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Why Movement Is Important

In this video we’ll cover a few reasons why movement is important as well as providing encouragement to focus on movement for healing vs. movement for weight loss.

Kristina Wong, WellTheory Health Coach

Focusing on Movement

All exercise is movement, but not all movement is exercise. Let us explain what this means.

When you think of traditional exercise, what comes to mind? Probably going to the gym, lifting weights or going for a run. Those are all valid ways to move your body, however it doesn’t have to be the ONLY way. We would like to propose focusing on all forms of MOVEMENT, not just planned and structured activities with specific measurable outcomes, which is what differentiates exercise from movement.

We move in all parts of our everyday life, and we can move — get cardio in, work on flexibility, and build up muscle — without having a planned, structured and formal exercise routine to do it.

Examples of movement can include, but is not limited to:

  • functional movements (getting dressed, getting out of bed, sitting to standing, picking up things of the floor)
  • maintaining personal hygiene
  • cooking and feeding yourself
  • moving about and getting around
  • house cleaning
  • errands
  • playing with kids
  • commuting (walk, bike, etc.)
  • hobbies (depending on type)
  • attending events
  • home maintenance or projects
  • gardening or yard work
  • going on adventures or travel
  • going to a museum, art show, country fair, etc.
  • walking
  • biking
  • dancing/yoga/stretching
  • hiking or climbing
  • group exercise classes or gym
  • jogging or running
  • swimming or aquatic fitness

Shifting our focus on movement can help:

  1. Open up new and creative opportunities to move.
  2. Increase movement options to select things WE CAN DO vs what we CANNOT DO.
  3. Find sustainable life-long forms of movement that are adaptable to our schedules, abilities, resources, and time.

Having more options and creative ways to move can be especially helpful for those with autoimmune conditions since our symptoms may flare up at unexpected times and foil our best intentions and plans.

Focusing on movement and expanding our options increases our ability to maintain movement regardless of what challenges our autoimmune diseases, or life, present.

Your Movement Focus

Knowing versus doing are two very different things, and we want you to learn AND take action.

Over the next several weeks you will learn different strategies and tips to make your movement easier and more enjoyable, and we hope by the end of this program, you’ll have tried out some of those strategies.  To do this, you’ll need some movement options to try these strategies on.

We encourage you to pick movement options (whether focused on cardio, flexibility, or muscle strengthening) that are:

  1. easily accessible to you
  2. something you are already familiar with and
  3. have minimal barriers to doing them

Example: walking (no equipment needed except shoes, you can do it in many places by yourself or with others) versus pickleball (requires equipment, traveling to a court of some sort, and another person to play with).

Please identify one to three movement options, and pick one as the primary option to focus on for the next several weeks. If you get stuck, reference the list of different types of movement activities in the previous section. Make note of your selection somewhere you will remember as you’ll revisit it in the following weeks.

Perceptions and Beliefs About Movement

You have a choice. Mindsets are just beliefs. They’re powerful beliefs, but they’re just something in your mind, and you can change your mind. — Carol Dweck, Ph.D.

Being aware of perceptions and beliefs (aka mindset) about movement is an important step in creating new habits and routines. Our beliefs or mindset inform our decisions, and our decisions create our habits, and our habits create the lifestyle we live.

For example, if we believe movement is hard or takes a lot of time, we may be less inclined to do it. But, if we shifted our perspective to “movement can be enjoyable” or “movement can be quick and easy,” we may be more inclined to move more!

The great thing is that YOU CAN CHANGE and CHOOSE what you believe or perceive about something!

You don’t need to write this down, but two questions to consider are:

  1. What are your current perceptions and beliefs around exercise or movement?
  2. What belief about movement will best help you to move more?

Now you may be skeptical of movement being easy or not taking a lot of time, but we’ll cover this in future lessons!

Take Action: Movement Self-Assessment

Use this quick quiz to determine your starting place with movement. There are no “right” or “wrong” answers with this quiz. Think of this as simply establishing a baseline so you can track your progress and more easily recognize your wins along the way!

Take the Movement Self Assessment

How Can We Help?

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