Excited for our Guest Blogger this month, is an understatement. Ultimate Family Planners, we are blessed with some sage advice from the one and only Faye, from Mama Movement.
“Exercise is a privilege and a way to celebrate what your body can do. It is not punishment for what you ate. I exercise because I love my body, not because I hate it”
Read both these sentences again.
Let them sink in.
These were game-changing realisations for me. My ability to truly sustain an exercise regime only started when I stopped treating exercise as a form of punishment for having eaten “bad food”, and instead started to think of it as a privilege, and a form of self-love.
Exercise is a way of improving our strength, and our health. By exercising, we give ourselves the best chance of living a long life, rich in experiences. I want to be around for my children for as long as I possibly can, in fact I want to play with my future grandchildren and maybe even future great grandchildren. And I still have so much of the world I want to explore. So many sunsets to watch and little cobbled laneways to explore in this great big world. And exercise? It’s what gives me the best possible chance of staying strong, physically independent and capable. So that I can do all of those things I still want to do with my life.
And why do I say that exercise is a privilege?
Well, because as Australians, we live in a country where we are blessed enough to perform physical exertion purely for the purpose of self-improvement.
And even within Australia, for some people with chronic fatigue or other illnesses, exercise is not something they can do to better their health. They physically can’t do it, even if they really wish they could as we all know how beneficial exercise can be to mental and physical health.
And so when we can? When we can go to the gym purely to improve our overall wellbeing??? It’s a HUGE privilege, and one we should consider as an act of self-love.
Now we are just coming into winter, where the days are short and dark, and just getting out of bed can feel like an impossible mission when it is so cold outside, and so comfy in our warm beds. So I wanted to give you 5 of my personal and practical tips to get your body moving in winter, in a way that is a little bit less painful, and maybe even enjoyable!
Program the heater in your home to wake up before you do
Getting out of a warm cosy bed into a cold room is tough, but many heaters will now allow you to program them to turn on at a certain time. I set my heater to wake up 20 minutes before I do, so that the room is already nice and toasty before I get out of bed. You can also buy phone-controlled smart plugs and use your phone to switch your heater on!
While your body will warm up once you start moving, you’re going to need some extra layers to start with, which you can gradually strip down. Layers will also help trap warm air near your body, keeping you nice and cosy. My recommended layering option to wear on top of your sports crops or tank tops is a sweatshirt made from a brushed French terry loopback cotton. The loops on the inside of the sweatshirt will help absorb moisture and sweat which if left on your body would cool you down too quickly in winter. And if it’s really cold, wear a puffer vest or jacket on top which is at least rain resistant. And preferably one made with ethical or synthetic down made with recycled materials.
Find a buddy or join a group program
Let’s face it, motivation is really tough when the weather is cold and possibly wet. And if you’re going it alone, it can be just too easy to skip a session. But by exercising with a buddy or in a group, your brain will automatically think “I’ve got to show up… They’ll be wondering why I didn’t come…”. And you’ll want to be that hype girl for your workout buddy too!!
Mix up your winter workouts
If an early morning boot camp is just not going to cut it during the colder months, mix up your winter workout routine with something new and fun, like an adult dance class, indoor rock climbing, or aerial yoga! Many classes are also offered over lunch time so that you can quickly get your workout in when the day is at its warmest.
Opt for bright colours!
Remember that winter is not only colder, it’s also darker. So, if you’re running or doing any other form of outdoor exercise, wear brightly coloured clothing to make it easier for others to see you. Plus, wearing bright and colourful clothing is proven to BOOST your mood! And when the world is more grey than usual, dressing in colourful activewear can really lift your energy levels, and those around you too. After all, it’s hard to be sad when you are wearing a rainbow!
Happy exercising this winter, and hope you found these tips useful!
PS: If you’re looking to ditch your boring black activewear, check out the sustainable colourful activewear range at www.mamamovement.com.au. Plus take 15% off your first purchase with the code ULTIMATEFAMILYPLANNER