I know what you’re thinking. Another post about someone’s favorite form of exercise and why everyone should be doing it. How much better exercise “A” is vs. “B” and how science shows it will burn belly fat and tone your thighs while sculpting biceps to die for.
Here’s the secret ― you need to move. And you need to move correctly to maximize your results and minimize injury. You need to strengthen your muscles, including your heart. Lifting free weights or lifting your body weight, running or swimming, dancing, Pilates, yoga...
It doesn’t matter. Truly. It doesn’t. What matters is that you are moving and you are enjoying yourself.
You read that right. Enjoying yourself.
Not punishing yourself for eating cupcakes and (gasp!) white bread.
Not beating yourself up for “being lazy” or “fat.”
Not trying to live up to someone else’s idea of what bodies should look like.
Being thin will not make you happy.
Let me say that again.
BEING THIN WILL NOT MAKE YOU HAPPY.
Being active has been shown to make you happier. Taking care of yourself, doing things you enjoy and giving yourself permission to be a priority in your own life will make you happier. If you do not love yourself, you will be unhappy no matter how much you weigh.
My true fitness love? Snowboarding. So when I work out, my goals are to be a better boarder. This requires a stronger core and legs for better board control and to jump (now if only I could make myself less afraid of landing ― sad but true), more endurance to be out on the mountain longer with fewer rests, better balance to fall less, and flexibility to roll on the ground to a position to get back on my feet once the inevitable fall occurs (if you’re not falling, you’re not pushing is something I like to tell myself to feel better about the time I spend on my butt... or face).
To that end, I participate in cardio-based programs, strengthening with weights (to straight up gain some muscle), yoga to challenge my balance and flexibility (and to gain patience for the rougher days out there), body weight strengthening...
It can seem like I’m all over the place. But the truth is, I know the end result I want. I train for that. I am picky about what I do with my free time. I’m busy ― full time physical therapist, mom of two little ones, blogging, and getting some further certifications. I’m not messing around with things I think I should do or things I don’t enjoy.
And you know what? YOU shouldn’t be either.
Your time is valuable. Being healthy does not have to equal boring. Being healthy does not have to be on someone else’s terms. Being healthy is learning to love yourself, in all your messy, complicated glory. What physical activity makes you want to keep going? What calls you back for more when you are sore, tired, or time crunched? Chase that. Because that is the best form of exercise for you.