The American College of Sports Medicine’s Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends revealed High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) as the top fitness fad for 2014. What’s next? Kettle Bell yoga, pole dancing on Power Plates? Have we totally lost the plot?
Exercise has become yet another chore in a long list of to–dos. How the heck did this happen? Exercise is really about body movement and movement is what animals do – Around 500 million years ago, animals left the oceans and began to explore the land.
Do you think our tribal brothers and sisters think about target heart rates, going to the gym or endure being screamed at by some ex-military fitness instructor? They’d probably shoot him with a bow and arrow! Good grief, something has seriously gone wrong with our society.
Exercise or Body Movement?
We evolved to move our bodies in order to run from threats, farm the fields, make and raise children, hunt for food, draw on caves and shoot arrows. Somewhere along the line, body movement has morphed into exercise.
Exercise (verb): from Old French exercise (13c.) execution of power
– dancercise (1967)
– jazzercise (1977)
– boxercise (1985)
I believe that the solution to creating a lifelong habit of body movement is to stop treating moving like it belongs on a priority list. I know that’s easier said than done, in a world where we barely stop to use the toilet. There are days when I realise I’m still typing (trying to finish the blog post) and I’m desperate for the loo – good grief Paula, get a grip!
The solution came for me when I decided to leave a successful private practice and take my posture work online in the form of video. Somehow doing work I loved meant that I stopped exercising and began moving my body again. I stopped going to the gym and began moving my body every single day.
When you switch from exercising to body movement you will be free – no longer trapped in a search for the next best fitness fad. No longer placing undo stress and strain on your body joints. No longer seeing exercise on your endless to-do list, because body movement will become as much a part of your every day existence as eating and sleeping.
The switch doesn’t happen over night and some of you will be resistant to the idea of replacing exercise with daily body movement – but you have to admit that daily body movement sure sounds more enticing than the grind and expectation of Boot Camp, Spinning or Kettle Bells?!
Like any new habit, it takes time for your brain to create a new pattern (neurological pathway). It may begin as parking twenty minutes away from work and walking every day. It may look like getting a groove on, while listening to tunes during breakfast. It doesn’t matter what form your body movement takes, just as long as you are purposefully moving your body every day!
If you need inspiration, and feel that exercise has become one more chore to add to your never ending list of overwhelming to-dos, here are three ways to begin your new body movement habit:
Stop using the words exercise, fitness, workout and try using the words body movement.
Start to wiggle, stir and fidget on a regular basis (on the toilet, waiting in line, on the phone in your chair, on the couch…)
Observe children and notice when and how they move (they skip, hop, run, jump, spin, climb, bounce, leap, dance …)
Body movement is natural and something you can learn to love until you no longer have to remember to do it – because you feel stronger, taller, slimmer and younger! Here is just a short list of some of the fitness (exercise) fads we’ve endured:
Have I left any out that you’ve tried? Do you hate me for dissing Boot Camps?