantly, that you can get in all the benefits of body movement in just 10 minutes 3 times a week.
This series was designed to help you solve the problem of time, money and going to the gym or having to GO HARD. Now you don’t have any excuse. Be sure to start today. You can watch the series for this quarter here.
1. Do a few squats/moves while on Netflix.
2. Learn to dance like nobody’s watching
3. Commit to an activity you enjoy and start with twice a week in your room
4. YouTube is your best friend
PS: please see hyperlink for the article.
Dr. Ezinne Meribe is the host of Beyond A Dress Size podcast; a podcast series that creates stimulating conversations to pull down misconceptions on nutrition, weight loss, health and body diversity while empowering women to live life beyond the numbers on the dress label, scale or tape.
She is the Lead Wellness Coach/Founder at Zinnyslifestyle, where she leverages her professional qualifications and personal experience to teach women how to OWN & LOVE their bodies and LIVE in it fabulously; having successfully won the struggle with being overweight and loving her body. A UK certified Wellness Professional with a Bachelors in Medicine and Surgery (MBBS), she completed her postgraduate training in Public Health at Kumamoto University, Japan. As a Medical Doctor and Public Health Specialist, she continues to promote preventive medicine as the number one way to combat the severe health system constraints in developing countries.
She runs a refreshing Facebook community of over 14,000 women – Healthy Yummy Mummies; where mums can lean on each other while exploring through what a healthy lifestyle means for them and their families. She understands the influence mums have on the community because when you positively influence one woman’s lifestyle, you influence her children, her husband, her siblings and of course her parents.
You can connect with her on
Read more on Medium @ezinnemeribe
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