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Welcome back!

We have been talking about how to introduce play into your life. You can do this in short increments of time such as 4 to 5 minutes a few times a day, or two 10-minute sessions a day. We need a little over 20 minutes a day to get to our 150-minute recommended minimum minutes of movement in a week for good health. I love finding new ways to improve our health and how to make it easier by taking baby steps.

I have been thinking of ways we can get exercise and have fun!

I came up with a list of activities that I enjoy and wanted to share them with you. Many of the activities that I enjoy during my ‘playtime’ have to do with being in nature. I have an appreciation of nature, breathing in the fresh air, and soaking up the sun into my body.

The Play Book by Janet Omstead Health Coach
  • Paddleboarding
  • Skiing
  • Cross country skiing
  • Back country hiking
  • Walking
  • Mirror: cardio, barre, yoga, pilates, boxing, chair workouts and more
  • Use a standing desk
  • Sitting on a ball and bouncing while working on your computer or watching TV, helps give you better core strength
  • Park further away from the entrance of wherever I am going, so I have to walk further.

If you listened to the podcast from last week with my guest Janet Omstead author of “The Play Book” she has a list in her book of ways to play that I already do but hadn’t thought about as “exercise”, but they are movement – with this list you can see how easy it is to add movement to your daily activities:

  • Vacuum to music
  • Handwash dishes
  • Squats / stretches while brushing your teeth
  • Make your bed
  • Dance to music – my energy shifting music!

Here are some more from Janet’s book that are super easy to do, that I had never thought of – if you missed her episode go back and listen to episode 66.

  • Push-ups against a park bench, or at the top of your stairs
  • Tricep dips on a chair
  • Balance on one foot while standing in line to pay (and then switch to the other leg)
  • Squeeze your butt while chopping veggies
  • Jump up and touch the door frame

Do you see how easy this can be?

You just need to consciously think about all the ways you can move your body more and then start doing it! If you choose things that are easy, that you enjoy, you’ll keep doing them. You might need to set a time at first as an alert to remind you to do them. As you keep doing these activities, you’ll notice an improvement in your overall wellbeing! You will be able to breathe more easily through it, your muscles won’t hurt as much afterwards, you’ll start to notice your muscles are more toned and you’ll just feel stronger and fitter!

As James Clear of “Atomic Habits” says

“An improvement of just 1% every day, results in you being 37 X times better at something after a year of consistently doing it!”

Let’s dive into why movement is so important for your ongoing health and of course that is what I’m all about – improve the health of our Global Community – I’m always talking about toxins, nutrition, sleep, and stress…but exercise is another key component of this.  As I said last time though, exercise doesn’t have to mean “work out”.   That word might conjure up negative images for your brain, because it has the word “work” in it. Exercise can absolutely be about having fun and playfulness. That is how you create a lasting habit, by choosing something you enjoy, something that makes you happy.  I had a client recently tell me she loves belly dancing, so that is what she was going to focus on to get her body moving again, now that she has her energy back and is ready to add more movement into her day!

Exercise Improves Your Mood and Has You Feeling Happier!

Exercise can increase the production of endorphins, which are known to help produce positive feelings and reduce the perception of pain.  Exercise also produces changes in the parts of the brain that regulate stress and anxiety. Exercise can also increase brain sensitivity to the hormone’s serotonin and norepinephrine, which relieve feelings of depression. The great news too is that it doesn’t matter how intense your workout is, exercise will benefit your mood regardless

Don’t think you have to do high intensity level workouts to experience this benefit…you don’t! Just get started today do baby steps and you’ll start to notice the benefits.  Afterall, have you ever heard anyone say “gee, I wish I didn’t do that!” after exercising?  No!  No one has ever said that! It might feel hard to get off the couch and move, but once you do, you’ll be thanking yourself for having done so!

Exercise Helps with Weight Loss

Given that 42.4% of North Americans are obese, weight loss and getting exercise in daily is something that many people need help with.  If you are obese, or haven’t exercised in a long time, it can be hard to know how to get started. It may feel overwhelming, there might be some fear coming up for you…which is why you want to pick something you enjoy doing or enjoyed as a child.  You don’t have to go and hire a trainer right off the bat if that is triggering resistance.  What if you just start by walking around the block and picking a few other things off the list I mentioned earlier that resonate with you.  I know someone who made a commitment to do 5 push ups after going to the bathroom, every time and before they knew it, they could do 100 push ups, but they just started with what was do-able for them initially. If you can only do 1, start with 1, but do it every time you go to the bathroom (since you do that fairly often through the day it is a good trigger for stacking your new movement habit!).

Exercise Is Good for Your Muscles and Bones

Having good muscle tone and strong bones is important for ensuring good mobility and function as you age. The body naturally loses muscle mass and bone density as we age, but movement helps build them back up. This can help prevent injury as we age.

Exercise Helps Boost Your Energy

I know so many people who feel tired all the time, they’re relying on coffee and quick sugary treats to get them through their day, which can result in poor sleep and weight gain. Instead, choose movement – remember you can break it down into 5-minute sessions to get started.  Yes, you use some energy while exercising, but the reason you get more energy is that movement increases blood flow around the body, bringing fresh oxygenated blood to your muscles, and over time improves your heart health, so it becomes better at pumping blood around your body.

Exercise Can Reduce Your Risk of Chronic Illness

Again, this is near and dear to my heart and why I focus on helping people detox, as I believe there is too much chronic illness in our world today and if people knew they could detox and exercise to reverse their symptoms, perhaps more people would choose that path.

Exercise helps reduce insulin sensitivity; it helps improves heart health as I mentioned earlier. Exercise can increase HDL (good cholesterol) and high intensity aerobic exercise has been shown to lower LDL.  Regular aerobic exercise can lower systolic blood pressure too.  Of course, if you are already dealing with a chronic illness, you should always get permission from your doctor before starting a new exercise habit and remember to start out slowly and build up slowly. You don’t want to go all out on day 1, and then injure yourself or have sore muscles for a week and then not be motivated to continue….as I’ve said, start with just 5 minutes at a time, several times a day, so you don’t overdo it.

Exercise Helps with Relaxation and Sleep Quality

The energy used while moving helps stimulate the restorative process during sleep.  Movement has also been shown to reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep when you go to bed, but also if you wake up in the night. It isn’t just cardio movement that does this, in a study of over 4 million people it was shown that stretching and resistance training helped people struggling with insomnia.  I love to stretch before bed, it’s part of my sleep hygiene routine, gets me off screens and is a lovely relaxing time in my evening.

I hope this article has sparked some ideas for you in ways that you can move more, and how doing so will benefit your health and lower your risk of chronic illness.

Before we leave, I want to share testimonial from Pat Eagar, as my business coach said that I should be sharing my work more often so you have a greater understanding of how I help people, and then by referring me you can help people in your network. 

Melissa’s group and one to one program focused on improving your overall health and wellness are invaluable experiences. After spending several years losing and stabilizing my weight by eating healthier and regularly exercising my gut issues continued to get progressively worse, I found myself in constant abdominal pain and a growing number of other health issues. Following the 3-week detox and several lab tests, Melissa worked with me to create a supplement plan customized to support and heal my weak digestive system and eating plan to reduce triggers. The constant pain in my abdomen is gone, rashes under control and several of my routine blood results have improved. Melissa’s ongoing support and guidance over the past several months has been and continues to be amazing.

Patricia Eagar

Have a great week! Remember to keep moving, start out doing baby steps and in no time, you will start seeing how incorporating play into your life, can help you improve your overall health.

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