Jowan Ortega @mngrown_brooklynbuilt
I think we can all agree, that for the past year, at some point, we have more or less put our fitness endeavors on the back burner. I, myself had to take a step back from my usual fitness routine with everything going on around me. As a woman of color, more often than not, I felt that I was constantly being crushed by the weight of the world, and fitness at the moment wasn’t something I felt like doing. We all know the benefits, but it is easily one of the first things we let go to the wayside and I, too, fell out of the habit.
With the sun starting to consistently come out again and a little semblance of normalcy, many of us are finding ourselves recommitting to incorporating movement into our lives. Ok, so I commit to movement, now what? I have had multiple conversations as of late with people on how to take your decision to commit to movement and implement it into your daily life on your own terms. Here are some simple ways of making that commitment and following through with it.
Do What You Enjoy. Simply put, find something that you like to do and do it! Whether that is resistance or strength training, running, walking, yoga, dancing, riding your bike, martial arts, rock climbing, gardening, or whatever. In all honesty, the “what you do” doesn’t matter, the list of movement-based things to do is endless! Chances are, if you actually like to do it, you are more inclined to be consistent in doing it. At the end of the day, consistency is the key!
Actually Set Aside The Time In Your Calendar. I can’t stress this one enough! Set aside time in your calendar so that you are allowing time for yourself. It doesn’t have to be a full day, half a day, or an hour, it can be as little as a few minutes to start to build consistency or habit. A few examples of setting aside time is to get some stretching in when you wake up instead of grabbing your phone. It takes only a few minutes and is a great way to start your day off. You could also do this before going to bed as a way to help you relax before you go to sleep. If you have kids, try to incorporate movement for you and them. It doesn’t have to be something lengthy or overly orchestrated, but 10-15 minutes you spend together doing something fun, and before you know it, it will become something that you and your kids will look forward to. If your kids have activities that you have to take them to, that is an opportunity for you to get in a walk or do some movement on your own. You can pick 3-5 movements that you feel comfortable performing in a circuit and go through that a few times. If you are ready to make a little more of a commitment, I suggest going through your calendar and finding two days that you can consistently schedule at a certain time and make them reoccurring. After you find your days, you can do what I do, I like to set the reminders at “1 day before” and “1 hour before” so that I can keep in mind that I am taking time for me to move and it is something that I can look forward to throughout the week.
Find A Workout or Accountability Partner. I have found that most people thrive when they have someone to work out, check in, or schedule to meet with to keep them accountable. If you can find a co-worker, friend, or family member to move with you, then chances are you are more inclined to get your movement in, enjoy it, and remain consistent. I have people that meet in person and due to Covid or distance, have made the effort to meet through online platforms like FaceTime, Google Meet, or Zoom to get in their movement together. If you are someone that doesn’t have someone to meet with in person or over a video platform, having someone to text, chat online, or call to check in with is another great way to help keep yourself accountable for getting in your movement. Another option would be to schedule time with a professional. There are plenty of people that need or want that level of accountability to help them remain consistent in ensuring they get in their movement.
Give Yourself Grace. Please allow space to give yourself, your mind, and your body grace during your journey back into movement. Your body may not do as you once remember it doing, it may not cooperate in the way you had hoped and it may be hard. Please remember that while this may frustrate you, keep moving and your body will adapt. Just like you took time away from movement, it will take some time to get back into the groove of moving again and that is perfectly ok! There is nothing wrong with feeling frustrated or any other feeling, just don’t let it deter you from your journey!
These are just a few ways to help get you started reincorporating movement into your life. Remember, it doesn’t have to be overly complicated, time-consuming, or unenjoyable. Find something you like, try it and bring some people along the way, it's a little more fun that way.