Bless Your Body with Movement and Energy
From: Work/Life Balance Entrepreneur Coach Vanessa Long, Newmarket, Ontario.
To: Solo-preneurs, Small Business Owners, Heart-Centred Entrepreneurs, Purpose Seekers
Putting One Foot in Front of the Other
3 Ways to Bless Your Self with Movement and Energy
Yup, I get it… sweat and exercise are probably not your favourite moment in the day, especially if you're a comfort gal, like me.
The good news is, you don't have to become an IronWoman triathlete or run a marathon to be empowered in this area of your purpose-filled life.
What you DO need, I believe, are a few simple ideas for how you can get moving in a healthier, more joyful way, even if you haven't done any intentional physical activity for a loooong time.
For starters, understand that there are 3 critical aspects that come into play any time you're thinking about improving how you feel and the you that you see in the mirror.
First, there is the physical aspect: this is where you have the trust that what you are doing is actually making a difference to your health and your prospects for a long, joyful life. And that you'll be able to sustain the activity without chronic or acute injury.
Second, there is the emotional aspect: this is you letting go of any trauma or negative emotions attached to being a powerful, healthy woman. Your goal is to replace those old emotions with a new desire to be your best – whatever that looks like. This means letting go of what the world thinks you 'should' look like and starting to build a divine inner temple that you love to live in.
Third, there is the spiritual aspect: this is the profound realization of just how amazing your body is and what a gift it is that you have physical form. Too many of us spend too much time wishing that we could 'go home' and leave our bodies because we have never been taught how to live in them in a happy and healthy way. Your divine purpose needs a physical body to express itself. It must, or you simply wouldn't be here. Once we surrender to that idea, we can let go of the shoulds and start to create an amazing life.
Okay, so back to physical activity…
After 10 years as a Personal Trainer, I've developed really simple systems to keep my body functionally fit. It isn't about becoming a size 2, though you can aim for that if you want, but it does mean that we can enjoy our lives without being tired all the time or burning out from too much activity.
After going through adrenal fatigue and a serious B12 deficiency, I've learned that health is a fine balance:
If I do too much then I end up in burn out and becoming ill.
If I do too little, though, I end up lethargic and not having the strength to work and play the way I want to. I had many clients whose goal was to be strong enough to pick up their grandchildren. That's functional fitness!
Surprisingly, a big part of creating an exercise and movement strategy for yourself is all about rest and rejuvenation. You must have both. Think of them as a balanced see-saw that keeps you in top shape to pursue your passionate purpose.
So here are a few of my favourite tips on how to manage your energy and activity like a goddess, no matter how out of shape you are right now. Use these tips and you'll be encouraged to stay on track, feeling positive and empowered, and feeling rock-solidly connected to the mission and purpose of your life.
Tip #1 – My Favourite Length of Time for Exercise
Are you ready for this? I was thrilled when research showed that you can achieve significant improvements in your fitness levels in 10 minutes. Yup. 10 itty-bitty little minutes.
The goal IS NOT to work out for hours on end – in fact, research has shown that intense exercise maintained for over 45 minutes can actually trigger an insulin response in the body and damage the immune system. So, that's out.
The goal IS to accumulate moderate to intense workouts that total around 30 minutes a day for most days of the week. What is moderate to intense? You get to decide. You should definitely be glowing by the end. I like to think of it as 'go as hard as you can' for 10 minutes. That doesn't sound too bad, does it?
What activities count? Anything that gets you moving with enthusiasm – you can even have FUN with this. Dancing, vacuuming AND dancing, stairs, walking, yoga, the list goes on…
Of course, you can always lengthen the sessions and play around with the times, but it always makes me happy to know that if I can hustle my butt for at least 10 minutes then it totally counts. NOBODY is too busy to get in 10 minutes of heavy breathing.
Tip #2 – My Favourite Type of Exercise for a Long, Healthy Life
There are three basic types of exercise that I focus on: cardio, strength training, and stretching.
I hate cardio.
Happily, cardio is not the most important one of the three, which is great news for those of us who prefer not to read War and Peace on the elliptical.
So, if it's not cardio, what is the most important type of exercise for longevity?
By a mile. If you want to be healthy long into your senior years you are far better off lifting some weights than flipping pages on the treadmill. Especially as we age, keeping our strength and balance become increasingly more urgent for daily functioning.
Okay… but can we just toss cardio and stretching. Nope!
But we can mix it up.
My favourite types of exercise are those that combine stretching, strength training and cardio into one groovy package. Circuit training and full-body exercises both do this…
My absolute favourite though is yoga. You stretch and sweat and develop balance and strength all at the same time.
Now that's a good use of 10 minutes! Explore a yoga studio in your area and ease yourself into it. Don't worry if your Downward Dog isn't perfect – at least you're showing up.
Tip #3 – My Favourite Part of Exercise
I know! I know! I sound like the laziest person in the world, but, really, do you KNOW every person in the world? 🙂
The fact is that I love feeling my body stretch and lift and work. I really do. But what I love even more is the feeling of satisfaction that I get to enjoy after a good workout knowing that I have done something wonderful for my body and for my self.
You must rest after strength and stretch training to allow your muscles to recover. You must rest after cardio to allow your heart and nervous system to recover. And you must rest after a really busy day or week or year to allow your body and spirit to recover.
We are not machines and we are not meant to be running all the time – heck! even machines don't run ALL the time! If you have put yourself on the 'busy' treadmill where you just keep moving because of over-commitment then I have one word for you:
Take yourself out of it before your body does it for you. You must build in rest and relaxation, rejuvenation and a chance to re-connect with your self and the divine. And you must do it on a regular basis.
Or else you're headed for burn out. Trust me, I've been there and it isn't a pretty thing.
Make a list of 20 things that restore and source you and then start scheduling them into your calendar as celebrations of your new commitment to your own life. Schedule your workouts in there as well. These are your times for sacred sourcing. When will you make it happen?
Treat your body like the divine temple that is, treat it like the sacred gift that you've been given. Your body is your way to express and explore your divine purpose. If you burn out your body, or allow it to fade away through neglect, then you have wasted your chance to live big and bold and beautiful.
Goddess, I know that you have what it takes to create a life of passion and purpose and I hope you can take these three tips and start now to move toward that life that you deserve.
Make sure you let me know about your successes. Either email me or post it on our Facebook wall.
PS If you're ready to let go of your past and step into a more powerful life of passion and purpose, schedule a no-strings attached Passionate Life Strategy Session with me today.
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Tagged as: Healthy Living, Mind-Body Wellness, Tools for Life Change, work life balance, Your Body is a Temple