Find Your Inner Child: Remembering that Fitness Can Be Fun
Think back to the days when you were a little kid and ask yourself what was your favorite sport or activity? Maybe you loved jumping on the trampoline after school, playing softball at recess, or making up dance routines in your bedroom. I was always an active child. I can’t remember a day when I wasn’t doing something active—from tennis lessons and skiing to hiking up our mountain outside and riding dirt bikes with my brothers.
As adults, we often forget how much FUN it is to move. I never thought of my activities as exercise or something I had to do, it was something I loved. I couldn’t wait to get to jazz class on Thursday night and learn a new dance to show off to my friends and family; or, to meet all of my friends at the ski slopes on the weekends.
I chose a profession where I can continue to move daily and I feel so good. I have energy, I sleep like a baby, I naturally eat healthy because it fuels my activity, and I feel positive, happy, and alive.
It may seem like more of a challenge if your job requires you to sit at a desk all day long; but if you call on your inner child and enlist your colleagues to do the same, you can find the time. I promise you, you’ll have a blast if you get off your butt and move!
If you have just a few minutes in the morning:
First thing in the morning, do a downward dog. This will get your blood flowing and stretch out all the kinks from any awkward positions you slept in overnight. Downward dog is easy: Just start on all fours, tuck under your toes, lift your hips up and move your torso back towards your thighs. Don’t worry if your hamstrings are tight, you can keep your knees bent. Dogs naturally do this when they wake up from a snooze and it really does clear the cobwebs and set you up for the day.
If you have more than a couple of minutes in the morning:
Do some sun salutations, jump rope, or pop in a workout DVD or workout to a fitness app. I have DVDs with twenty-five minute workouts on them so even the busiest person can fit them in to their schedule. My app workouts are 10-12 minutes, which is great for periodic spurts of exercise throughout the day; or right when you get home. Even if you’re exhausted, you can still do 10 minutes of something!
On your lunch break:
Meet a friend or convince a co-worker to do a power walk with you after lunch. If you do a brisk 15-20 minute walk then eat lunch, you’ll have energy for the rest of the day. You can also keep a set of light hand weights or bands at your desk and around 3 p.m. or 4 p.m. (perfect time for strength training), you can do a few bicep curls, back rows, triceps extensions, and push-ups. Keep a pair of comfy shoes at your office so you can always throw them on and take a quick walk or do a few sets of exercises at your desk.
Choose to move through fun after-work activities:
My husband and I recently signed up for couples dance classes on Friday evenings. It’s the perfect way to get some exercise together in the colder months and it’s so much healthier than just going out to a big, heavy dinner for Friday night date nights. In the spring and summer, we find events we can do together like the Five Borough Bike Tour or a 5K run. When you have something to prepare for, you’re more likely to workout and move a lot to prepare for it.
These days, there are so many fun classes to take advantage of. I teach at a wonderful boutique gym and spa, Clay Health Club + Spa, and they have everything from Zumba to yoga to boxing to tred classes. I love the tred classes – they are on the treadmill and they really keep you interested and motivated. You may do intervals, climb hills, jump off and do full body exercises on the mats in between sprints, etc.
If you close your eyes right now and envision what you loved to do most as a kid, you’ll hopefully have some insight as to how you can bring that energy and love of movement in to your adult life. You never have to feel embarrassed or silly about moving your body. As a matter of fact, you’ll be such an inspiration to your friends, family, and colleagues – you’ll have them moving along with you in no time at all. Every kid wanted to participate on the playground, create your adult playground and choose to move every day!