Lower The Bar

As a Life Coach and personal growth junkie, this is probably NOT a blog post title you’d expect from me.

But today I want to talk about lowering the bar when it comes to your expectations of what exercise needs to look and feel like.

I used to believe if I wasn’t killing my body in every workout it really didn’t even count.  But over the years, through my personal experience and diving into research, I’ve found the opposite to be true.

I find that a lot of people avoid exercise and don’t make it a regular part of their routine because of this preconceived notion that it needs to be a huge ordeal.  

I’m here to shift that belief that exercise needs to be a certain length of time, or super strenuous in order to be beneficial.

Here’s why…

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“What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.” ~Gretchen Ruben, Author & Happiness Expert

My advice to everyone looking to live their BEST life?  Aim to do something active every day. (This includes a quick walk, some gentle, restorative yoga, or even “leisure” activities like golf or playing frisbee with your kids.)

Moving your body is the #1 BEST way to get energized, both mentally and physically, and to boost your mood.  Yes, please!!

What’s really cool is that research shows brain and mood benefits from exercise can be obtained in as little as 20 minutes!

This energy and mood boost we get from exercise lasts about a day- so to feel good every day, aim to move your body for at least 20 minutes in some way, every day.

And if a day is particularly crazy and you can only commit to 10 minutes- no big deal.  Do 10 minutes.  You’ll still get an energy and mood boost, and its better than nothing!

As an extra bonus, daily habits are easier to maintain versus “sometimes” habits.  

I used to dread working out years ago, and would have to talk myself into every 60-minute cardio session.  Now its part of my daily life.  I don’t even think twice- like brushing my teeth.  

Some days its a killer class at CycleBar or Pure Barre, but honestly a lot of days its just a walk! 

Tons of research studies actually point to the major benefits of LIGHT physical activity.

A 2017 study at University of Connecticut found that light physical activity (like taking a walk) boosts psychological well being, whereas vigorous activity had no effect.

Making the shift to daily exercise might mean giving up your ideal workout for a workout you can actually do consistently.  “Done” is better than “perfect,” and every little bit adds up!

I love the saying “small hinges swing big doors” because it reminds us that our lives are shaped by thousands of small choices day to day- not the things you do once in a while, or the things you’d LIKE to be doing, but realistically just can’t right now.

When it comes to living a happy, healthy lifestyle your main focus should always be: “what is truly sustainable?”

This is your permission slip to NOT be perfect.  This is your permission slip to “lower the bar.”