Movement, versus exercise


How is your relationship with exercise? Do you have a hard time finding time and motivation to squeeze it into your week?  Do you feel negatively about your bodies capabilities?

I read a book a couple years ago called “No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness” by Michelle Segar, that transformed how I see exercise and my body.

The author described the difference between movement and exercise. We have prerequisites for exercise such as:

It must be 30 minutes

It must take our heart above 100

It must make us sweat

It must require exercise clothing

Because of these requirements we often avoid exercise, thinking if it doesn’t fit into that category it doesn’t count. She argues, everything counts! What if instead of exercise we pursue movement? When you move it can be for five minutes or fifty. It requires no equipment other than your body. It’s about feeling strong, capable and good in your body. It looks different than you might think. It could be:

Parking far away from the store. 

Taking two flights of stairs and then taking the elevator up the other two

Walking your groceries home on your back

Going to the washroom on another floor at work

Going to the washroom on another floor at home

Meeting a friend for a walking coffee instead of a sitting coffee

Walking around the dog park as you throw the ball

A five minute dance break (youtube video dance tutorial optional)

As I read this book I was mentally arguing with the author. I kept thinking “if I decrease the requirements for exercise I’ll definitely never do it! I’ll give myself permission to sit on the couch and eat potato chips.”

Not true. 

It gave me permission to walk around my neighborhood and enjoy it as movement

It gave me permission to enjoy walking to the grocery to store to get my groceries

It gave me permission to bike to work even though it’s only a twenty minute bike ride

Movement encourages you in whatever you’re capable of. It doesn’t require anything other than embracing it. 

What’s your mindset about exercise versus movement? How do you squeeze in little bits of movement in your day?

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