So, I’ve been swimming and my daughter has been running. And add in biking…and we’re training for a triathlon together 🙂
I thought it would be a difficult transition, and that I’d have to push.
But after years of yoga and running, it has been really fun to do something new. I needed some help with my swim strokes, and some confidence in my swimming endurance. And now with practice, instead of panicking in the water, I’ve learned to slow myself down and find a ‘pace,’ just like running. And it’s amazing to feel and see the effects of different movement on the body.
We often share with patient’s how important it is to change up exercise, and how we move our bodies. And this was a good reminder for me, to regularly change my movement as well. The emotional benefits of the change are powerful. Especially if your excercise or regular movement routine has you feeling bored. And the physical benefits of a change can be incredible as well. The muscles and nervous system needs to be regularly challenged in new ways, for strengthening and growth, otherwise plateaus occur and the same nerve circuits are followed. The heart of course also becomes stronger and healthier by challenging the body with new movements and exercise.
Tips to Changing Up How You Exercise:
1. Choose a new activity
Choose an activity from your bucket list that you’ve always wanted to do, but have never made time for, or been too shy to do. We attended a seminar once with chiropractic assistants, and another chiropractic assistant shared that she’s always wanted to belly dance. With some motivation from a handful of chiropractic teams, she now belly dances 3 times a week, her body and health have improved tremendously, and she loves it!
2. Choose an accountability partner
Choose an accountability partner as someone who can lovingly hold you accountable to your decision to add new movement or exercise into your life. This works especially well, if they also become your exercise partner. I chose our eldest daughter to exercise with, because I wanted to prioritize more time with just her, doing something we both enjoy and can grow in together. And our time together has been amazing.
3. At the very least make small changes
If you like your current exercise routine, and have done it for years, and may not be keen to change…just vary it a little. You will notice the benefits immeasurably. For example, if you like to walk, you can change the surface you walk on. Just a little change like walking on the grass or on sand, instead of pavement, challenges lower limb muscles and spinal muscles, and forms new neural pathways for balance and coordination. Or add a new challenge by walking hills, or stairs, or adding one minute running sprints, every 5 minutes.
4. Be consistent, patient and flexible
Whenever we start something new, we are challenged to continue. Remember that your original exercise needed time to get used to, and required patience in the beginning as well. And open up to flexibility. With the busyness of life, things come up, that rock us from our best intentions. For example, shorten your exercise to 10 minutes with higher intensity, if you don’t have time for your 30 minute routine.