4 Ideas For Using Exercise As Self-Care

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It’s a known fact–exercise improves your mood, your physique, and your quality of life. And some people love to work out. But if you’re like me, making yourself exercise can be as pleasant as a root canal!

I don’t generally enjoy working out. But I will say that I’m a much happier person when I’m physically active. Here are 4 easy ways you can take care of yourself through exercise.

1. Take a brief walk in the morning. Before your day truly begins, take a quick 10-20 minute walk outside. The fresh air rejuvenates your spirit, and the sunshine is good for your mood too! If you have a large yard and don’t feel like venturing out into the world yet, you could do a few laps around your backyard. I do this with my son a few mornings a week, and we both have better attitudes all day because of it! Otherwise, you could take a walk around the neighborhood. Getting outside and taking in the fresh air will make you feel like a brand new person.

2. Try a morning stretch routine. When I was growing up, every morning around 6 a.m. my dad could be found in the kitchen doing his morning stretches. I decided years later to take on his habit, and it was wonderful! You can keep it simple: neck rolls, stretch your arms, bend from side to side, and touch your toes. Or, maybe you’re a fan of yoga, and there’s a brief routine you like to go through each morning. Both of these are great ways to get your blood pumping and improve your mood.

3. Take up an activity or sport that you enjoy. I love my stationary bike. It’s quiet, so I can use it during my son’s nap if I need to. Or I can hop on while we’re watching TV in the evening. In my stage of life with raising little kids, the simplicity of the stationary bike is fantastic. I use a bike similar to this one.

Taking up something like tennis or community softball is not really in the cards for me right now. But when the kids are older, that might be a great fit. Whatever your interest is, find a way to pursue it! Maybe it’s as simple as keeping your soccer skills fresh by practicing with your school-age child. Whatever activity you enjoy, try to engage in it 2-3 times a week. You’ll feel a huge difference overall!

4. Grab a buddy. Working out is so much more fun when you have some company to do it with! For me, biking while my husband and son play games nearby is more enjoyable than working out by myself. If you want someone to participate in the activity with you, you can grab a walking buddy, or do some exercise videos with a friend. Other ideas would be to join a class at a gym. There are all kinds of options out there now–zumba, yoga, kickboxing, you name it. Besides the workout being more enjoyable with someone else, it also provides accountability. You are less likely to cancel on someone else than on yourself.

However you choose to get moving, try to start today! I know it can be a struggle to maintain a consistent routine, especially with everything life throws your way. But if you’re like me, you are a much happier person when you take care of yourself physically. Try one of these easy ways to incorporate exercise in your day!

What are some of your favorite ways to get the blood pumping? Comment below and join the discussion!

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