Moving with Intention

Do you exercise every day? Do you think you should exercise every day?  

Before my kiddos were born, I exercised each and every day without fail!  I loved it! It made me feel strong and confident, it gave me a boost of self esteem and obviously helped my clothes fit better! I even trained and ran a half marathon the fall before we got pregnant with our oldest, Brody.  Although, that is something that I did not enjoy and swore to never do again - let’s just say it was torture!

Since kids, I have used every reason in the book to not exercise much.  I have had spurts of time in which I would do something for a couple weeks… walk a couple miles, Barre, and even yoga or “in my living room dance parties”.  But I never really stuck to any of them, because it would get hard to keep up the effort.

If you have been following me on social media, you know that I am introducing myself to biking.  So, far I have only done 2 rides but I love the way it makes me feel. And that got me thinking… I know exercise is good for your health and I know it will help me drop the rest of my baby weight (she is almost 2… Please keep your judgement to yourself! WINK), but what is it going to take for me to WANT to exercise everyday?

If I were talking to a client, I would discuss intentional movement with them.  Can we agree that exercise sounds sweaty, hard, and intense - while intentional movement sounds lovely and doable!?

Intentional movement can mean different things to different people.  For me it is beginning to look like a bike ride a couple times a week, yoga class at least once a week, and playing in the yard in the evenings with my kiddos!  It might look different for you, and that is okay and actually is wonderful. You need to find intentional movement that fits your life and your interests.

So now let’s get to it… why should we WANT to move with intention daily?  

Have you heard of hormones and chemicals such as dopamine, norepinephrine, GABA, or serotonin?  These may be big words and might have no clue what they mean, but let me say this… We want these in our body and they can be released during “intentional movement”.  

So let’s talk a little bit about what these are and how they benefit us.

When your heart starts pumping harder, due to intentional movement, your brain reacts by releasing neurotransmitters, natural chemicals, and hormones to help you feel good - physically and mentally.  

As someone who deals with high levels of anxiety and is the epitome of the type A personality… I need all the “feel goods” I can get.  Check this out…

  • Dopamine is responsible for feelings of relaxation and euphoria.

  • Serotonin is responsible for feelings of serenity and hopefulness.

  • GABA has a calming and anti-stress effect and frequent boosts of this build immunity against stress

  • Endocannabinoids are natural chemical compounds that are closely related to the active ingredients in the cannabis plant - ever heard of a “runner’s high”?

  • Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) can actually repair damage to your body brought on by stress and depression.

So - in short when you move with intention you are asking your body to release these amazing substances into your body.  If this is not reason enough to move daily… I don’t know what is.

Over the last week few days, I have felt a surge of self confidence, I am actually 1 week off of my anxiety medication, and am feeling emotionally better than I have in quite some time and I KNOW that it is due to the intentional movement that I am introducing into my days.  

I encourage you to do the same.  Find something that you like or maybe learn something new… like biking!  Get your body moving daily, enjoy the benefits of these awesome hormones and naturally occurring chemicals, and then do it again the next day!

Share with me some ways that you will be moving this week… and then tell me how you feel after doing it.  

Bye For Now