Move to Live Better
Moving your body every day can make you fit and healthy, give you energy and help you focus, according Heather Mclennan-Murray, a yoga instructor at Breathe.
Her advice is simple: “Just move. Move every day. In any way that brings you joy, especially,” said Murray. “If you’re doing something that bores you…it doesn’t keep you engaged.” It makes sense. People are more likely to stick to an activity they enjoy.
And there’s a snowball effect. “The more you move, the more you want to move…so just start small and get a little bigger. Make little goals for yourself,” said Murray.
If you think you’re too busy to exercise, think again. Physical activity can actually increase your productivity so you can get more done. “When I do yoga, it creates more time in my schedule in a really weird way…it makes me feel present,” said Murray. She explains that our distracted minds are often what make us feel so busy. “It takes away our ability to focus and so it takes us much longer to do things,” said Murray. Exercise calms your mind so you can be more logical about your day.
Time spent on exercise is an investment in your body and your well-being. “It brings your priorities back into focus,” said Murray. Being busy and distracted makes it easy to get derailed from what brings you happiness, she explains. “For me, movement is more than just a physical thing. It’s an emotional experience,” said Murray.
It’s tough to exercise when you’re tired, but Heather says you’ll feel better if you do. “[I know] it’s hard to believe it when you’re in the pit of your exhaustion, but if you just get up and you start doing it, you’ll eventually get your second wind and it will wake you up and you’ll feel better at the end of the day,” said Murray. “You’ll even sleep better. If you exercise, you’ll sleep better at night, so you’ll be more rested by actually expending energy,” Murray adds.
Some people don’t exercise because they think they’re too out of shape, but Murray says: “It’s about having a healthy relationship with yourself and your body. When you want a little baby to walk for its first time, you’re not like “Get up and walk now! You know, some people are like that with their bodies when they’re working out. I need to get up and work out now!” Murray suggests encouraging yourself with positive self-talk to build a sense of excitement. But what if you’ve tried before and failed? “It starts with forgiving yourself first and just getting back up on the horse,” said Murray.
No matter what your age or body type, it’s never too late to start moving. People that have the farthest to go can often reap the most rewards. Murray explains: “They get discouraged and they think it’s too late but, honestly, the people that are the worst off, when they make a little bit of a shift, they’re the ones I see that get so excited then they keep going…it doesn’t take much…to get re-excited about your body again because you’ll start to see those results sooner, and you’ll start to feel better.”
Heather primarily teaches “acro” style Yoga – a combination of yoga and acrobatics – but Breathe offers classes for people of all different skill levels and interests. Murray said she loves Breathe because they are integrative and bring together all different types of movement. “They just make fitness fun,” said Murray. Breathe is located at 601 Capitol Way S in Olympia, WA and offers classes on yoga, zumba, tai chi, belly dance, meditation.
Breathe is planning to give demonstrations at ArtsWalk in downtown Olympia April 26-27, 2013.