If you have been trying to incorporate more exercise into your life you know exactly how challenging it can be to build the habit. Our habits make us who we are, so it’s important to intentionally cultivate good habits. Our guest today is Sandra Chuma, a coach and certified habit-building expert. In this episode, she …
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Mindful movement changed the fitness game for me. I spent years exercising without any sense of what my body needed or how it actually felt. Coincidentally, I could also never stay consistent with any program or routine.
I’d be invested and excited for a few months and then life would get busy and all of a sudden, lifting weights or going to the gym felt like the last thing I wanted to do. So I’d stop and then eventually, start again at some point in the distant future.
You may be familiar with this off-and-on relationship with your fitness routine. One of the things that made it possible for me to stay consistent once and for all was mindful movement.
Pilates brought this style of exercise to my attention and in the last 10 years, it’s created a powerful shift, not just in my fitness routine but in my life as well.
If you struggle with stopping and starting your fitness routine but want to be consistent enough to experience both the mental and physical benefits, this may be the missing piece. Mindful movement reminds us that exercise is about so much more than simply showing up. It’s about slowing down, being in your body, and taking even just 10 minutes for you to focus on yourself.
Let’s talk about what mindful movement is and how it can help your fitness routine stick once and for all.
What Is Mindful Movement?
Do you pay attention to the sensation of your muscles contracting as you lift weights?
Are you able to breathe slowly and intentionally as you move your body through your workout?
How often do you listen to the needs of your body when choosing your workout each day?
All of these ways of thinking about and approaching exercise are part of mindful movement. This is the integration of mental awareness and physical exertion. It helps you focus on what your body is doing—and how it feels—from one exercise to the next.
This style of movement helped me stick with my workout routine once and for all. I started choosing exercises that my body was craving rather than forcing something I didn’t want. I also started noticing the mental benefits of consistent mindful movement, like less stress and better sleep.
All of this showed me that simply showing up to my workouts wasn’t enough. To stick with it, I needed to slow down, tune into my body, and take note of how each workout was impacting my life, not just during but after.
How to Incorporate Mindful Movement
A few of the most common examples of mindful movement include yoga, tai chi, and, of course, Pilates. This is the basis for our workouts here at Lindywell, but all types of movement can be done with a mindful approach using these basic principles:
- Slow down and breathe: Slow down each movement and use your breath to connect with your body as you do it. For example, breathe out as you roll your body down to touch your toes, breathe in at the bottom, and breathe out as you roll back up.