What matters most when it comes to movement? How often you move? What you do for movement? How long you move? These are all great questions, and to some extent, they all matter or can make a difference in how your body responds to movement. But when I’m working with women, I find that this matters most:
- Loving what you do.
- The ability to prioritize it each day.
- Building up a muscle of consistency.
- Moving for reasons outside of the external appearance
I don’t have to go over the importance of movement. We all know it matters and that there are many physical and mental benefits from moving regularly. No one is going to argue the science behind moving our bodies on a regular basis.
Yet so many women I work with struggle to move on a consistent basis and see those long-term benefits of regular physical exercise. Here’s a part of the reason:
- We think working out has to look a certain way – a certain length of time, a certain number of days in a row, a certain type of workout. And if we can’t achieve the expectations we’ve placed on our workouts, we think that movement doesn’t matter or doesn’t count. Why move on Friday if I’ve already missed 4 days this week? I’ll just start over on Monday.” “I only have 20 minutes. It’s not worth it.” “Weightlifting is boring and doesn’t burn enough calories.”
- The Truth: Some movement is ALWAYS worth it. Will it build your bicep in the same way? Maybe not. But does a 20 min walk or lifting session still have some benefit? Absolutely. First, you’re simply going to feel better mentally with a rush of endorphins hitting your system. Second, regardless of what you do, you’re going to get some physical benefit due to the principle of overload: If you push the body beyond its typical limits, it’s going to make gains! Third and most importantly, you build up a muscle of consistency, which I’m going to argue is FAR more important than the amount of time you can give your workout. You can always ADD more time, but unless you figure out how to consistently incorporate a little bit of movement each day, you’re not going to benefit from a sporadic “good” workout here or there.
- We let our “busy schedules” override our decisions.
- The TRUTH: Everyone is busy! I’ve never met a woman who wasn’t flying around all day long to various things, whether it be work, kids’ activities, errands, taking care of little ones at home, or the never-ending to-do list. The honest truth is that if you’re not moving on a regular basis, it’s not a priority. Now please don’t hear me shaming you with that one! It’s OK if you’re in a season where it’s not a priority. It might be that you NOT prioritizing fitness in your season is a WISE and healthy decision b/c of what’s going on. But for most of us, we’re simply not prioritizing it in our busy days. And before you argue with me that you don’t have the time, I want you to check out your phone. How much screen time did you average per day last week? How much of that time was spent on social media or other apps that weren’t work/productivity related? How much screen time did you have in general last week? I think most of us can find 20-30 min by simply looking at where we’re wasting time and being a little more disciplined with our days.
- We see working out as only having physical benefits, and so we prioritize it if we’re really motivated to see a change in our body, but we fall off the wagon as soon as we lose the focus or momentum.
- The TRUTH: Until we see workouts as a necessity for a lifetime of health, we’re always going to be on-again/off-again and struggle with consistency. As a Christ follower, I believe my movement is meant to bring Him glory! That it’s an act of worship to the One who made my body good! I also believe He created our bodies in amazing ways, and He delights in seeing us move! I also am incredibly thankful that God made us in such an intimate way that we get these amazing benefits from movement, such as improved heart and lung function, better bone density, and stronger muscles. If you’re not a believer that’s ok, but I’m going to encourage you to find a reason to move BEYOND just the physical desire to see a toned body. How can movement benefit you for LIFE?
If you’re encouraged to work on building up your muscle of consistency, have your time priorities match your actual priorities in the value you place on movement, and see movement in a different light, I want to invite you to try Level-Up, my exclusive membership for the woman who wants to live well. I have short but effective, full-body workouts that will teach you how to move well, move smart, and help you develop a lifestyle of movement that will benefit you for years to come.
You can check it out here!