“Physical activity is an elixir of life, but we're not teaching people that. We're telling them it's a pill to take or a punishment for bad numbers on the scale. Sustaining physical activity is a motivational and emotional issue, not a medical one.” ~ Dr. Michelle L. Segar
Exercise..there are so many angles I could take with this article.
I could tell you that it's a great tool to lose weight, prevent disease, and live longer. But that article has been written.
I could tell you that it immediately enhances your frame of mind, reduces stress and helps you feel happier. That article has been written too.
I could tell you that it boosts levels of brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine which can help with stress and depression. Yep, you guessed it. That one has been written too.
Exercise for me is all of the above and more! It’s one of those things in my life that is a non-negotiable and I’ll tell you why below.
I was talking to one of my favorite humans the other day…my brother Steve.
He has been focusing on getting healthier in all aspects of his life — physically, mentally and spiritually. On this particular day, he was sharing about his physical health. He was telling me he was feeling really good and proud of himself as he:
1. quit smoking and
2. started doing cardio again.…he was up to 7 minutes on the elliptical. SEVEN.
LONG PAUSE on my end as I thought and concluded that yes, 7 minutes is a great start…
”Steve, that’s great!” I said.
He said, “Yeah, thanks. I add a minute every day. But dang, I hate that first 10 minutes.”
I SO get it! Those first few minutes DO suck! The endorphins don’t kick in until at least 10 minutes into your workout. As of the other day, he wasn’t even getting the benefit of endorphins!
So it got me to thinking….how do I get through those first grueling 10 minutes of my workout?
[So here is the article I am writing…because I haven't seen this one written ;)]
I’ve often said that when I don’t get a workout in, it’s a quadruple whammy. You see, for me, I love working out. But a workout isn’t just a workout.
My workouts are multi-purposed:
Yes, I move my body and get that boost of endorphins.
Yes, I move my body to strengthen, tone & prevent illness.
Yes, I move my body to release stress.
AND I move my body to give thanks, pray, send love and affirm who I am.
So if you see me spinning or running, it only looks like I’m spinning or running…Here’s what is really happening and it starts with “Dear God, thank you for the privilege to be on this bike today. Thank you for my strong and healthy body that can peddle and climb and sweat and breathe…”
So if you need a strategy to get you through those first grueling 10 minutes of your workout, start with this template:
[First 3-5 minutes] Give thanks for your amazing body. Yep, even if your body hurts and even if the exercise sucks in the moment. Give thanks that you have the ability and the privilege to move your body. Literally start with the tip of your toes and work the entire way up to the top of your head giving thanks for your strong and healthy body, bones, muscles and organs. Give thanks for your blessed life. Give thanks for the good in your life.
[next 3-5 minutes] Send love and prayers. Yes. Literally pray for the people you love. Send them love. Wish them a great day. Pray for people who you know are struggling with illness, grief, divorce/relationship issues, death, addiction, struggling with motherhood, depression, natural disasters. Scan your list of peeps who could use a little extra love and strength and send it. PRAYER WORKS, I swear!
[next 3-5 minutes] Ask for what you need. Yep, now it’s all about you. “Dear God, please help me with this…” “Dear God, guide me with that…” Whatever is on your heart that YOU need, ask for it. ["Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." ~ Matthew 7:7]
[last 3 minutes] Positive I AM statements. Yep, it’s still all about you. This is where you pump yourself up and talk to yourself lovingly. “I am worthy.” “I matter.” “I am creative.” “I am enough", .etc
Wait! What?! You are already 10+ minutes in, you’ve given thanks, you’ve prayed for others, maybe even healed the world in some way, you’ve asked for help, you’ve loved yourself up and you moved your body, sweated, boosted endorphins, reduced stress and paved a brighter future for your health and well-bing. NICE JOB! Now that is multi-tasking!
As for Steve, I really do celebrate small successes. “Small hinges open big doors.”So 7 minutes was a great start!
I got this text from him just a few days after we talked.
I wonder what he’s up to now?! Signing off to go check in with him! :)
Have a Happy & Blessed Thanksgiving!