It’s a conversation I have daily with clients and patients. Intentional movement aka exercise. I've started to change the language I use around movement because I think the word "exercise" can be triggering for some, defeating for others and can be associated with negative thoughts and feelings. Yes, it's hard. It's supposed to be. But I'm finding that when talking about exercise with my clients and patients, intentional movement is more inviting and often can help people get started because it feels a bit more doable. What do you think? Do you agree?
Anyways, let's talk about moving with intention. It's one of the main pillars of Lifestyle Medicine and we know that movement of any kind benefits us. To see the most benefits to our health and well being, it really needs to be intentional movement. What do I mean by that? I mean movement that is above and beyond your usual daily activities. If you walk a lot for job, that’s great. But intentional movement is something we do in addition to that.
What’s the goal? Ideally, most adults should be participating in 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity for 3-5 days per week. Moderate intensity means your heart rate is high enough where it might be difficult to talk during the activity you’re doing. This is the goal I recommend to my patients.
The reality is, we are all at different places and stages in this journey. And if someone hasn’t been intentionally moving their body for awhile, this goal 👆 is going to be really hard and likely unattainable at first for some people. Doesn’t mean it’s never going to be attainable, it just means that it’s not attainable right now.
What I see in practice, is patients and clients doing too much too soon for what they’re capable of. And when someone is doing too much too soon, not only are they at risk of injury, but it also leads to frustration, burnout and ultimately giving up on all intentional movement. It feels defeating, and if someone is already struggling with their weight or health, it just feels like one more thing they’re failing at. So they throw in the towel entirely.
Here’s the deal. Every movement matters and counts for something. Even the 10 minute walk outside. It’s important that we work up to the big goal by setting smaller goals that we can build on first. So my recommendation for patients and clients just getting started is to just go for a short walk. That’s it. Start with 1-3 times per week and then gradually increase how long you’re walking for. Take your dog or a friend or family member. Or use the time to de-stress and decompress yourself. If it’s too hot, try to go earlier in the morning or later in the evening. Can’t walk outside, climb stairs in your home for 10 minutes, do yoga, ride a bike, spend time doing years work…the list goes on.
Remember, the goal isn’t about getting there as fast as you can. And by there, I mean a goal weight, size, improved blood pressure, blood sugar or cholesterol numbers or whatever that thing is for you. It’s about taking the daily steps needed, big and small, consistently and at a pace that feels right to you, knowing that those steps on compounding on each other to help you improve your overall health and well-being. Living and being is the goal. The rest is just a result of the hard work you’re putting in. 😉
And if you’re doing all the things, but still struggling with fatigue, irritability, mood swings, sleep problems or any other concern, maybe it’s time to do a little more digging as to why. Hormone balance is a tricky thing and a more in depth look at what’s happening on the inside might be the best next step. If that’s you, let's connect. Request a free consultation or schedule your appointment by clicking the button below. Complete the "contact form" at the bottom and request a free 15 minute consultation. If you know you're ready to dive in, click on "plans and pricing" to choose the plan that feels right for you. We can't wait to get to know you!