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How To Find Your Fitness Habit


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In my part time job at Golden Door Wellness Resort I work with a different group every week. Individuals come to the Door to heal or get stronger whether literally or figuratively. It is much more than a place to exercise. This special place offers an opportunity to recenter for those that want a mental or physical reboot or begin a healing process from life struggles or tragedies.

Of the guests I am matched with as their trainer for the week – physical fitness may be at the forefront of their visit or in the background. Some of these guests I work with either are facing physical limitations or want to avoid issues that family members are dealing with. Those that are in this mental space are searching for the key to core strength, increased cardiovascular capacity or more strength. Others know they should be doing something but are not sure what. Some don’t like going to the gym but know they should be doing something. Some have tried working with a trainer, jumping on the latest fitness fad or bought some equipment that is gathering dust.

If you can resonate with any of this I encourage you to do what works for YOU. These days you are assaulted with new fitness trends, new equipment and diet trends. There are ads or articles talking about how to just target certain areas of the body to reduce fat. Separate the wheat from the chaff.

Start with what works for you. I was brainstorming with a guest while hiking and she mentioned that she liked swimming. She does it occasionally. She felt that she should be running, doing core strength and strength training too. Now she was putting layers of things that she was not to excited about on top of something she liked doing – swimming.

We talked about parsing apart those and just focusing on swimming and getting an apple watch to count her steps. That did not stress her out. Start where you are now. Find that activity that you enjoy doing. Be “boring” for a while and stick to that activity. I told her, if she did 15,000 steps a day and got swimming in twice a week and stuck to that she would start feeling better. Then she could start with other things.

If you find yourself stuck, put aside the pressures of what you think you should be doing…instead do what you can and want to do.
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The Scarlet Letter B


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You know that story. Here is a super duper short cliff notes version… a girl has to wear the scarlet letter A and it is not fun. It is her badge.

When we read that story we all knew we did not want to wear that label around. Not only would others make opinions about you but also you would internalize it. Our goals, aspirations, and joys rarely find their way to us in a straight line. We have struggled with different modalities. The challenges can be mental, physical, financial or a mixture that includes other ones.

What this short post is – it hones on your body. Your body is there for all of life. There are emotions tied to how we move. There are emotions tied to when we can’t move how we want to. A temporary physical setback like stubbing your toe is annoying. After that sore toe heals, it passes it can be a mere afterthought. Bigger things like chronic pain and discomfort in your knees, hips, or shoulders can affect your daily life. Especially if you can see a scar or your gait is noticeable you have a constant reminder. It can be an understatement that this is frustrating.

It can be easy to start attaching that emotion to your body parts. It is like a personal version of a check engine light that is on in your car. You know there is something wrong and there is a constant reminder every time you turn the key. As for your body every time you roll out of bed or do a certain movement you may be unconsciously “protecting” when you move.

Describing that body part is tied to emotions. Instead of your left or right shoulder, it becomes the bad right shoulder. There is an expectation and assumption that it will cause you pain or discomfort in any way that you move it. I have worked with many people that use that description when I am working with them. I have them switch to that side or move in a certain way and they will say out loud “oh this is my bad side.” Sometimes they will feel what the expected, and sometimes they will not and be surprised. Either way, I correct them and I urge you to describe it as your “other side.”

Especially when you introduce variations of a movement, practice breathing or mobility techniques you can be surprised by how you feel. You may not be using your full range of motion, but you are moving in a way that is with less discomfort or pain. Wearing that scarlet letter B can hinder you being open to the possibility that you can move in ways that are better.

I challenge you to try every day not to put that that scarlet letter B on every time you wake up and go on with your day. Find ways to move. Find ways to move differently. Be open to learning ways to move that can reduce comfort or pain even if it is a 10% difference. You just may be surprised by the outcome over time.

 

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