Finding Joy in Movement

Taylor Holste, MA
Health Educator

The start of the new year is often a time of reflection and intention. Setting a “New Year’s resolution” provides an opportunity to take lessons learned from the past year and put new goals into action. However, it’s often much easier said than done. The aftermath of the holiday season can leave us feeling out of whack with our routines and ready for a reset. This is part of the reason the two most common resolutions are to lose weight and exercise more, and chances are you or someone close to you have set those very goals.

At their core, these are really great intentions. We know that maintaining a balanced weight for your body and getting regular physical activity have positive impacts on health. However, more often than not we see these good intentions fizzle out after a few short weeks. This could be for a variety of reasons, but when we set resolutions to counteract guilt felt over the holiday season, they are not likely to last.

“Exercise is for health and vitality, not for earning the right to eat” (Michelle May, MD). Research supports adopting healthy habits simply for the sake of well-being. This year, instead of exercising more to lose weight or because you feel someone else wants you to – try increasing your exercise for the pure joy of getting to move your body.

10 reasons to exercise that have nothing to do with weight:

    • Boosting your mood
    • Regulating your emotions
    • Lowering your stress levels
    • Making daily tasks easier
    • Keeping up with kids & loved ones
    • Increasing your confidence
    • Socializing with community
    • Improving your sleep
    • Feeling well
    • Having fun!

Tips to get you started:

    • Involve friends and family: Moving more is a healthy habit for the whole family to enjoy and benefit. You can even take advantage of technology by doing a workout video with loved ones that live far away. Check out this short #PoeFit video clip to learn more about getting your family moving together.
    • Make a plan and get creative: Look at your weekly schedule and find times to fit in exercising. Short on time? Try turning a meeting into a walking meeting or going for a walk while catching up with a friend on the phone. Don’t be hard on yourself if you need to adjust your plan. Learn what works for you and modify as needed.
    • Every move counts: Increasing your movement throughout the day adds up. Keep it simple. Try adding in stretch breaks while sitting at your desk, watching television, or when you first wake up. Gradually add movement into your day, and remember it’s not a competition – every move counts.
    • Do what you love: Exercise can be fun and low-stress. Try shifting your mindset from “I have to do this exercise” to “I’m grateful to move my body today.” Then, check in with yourself to find which ways feel the best and safest for you.
    • Remember your “why”: Ask yourself, “What is my real reason to exercise?” Your answer will be personal to you. It could be that you want chores or playing with your children to feel easier. Long term motivation can be found when you remind yourself why you are doing something – not why others say you should do it.

Being active has so many benefits. We encourage you to find the activities that you enjoy and make those a regular part of your routine beyond the New Year.

Featured Poe Program: FITT for Life

Participants: 4th – 5th grades
Program Lengths: 60 minutes

You’ll feel great after experiencing this interactive program as we introduce the importance of regular physical activity. Participants will experience the benefits of exercise while exploring the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. This program introduces the different levels of exercise, as well as the components of a good athlete. We encourage participants to make a lifelong commitment to their health.

Schedule This Program

Featured Resource: #PoeFit

Need a little daily motivation to stay fit? Follow #PoeFit on Twitter for the latest tips, insights, and information on keeping fit and maintaining a healthy household. These are fun and simple things you can do at home without a lot of special equipment, with participation from the whole family! Each week, the Poe Center posts a helpful series of tweets dedicated to nutrition, physical activity, or gardening.