Mindful Exercise

Why do you exercise? Is it because you have a routine? Do your friends go to a spin class with you? Do you go walking with your dog every weekend? Exercise should be a fun and mood boosting part of your day! Here are some tips to keep your exercise or workout routines mindful, healthy, and a happy part of your day.

1. Keep your mind in mind!

Exercise shouldn’t be something that you dread or are forcing yourself to do. Exercise should be a fun and positive part of your day. It can be mood boosting, energizing, and put you in a good mental state.

Image result for yoga
https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/yoga-can-help-with-low-back-pain-relief

2. There is no one way to exercise

Exercise isn’t limited to lifting in the gym or having a high intensity work out everyday. There are so many ways to move your body! Yoga, biking, dancing, gardening, and everyday activities like walking the dog or cleaning the house are exercise. Don’t limit yourself to one form of exercise.

Image result for walking the dog

3. Rest days are important too

Just because someone you know or a website you read says you should workout at the gym everyday for two hours, doesn’t mean you should or have to. Rest days and listening to your body’s cues are also important to minimize burnout and provide an opportunity for muscle growth and repair.

4. Practice staying in the moment

Sometimes it can be hard to stay focused on whatever exercise you may be doing at the time. Maybe you find yourself thinking about all of the things you have to do that day, or something embarrassing you said at lunch. If you find yourself getting caught up in your thoughts, take a deep breath and let your mind come back to the activity a hand. Exercise and movement is YOUR time and you can focus on your other tasks later.

5. Flexibility is key

Exercise looks different for every single person and shouldn’t be a limiting or painful part of the day. Keeping your mind open to new possibilities is important when it comes to exercise. Exercise shouldn’t be so focused on losing weight or gaining muscle that it makes you lose sight of the overall goal; to contribute to improving to your overall well-being.

The main takeaway: Exercise doesn’t need to be and shouldn’t be something forced, unhappy, or painful. Exercise should be happy movement that makes you feel positive, joyful, and excited.

Check out a great online resource from MSU if you’d like to try a GX class for free at home: http://www.montana.edu/getfit/

Comment your favorite way to exercise and move your body!

Cover Image Credit: Brandon Thomison

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