Morning Rituals. Part 2: The Laughable And The Unexpected
“Healthy habits are hard to develop but easy to live with. Bad habits are easy to develop but hard to live with” – Brian Tracy
Today’s post is about EXERCISING, specifically for peeps who ARE NOT thrilled about it.
Again, the 6 elements of Morning Rituals are: meditation, exercise, visualization, affirmation, journaling, reading. I wrote earlier about meditation.
Why do we want to engage in morning routines? It helps to create a momentum for the day. It fuels positivity and improves attitude.
What motivated me to commit to the “miracle mornings” – as Hal Elrod calls them – was the idea that “the way we live our days, is the way we live our lives.” And if there are certain things happy and fulfilled people do daily, I definitely want to listen about them (even if you are feeling relatively happy, wouldn’t you be curious how happier feels 🙂
I thought this is amusing: me… writing about… exercising? (for the longest time I even had a problem to spell it!)
Am I not committed more to eating really good food? Yes, I am, therefore… “we got to move!” – I command all my body parts in the morning. Our bodies learn to crave movement just like our tastebuds crave food. It can become a true addiction.
After all, it is the best way to have more energy. Energy enlivens us from inside out. And with time, the self discipline to exercise, translates to self discipline in eating and other things.
The reasons and the excuses.
Could it be, that the multiple benefits of movement on body mind and spirit, are still not enough to overcome our excuses? Is there any good reason to deprive ourselves of movement, if we know that:
- it increases our self esteem and makes us happier,
- helps us be more creative and think better,
- it makes us look better, feel stronger, be more flexible and capable,
- that it helps to produce more energy in our cells, and improves metabolism,
- prevents cancer and other disease,
- improves bone density,
- and have hundreds of benefit on every single part of our body,
- plus adds about 7 years to our lives?
Clearly getting back to size 10, 8 or 6 cannot be the only motivation for us to get up and move!
Suffering from severe back pain in my early 20’ (due to 3 scoliosis) these were daily 1 hour exercises that helped me to be pain free. Now, it still amazes me, that when I wake up with back pain – it is gone… just after 10 min of yoga…
Aside from classic excuses like “I have no time” one of my reasons for not doing it before in the morning was “I always strain my muscles if I do anything before 12 noon”
And here I am trying to convince to do get up at 5 am and do push ups.
So I asked Ines Festini, a personal trainer and a nutrition coach ( and our true partner in crime to get the bodies we looove) about her thoughts on morning exercise. She wrote:
After eight + hours in bed, it’s no surprise that your muscles and joints can be tight, so warming them up and increasing mobility are vital. The areas that are particularly tight in the morning are your adductors, hip flexors, your chest and back.
Before starting any exercise in the morning, make sure you stretch those areas, and include some activation exercises, like sprinting on the spot, which brings your heart rate up as well.
(Ines’ exercises was the reason I got into size 6 jeans from 2007 and I started seeing a nice difference in my abdomen muscles, in virtually “no time”! She lives in Austria but mainly works via skype and supports people from all over the world.)
Another excuse may be: I don’t like a gym.
If you really want – you will find the types of movement that excite you:
What do you like?
- Non competitive, or competitive?
- Alone or with others?
- In nature or at the gym?
- In water or on the mountain?
- Pilates or bikram yoga?
- Or tai chi, maybe dance for days when you really don’t feel like moving.
- Biking or swimming, hiit (high intensive interval training), or skiing?
- Even if you don’t like to leave the house youtube is your free pass to an exercise room.
You may surprise yourself when you start looking around with curiosity – what can you do and what can you start loving.
14 years passed… and the mountain range I drove by and admired daily, finally called my name. How can you ignore something for so long, and then fall in love with it madly? It was so unexpected.
The first time I went to the mountains (Squaw Peak Mountain Preserve on the photo) it was with the purpose of feeling the energy of the place. I have chosen a trail that is rarely hiked. As I was playing with my energy field I started to be more mindful of what surrounds me. I was slowly climbing the slope and it seemed that every stone and creosote bush spoke to me. I was deepening my connection with nature while hiking.
With time I was more and more in. I varied my speed from sprinting upward to slow deliberate steps when it was steep and dangerous. Hummingbirds, bunnies and lizards were my daily companions on the trails. For the first time I realized that usually exercise felt bad to me because there were other people around, and it felt competitive. Here I found an additional benefit: amazing connection with nature and myself, alternated with an intense physical effort.
Get past 7, 14 days of doing it and you will not look back. Because “Healthy habits are hard to develop but easy to live with.”
Living on purpose with deep connection to LIFE doesn’t happen by accident.
I feel that the morning rituals are a part of “the science of happy, wholehearted and fulfilled.”
Can you tell me in the comments your story of moving from not moving to moving? Or if you don’t exercise what is your reason? Do you want to overcome it?
To your health! – I’m raising my glass with water ( infused with fresh mint, lemon, and strawberries) – To your health!