Welcome to our weekly catch-up and conversation where we explore all aspects of physical activity, movement and exercise!
Today, let's dive into a thought-provoking topic: distinguishing between fact and opinion.
Consider this: facts are verifiable truths, while opinions are subjective interpretations. Facts provide a solid foundation, while opinions offer personal viewpoints.
Now, let's relate this to our everyday experiences, especially in the realm of physical activity.
Ever stopped to ponder the facts versus opinions in your own life?
Let's paint a picture using a swimming scenario:
Once upon a time, in the bustling community of swim enthusiasts, there lived a determined woman named Clara. She was known for her dedication and perseverance in the pool.
Fact: Clara completed 20 laps, her elbow bending with each front crawl stroke, and her swim was slower than her previous practice. These details are concrete, backed by evidence.
However, when we explore Clara's opinions—her belief that her coach is disappointed in her performance due to her slower pace and shoulder pain—we step into subjective territory.
While Clara's pain might have influenced her swim speed, assuming her coach's disappointment solely based on this is speculative.
It's crucial to discern between facts and opinions for clarity and informed decision-making.
Let's put our insights into action:
Next time you engage in physical activity or even contemplate it, challenge yourself to differentiate between facts and opinions. This reflective practice can deepen your insight into what drives your behaviour and performance.
Remember, while facts offer a solid foundation, opinions can either motivate us or hold us back.
Keep in mind that opinions, when reinforced, can sometimes become ingrained as facts. It's an intriguing dynamic to observe!
As you navigate your journey of physical activity, revel in exploring the interplay of facts and opinions.
If you come up with some intriguing insights, hit reply to this email and let me know what you learned about yourself. Physical activity is not a static experience (pun intended!). It is always evolving and I'd love to hear how it is going for you!
The idea of sharing and evolving reminds me to let you in on a little secret….I have something exciting coming down the pipeline that isn't just just ready yet. Stay tuned for an exciting opportunity and invitation to a brand new community space that will expand and extend well beyond our weekly newsletter space! Your invitation will be coming soon!
Stay well and happy moving,
P.S. Here's a peek into my creative process: I often take walks to gather my thoughts. While walking and brainstorming for this email, I encountered a coyote. The fact is, I saw a coyote. However, my opinion that I needed to quicken my pace due to fear was unfounded—turns out, I was perfectly safe! This serves as another reminder of how facts and opinions shape our physical activity!
Are you ready to shake up your perspective on workouts?
I'm excited to share a fantastic article with you this week.
My colleague Nathalie, a psychologist and yoga teacher, recently penned a blog post advocating for a fresh outlook on exercise. She urges us to see exercise not just as a physical activity but as accessible movement, both for our bodies and minds, emphasizing its critical role in holistic well-being. In her piece, she offers practical tips to overcome barriers and seamlessly integrate movement into our daily routines, fostering improved physical and mental health.
Living in a world where we're often shackled to our desks and consumed by screens, the significance of movement cannot be overstated. However, for many, the idea of exercise can be daunting, evoking images of gruelling gym sessions and unattainable fitness goals.
But what if we were to flip that narrative? What if we embraced exercise as a pathway to self-care, wellness, and life balance?
Let's delve into three key themes from Nathalie's article:
1. Reframing Exercise as Movement
Let's face it – the word "exercise" can be intimidating. It conjures up images of sweat-drenched gym sessions and gruelling workouts that leave us feeling exhausted and defeated.
What if we were to redefine exercise as something more accessible, more attainable?
What if we were to view movement not as a burden, but as a simple, achievable practice that can be woven seamlessly into our daily lives?
As Nathalie suggests, by reframing exercise as movement, we open ourselves up to a world of possibilities. Suddenly, taking a walk around the block becomes just as valuable as hitting the gym. Stretching in the morning becomes a form of self-care, rather than a prelude to a rigorous workout.
By shifting our thoughts and beliefs as Nathalie shares, we empower ourselves to embrace movement in all its forms – whether it's dancing in the kitchen, practicing yoga in the living room, or simply taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
2. Incorporating Mental and Internal Activities
But movement isn't just about physical exertion – it's also about nourishing our minds and souls. In addition to engaging in physical activities, it's crucial to incorporate mental and internal practices into our daily routines. Whether it's practicing mindfulness, positive self-talk, or visualization exercises, these activities can have a profound impact on our overall well-being. As Nathalie writes, "movement is happening internally" in activities with subtle movement.
By nurturing our mental and emotional health alongside our physical health, we create a more holistic approach to self-care. We learn to listen to our bodies, honour our emotions, and cultivate a sense of inner peace and balance. And as we become more attuned to ourselves, we find that movement becomes not just a means to an end, but a source of joy, fulfillment, and self-expression.
3. Embracing Experimentation and Flexibility
Finally, it's important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to movement. What works for one person may not work for another, and that's okay. I love how Nathalie shares the "Do no harm" philosophy and practice. The key is to embrace experimentation and flexibility – to approach movement with an open mind and a willingness to explore new possibilities that do not hurt you.
Whether it's trying out different types of exercise, incorporating new mental and internal practices, or simply listening to our bodies and adjusting our routines accordingly, the journey to self-care, wellness, and balance is all about finding what works best for us as individuals. And by embracing experimentation and flexibility, we empower ourselves to create a movement practice that is truly our own.
Movement is not just about physical fitness – it's about nourishing our bodies, minds, and souls.
This is the genesis of The Why I Move Project which Nathalie writes about in her article. I started The Project to demonstrate all the layers of moving our bodies. Not one story I share on the Why I Move Forum is the exact same. Finding your WHY could be the game changer to your workout routine.
…Reframing exercise as movement,
…Incorporating mental and internal activities, and
…Embracing experimentation and flexibility…
To find self-care, wellness, and balance that is as unique and individual as we are.
So let's lace up our runners, roll out our yoga mats, and dance like nobody's watching – because when it comes to movement, the possibilities are endless.
If you're seeking support in crafting a personalized movement plan tailored to your needs, I'm here to help. Feel free to reach out and learn more here.
Stay well and happy moving,
P.S., Looking to explore internal movement? Join me for my upcoming Rest and Rejuvenation Sleep Meditation, where we'll delve into the subtle art of movement for relaxation and renewal. Join me in person or virtually on Friday February 23 at Yoga Within Edmonton.
Are you seeking innovative ideas to invigorate your home workout regimen?
Look no further!
This week, I've got you covered with a brand-new video drop tailored just for you.
In this video, I introduce an unexpected piece of equipment to add a twist to your routine. Don't worry—it's relatively easy to acquire, and feel free to swap it out with a light dumbbell or weighted ball if needed.
So, without further delay, dive into the latest workout video designed exclusively for your home fitness journey. 🙌🏼
After watching the video, were you taken aback by the equipment you didn't realize you could utilize?
Whether you integrate all the exercises into one session or incorporate them gradually into your current routine, the choice is yours.
If you have any questions about the exercises, simply comment below or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll gladly assist you.
It's common to fall into a workout rut, which is why I made this new video for you. If you know someone else who could benefit from spicing up their home workouts 🌶 - consider sharing this video with them!
Let's elevate our workouts together!
Stay well and happy moving,
Hello and welcome to the final week of January 2024!
I trust this message finds you well as we near the close of the first month of the year.
As I reflect on this week, I've been wondering if you have been contemplating the introduction of new habits into your routine.
Habits play a crucial role in holding us accountable to our desired activities.
In my household, we've cultivated a particular habit around dinnertime that I'd like to share with you.
Ensuring my children have access to nutritious foods has been a priority for me since their earliest days of transitioning to solid foods. From preparing homemade baby food to offering a variety of healthy options, I've remained committed to promoting good eating habits.
Several years ago, I made a personal vow to include a vegetable tray at every dinner.
Bring on the veggies!
Whether the tray contained one vegetable or five, the presence of fresh, crisp veggies alongside a tasty dip became a staple. Despite children's typical aversion to cooked vegetables, I discovered that presenting them in their raw form led to enthusiastic consumption—so much so that they began to expect it at every meal.
One evening, amidst the chaos of preparing dinner, I decided to forgo the veggie tray assuming other cooked vegetables would suffice.
Big mistake momma!
To my surprise, my children expressed disappointment at its absence, asking "where is the veggie tray, mom?"
This highlighted the profound impact this simple habit had on their expectations and enjoyment of meals.
If only they would form the habit of…turning off lights, picking up dirty clothes from the floor and cleaning out their lunch kits every day after school! 😂
Reflecting on this experience prompts me to ask:
What habits shape your daily life?
Whether related to taking your medications, physical activity, sleep, or stress management, which practices support your well-being?
Which ones did you start in January, if any?
As we approach the end of January, consider revisiting existing habits, identifying areas for improvement, and embracing new ones.
If there's anything I can do to assist you in cultivating healthier habits, please don't hesitate to reach out. I'm here to offer support and encouragement as you embark on this journey of self-improvement. Let's navigate this path together towards a healthier, happier you.
Stay well and happy moving,
P.S., The one 'habit' I haven't been able to get to is reading Atomic Habits by James Clear. Talk about on point. Have you read his book yet? Comment below if you have and let me know your biggest take away from his book! 📚
Can you believe it's been a while since we've delved into the nitty-gritty of COVID-related topics?
Well, this week, something super interesting crossed my desk that I just had to share with you all.
Back in 2020, when this blog first kicked off, we were all about navigating the challenges of lockdowns and staying connected. I used to chat a lot about how COVID was affecting our ability to hit the gym or go for our usual workouts.
But recently, I stumbled upon a research paper that got me thinking. It turns out, medical science has been working hard to connect the dots for those dealing with long COVID, especially when it comes to hitting the gym.
So, what's the scoop?
A group of smart researchers in the Netherlands looked at two sets of people: those diagnosed with long COVID and those who had fully recovered. They ran them through some exercise tests, checked their breathing and blood vessels, and even took muscle biopsies from their legs.
And guess what they found?
It's not just about our lungs – it's all about our muscles!
These individuals with long COVID had some challenges in their muscle system, affecting their ability to handle exercise. The powerhouse of our cells, called mitochondria, had some limitations in using oxygen and producing energy at the cellular level.
Now, here's the kicker: while we've been thinking of COVID as a respiratory illness, these researchers found that the trouble with exercise lies more in the muscles. Long COVID folks not only experienced more muscle breakdown after exercise, but they also used the kind of muscles that get tired more quickly compared to our usual endurance heroes.
You may have already heard of: "post-exertional malaise." It basically means that for some dealing with long COVID, exercise can be a real challenge.
Now, don't get me wrong – staying active is fantastic for most of us. But it's crucial to know that some folks out there might still be wrestling with the aftermath of having COVID.
So, why am I bringing this up? Well, our little community started back in 2020, and I feel it's important to share these insights with you. As someone passionate about exercise science, I find this info pretty fascinating! Supporting clients facing the challenges of long COVID has proven to be a journey filled with progress that often feels like taking one step forward and then encountering the setback of five steps back. It's undeniably a tough road.
For those of you who love diving into the details, I've included a link to the actual research paper. Check it out if you're interested.
Hope your week has been full of the activity you love, and remember, I'm here if you need any support.
Let's keep this community strong and informed!
Stay well and happy moving,
I'm not sure if your Christmas experience is similar to mine, but every year, Santa Claus brings me a new book to unwrap beneath the festive tree.
This year was no exception, as I eagerly received Michelle Obama's latest release, The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times. Having already read her previous book, Becoming, I was intrigued by the prospect of delving into her next book.
In the days between Christmas and New Year's, I found myself naturally drawn to the book, incorporating it into my breakfast routine.
As I discovered, the conversational tone of the book transported me into a virtual morning chat with Michelle Obama, making my mornings feel like intimate discussions with the former first lady.
What captivated me most was the storytelling, not only as the first lady but also her reflections on the pandemic.
Like many of us, she picked up a new hobby during those uncertain times.
Early on in the book, Michelle confesses to indulging in multiple "How To" books and countless YouTube tutorials, all centered around her newfound passion—knitting.
During the pandemic, when time seemed to stretch endlessly, Michelle Obama, like many, grappled with anxiety.
The revelation that knitting became a source of solace for her was both surprising and enlightening. She described how this seemingly simple activity reversed the usual order of things, letting her hands take the lead while her mind took a back seat. It served as a detour from anxiety, offering a much-needed respite.
Reflecting on Michelle Obama's experience with knitting, I couldn't help but connect it to the broader theme of physical activity and its impact on mental well-being.
Her insight into the transformative power of knitting mirrors the broader truth that bodily movements, regardless of their intensity, can teach us valuable lessons.
In her words on page 34, Michelle Obama highlights the unexpected lesson learned during her knitting sessions—allowing her hands to lead provided a reprieve from anxiety.
This resonates with the profound effect that even minimal physical activity can have on mental health, as evidenced by existing research.
Michelle Obama's willingness to explore a new hobby and engage in fine motor movements demonstrates the potential for positive change through moving our bodies. It prompts us to consider how we, too, can incorporate movement into our lives, irrespective of intensity or traditional perceptions of physical activity.
In essence, this narrative reinforces three crucial points:
1. Movement allows us to explore beyond the confines of our minds, achieving great things when we let our bodies take the lead.
2. The mind can take a back seat, and our bodies can become our teachers when we engage in physical activities.
3. Scientific studies support that engaging in physical activity can have a substantial impact on mental health. While knitting may not qualify as intense physical activity, it serves as a reminder of the potential benefits that such activities can offer.
So, the question arises: How can you introduce more movement into your life, embracing the powerful influence of physical activity on your overall well-being?
What impeccable timing to consider your own movement as we start a new year!
Stay well and happy moving,
☝🏼 Ready to embark on a new movement journey in 2024? Join me, in person, for my weekly Everyday Yoga classes. You can find more information here.
Hello and happy 2024!
I hope this email finds you well in the first week of 2024!
This week I have a special treat for you. It’s the next installment of Real Moves for Real Life.
Have you ever been advised to strengthen your hips?
In this new video, I will share with you three notable ways to strengthen your hips while in the hands and knees position.
Let's explore these exercises and learn how they can benefit your overall hip strength and stability. No equipment needed!
Don't forget that there are always opportunities to shift and change movements to suit your needs. I get it. Being in a hands and knees position isn't for everyone. So that's why I provide options at the wall. No need to get down on the floor!
These three hip exercises offer a full range of hip motion which can contribute to your overall body stability AND strength.
Give these exercises a try, and let me know how they work in your body. What was the one exercise that gave you the most challenge? Hit reply to this email and let me know!
If you found this video valuable, don't forget to give the video a thumbs up to support my Youtube channel. I'm on a mission to help people move better and more often and your support would help get my videos out to more people. I would so appreciate it!
Catch you again next week! Until then…
Stay well and happy moving,
P.S. Did you know I have a YouTube series called Real Moves for Real Life? If you have missed any of the other episodes, here is a link to the playlist.
Ever felt that tug-of-war between wanting a healthier, more active lifestyle and actually having it?
It's like standing at the threshold of a gym, staring at all those machines, and feeling a mix of excitement and uncertainty. Sound familiar?
We recently dove into this topic in my previous post and the responses poured in.
Turns out, we're not alone in navigating this tricky space.
It's this zone filled with hurdles that make taking that first step toward physical activity feel like an uphill battle.
Consider these three examples of what might show up….
The Grip of Fear: Stepping Into the Unknown
Picture this – you finally muster the courage to walk into a gym, only to be hit by a wave of fear. The equipment looks like a maze, and self-doubt creeps in. "Am I doing it right? Will I embarrass myself?" It's that fear of the unknown that keeps us stuck in the comfort of wanting, far from the reality of having an active lifestyle.
The Inner Dialogue of Unworthiness: Confronting Health Challenges
Meet Sarah. She's dealing with type 2 diabetes, and there's this heavy feeling of unworthiness that hangs over her. Thoughts like "I caused this myself, so I don't deserve to be healthy" become a daily struggle. It's a mental barrier that convinces her she's not worthy of the benefits that come with being physically active.
The Lingering Past: Overcoming Childhood Trauma
Now, let me tell you about Tom. As an overweight kid, he was the slowest in completing laps around the school playground. The punishment? A bunch of push-ups and extra laps. Fast forward to adulthood, and that childhood trauma still lingers, making the idea of being physically active more of a challenge than a joy.
These are just a few examples of what might emerge in that space between wanting and having. So, what resonates with you? What shows up on your radar in this dance between desire and attainment?
So, how do we break free from this space? Enter self-compassion – our secret weapon.
It's like giving yourself a warm, supportive pep talk as you navigate through the gym or face health challenges. Remember, you're not alone in this journey.
Self-Kindness: Treat yourself like you would a friend figuring out the gym. The fear and uncertainty? Totally normal.
Common Humanity: Sarah's not the only one facing health challenges, and Tom's not the only one with a past to overcome. We're all in this together.
Mindfulness: Be present in the moment. Listen to your inner dialogue without harsh judgment. It's shaped by experiences, but it doesn't have to define you.
To bridge the gap between wanting and having, let's acknowledge these barriers together. Recognize the fear, self-doubt, the impact of the past or something else that is personal to you. It's time to make peace with the discomfort and grow from it.
Our journey from wanting to having involves rewriting our stories, facing fears, and letting go of past traumas. It's about creating a safe, judgment-free space—one where physical activity is a celebration of what our bodies can achieve.
So, as we navigate this space, remember it's okay to feel uncomfortable. That discomfort is where the magic happens. Let's tackle our fears, reshape our self-perception, and embrace the joy of having the active, vibrant life we truly desire.
Need some help with this?
Send me a message and let's have a conversation. I am here to support you in your physical activity journey.
Because it is never too late.
Stay well and happy moving,
Have you ever reflected on the narratives you tell yourself about incorporating physical activity into your life?
Are there lingering beliefs or thoughts that place limitations on your capabilities and sense of worthiness?
Do you find solace in yearning for a more physically active lifestyle, rather than taking the step to make it a reality?
Are you more comfortable wanting than having?
For many of my clients, a pervasive belief takes hold—that being physically active is an unattainable feat.
It's too late.
I can't do this.
I've missed the opportunity.
Such thoughts become a barrier, making it challenging for them to break free from the notion that physical activity is beyond their reach.
In a recent conversation, I encountered an adult child deeply concerned about their declining parent's limited endurance and reliance on a mobility aid. Despite the evident decline, the parent remained adamant that nothing could be done to improve the situation.
Imagine the difficulty of functioning when one's physical abilities are severely diminished—it's akin to a healthy person grappling with illness. This analogy became particularly poignant for me during a recent bout of sickness, where exercise took a back seat.
Did the thought cross my mind that I might never regain my previous level of fitness? Not for a moment. Because I understand that it's never too late.
Commencing the journey anew is always an option. Whether it's a simple stretch on the bed, a leisurely stroll around the block, or a light resistance session at the gym—there are always opportunities to restart.
Yet, the prevailing mindset often insists, It's too late.
I'm here to dispel that notion. It may not mirror the past, but being physically active is undeniably possible.
So, I pose the question once more: Are you more at ease with the desire for change than the actual pursuit of it? Are you more comfortable wanting than having?
Ask yourself: Why not you?
It is never too late.
In my guide, Get Back to Enjoying Your Best Life: Three Choices You Need to Make Today, I offer a beacon of hope and emphasize that the journey toward improved physical and mental well-being can commence at any life stage.
Download now to embrace a rejuvenating approach to savouring life's finest moments and unlocking your inherent potential.
Stay well and happy moving,
Last week, I shared my Active Pursuits Primer, a one-page roadmap aimed at boosting your physical activity skills for the next six weeks. If you missed it, you can catch up with the video and worksheet included.
This week, let's shift our focus to another vital aspect of our well-being - rest.
I'll admit it – I am the worst at resting. How about you?
In a recent session with my yoga therapist, she guided me through movements emphasizing stillness and rest. The profound impact of this practice left me feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the world. I couldn't help but share this experience with you.
As the holiday season approaches, our lives tend to become a whirlwind of gift-buying, festive invites, and transforming our homes into winter wonderlands. Amidst the chaos, finding moments of tranquility becomes essential for maintaining overall health and well-being.
Introducing Yoga Nidra.
Have you heard about it before?
Yoga Nidra, also known as "yogic sleep," has gained popularity for its ability to induce deep relaxation. Here are three ways this transformative practice can significantly contribute to our health during the holiday season:
1. Deep Relaxation and Stress Reduction:
In the chaos of holiday preparations, stress levels soar. Yoga Nidra provides a peaceful retreat, guiding you into a state between wakefulness and sleep, promoting profound relaxation at both mental and physical levels.
2. Enhanced Sleep Quality:
Quality sleep is often sacrificed during the holidays. Yoga Nidra acts as a powerful tool to improve sleep quality by promoting a restorative state of relaxation, alleviating insomnia, reducing anxiety, and enhancing overall sleep patterns.
3. Mindful Presence and Emotional Resilience:
Amidst the holiday rush, it's easy to become disconnected. Yoga Nidra encourages mindful presence, fostering emotional resilience and a more balanced response to the season's stimuli.
As a gift to you, here's a sample 10-minute session to give it a try. If you want more, consider joining me next Friday, November 24, at 7 pm at Yoga Within Edmonton – either in person or on Zoom. Yes, you can be at home and cozy on your couch with a blanket.
Amidst the hustle and bustle, take a moment to pause, breathe, and embrace the serenity of Yoga Nidra – a precious gift to yourself during this festive time.
Stay well and happy moving AND resting,
Missed my most recent newsletter? Don't worry, I've got your back. Find all my exclusive letters here on this blog. ~Lisa