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Tiny Moves, Big Changes

woman exercise yoga mat
Exercise is a great way to improve your health and wellbeing

Are you feeling constantly tired, bogged down, or heavy? Does finding time to exercise and self care feel impossible around juggling kids, work, and a never ending to do list?

Then stick around hun, we’re going to take a look at exercise, why it’s so important, and how we can choose to be more active in little bite sized chunks.

By the end of this blog you’ll have some ideas around how to get yourself moving regularly, well, and sustainably - and it will be so easy you won’t be able to talk yourself out of it.

“If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health”

Hippocrates, 5th/4th century BCE

If you have talked to me about healthcare or come to see me in clinic, I’ve probably talked to you about the countless benefits of exercise on the body.

Here’s a quick recap of how getting regular, moderate exercise can improve your life and your health. Regular exercise can:

  • Extend the length of your life

  • Improve the quality of your life

  • Help prevent cardiovascular disease

  • Help prevent type 2 diabetes

  • Help protect you from certain cancers (colon, breast, possibly also endometrial and lung)

  • Strengthen muscle and bone, helping protect against osteoporosis

  • Reduce the risk of falls and injury in older age

  • Relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression

  • Lift mood

  • Promote healthy weight

  • Improve sleep

It’s at least as effective in treating depression as medication and psychotherapy, and improves self esteem. You probably know a lot of this already and have wanted to be exercising well for some time, but haven’t quite managed to get yourself there.

Time, motivation and energy levels are the biggest culprits when it comes to avoiding exercise, so I’ve pulled together are a few tips to build your movement up in a slow, sustainable way, and some things to remind yourself on the days where you feel like you don’t have the time or energy.

woman walking
Start small with a driveway walk

Start Small

It really is about the baby steps. If you’ve been out of exercising for a while or are struggling with chronic health issues, make your movement goals so small it would be ridiculous to talk yourself out of them.

In clinic I suggest patients start by walking the drive way every day - rain, hail or shine. For most of us the drive way is between 10 and 30 metres. It’s pretty hard to convince yourself you’re too tired to do this. Even if it’s too hot, too cold, or pouring down - you’re only going to be out there for a few minutes.

I know this seems like too little movement to make a difference - but trust me, it accumulates. Stick with this for a few weeks and you’ll be feeling a lift in your energy. The best time to do this is first thing in the morning, when your energy is likely at it’s highest and before the demands of the day creep in. It’s also a great way to grab some fresh air, some sun, and a few minutes to yourself to clear your head.

couple walking on the beach
Try walking or swimming at the beach

Make it Fun!

When I feel a lack of motivation around moving, I find ways to make moving fun. I love to dance and I love the beach - so there are two ways I can make moving more enjoyable. A walk or a swim at the beach always lifts my mood and never feels like work, and finding a dance tutorial on YouTube or practising some steps to my favourite songs puts an instant spring in my step.

people walking skyline
Exercising with a friend is fun and motivating

Bring a Friend

If you’re still finding it hard to stay motivated, buddy up with a good friend. You can hold each other accountable and spending time with each other or chatting is a great way to make the time pass faster. Go for a walk or sign up for a class together, head to the pool or the beach for a swim, or buddy up for regular gym sessions. Your options are endless.

And remember - if you feel tired or too busy, remind yourself that regular, moderate exercise is an act of self care. If you stick with it and make it a priority it will boost your energy levels, your overall health, fitness and mood, and you’ll find it easier to get through your to do list.

It’s worth making the time for!

If you need more guidance around this, or someone to hold you accountable, book in to see me in private clinic or drop into Community Clinic on a Friday morning and let’s get you moving in the right direction.


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