Research often defines physical activity as anything that gets the skeletal muscles moving and that expends energy. The list of benefits of regular physical activity grows every year and includes decreased risk of heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, and depression and dementia, along with help with weight control, bone strength, and, for elderly …etc
There are many sources of pain for people. It can be physical or emotional or both. Typically, we have pains that are low underlying annoyances that are enough to stop our physical efforts or self care, but not enough to allow us to keep from working or tending to our children. If its chronic pain, it becomes a pro-inflammatory state of the tissues (bones, tendons, nerves, muscles) in which your body perceives unhealed issues as injury. These pains drain us of energy and motivation. Pain itself is a reminder that something is wrong. It lets us know that something needs care and attention. It can also let us know we might injure ourselves or worse. Does it mean ‘do not exercise’? In some cases, stretching is not advised in others exercise is necessary depending on the problem. A lot of expectation is placed upon “exercise” as being this formal task we need to have the right feeling (no pain) to perform. What if it’s the very medicine you need to reduce or remove the pain? Appropriate professional guidance is recommended, especially if your reason for not moving is pain!
2. Low motivation
When it comes to contemplating movement, we can probably list many feelings we have. Low energy is often equated to low motivation. Where did all the energy go? It could be that we have a chronic condition that drains our energy and that the very thought of exercising depresses us. For others, the energy is being spent on other tasks, people and priorities. For some of us, movement requires a physical task motivation such as cutting the lawn, raking leaves, vacuuming, laundry or washing floors etc. These tasks come with their own reward of completion and necessity. But what about your maintenance? Our bodies require constant adjustment and circulation. Sitting, lying down and standing in place do not cut it for activity in a day for overall health. Yes, when we ‘feel’ lazy’ or sad or fatigued it reduces our motivation. Things that distract us such as work tasks, children, caregiving etc can reduce our motivations for self care as well. Of course, the seasons have something to do with motivation as it relates to daylight and energy available. What will motivate you to ‘get up’? If you have an appointment for prescribed movement that would help. But before that commitment lets look at why we would exercise…yes, many reasons! Here is one motivation, especially now and during winter: Research is showing that habitual exercise improves immune regulation, therefore delaying the onset of age-related dysfunction. Not getting sick may be the one thing that gets you up and ready to move more often!3. Availability
Lack of availability to move or exercise comes in many forms.
- Time and the lack of it can be a real thing for many of us.
- Equipment and space
- Priorities over self care
- Knowledge of where to go or whom to see for guidance
- Too much work time
For most us, we often procrastinate prioritizing time for ourselves in this way. Why is this? The above two reasons and then if they fail, its default one…availability.
Perhaps the word ‘exercise’ sounds arduous, compared to movement which we prefer. Movement is a necessity; exercise is something you do…a difference?…only in our minds.
When you can; try to get up and move your body as much as possible. When you have pains, questions, concerns, need help and motivation seek a professional.
Here’s some inspirational quotes on exercise:
“The only bad workout is the one that didn’t happen.” Anon.
“Pain lets you know you are still alive, carry on.” Anon.
“Exercise is a celebration of what your body can do. Not a punishment for what you ate.” Anon.
“Daily exercise is one of the keys to excellent health.” ATGW
“The pain you feel today will be the strength you feel tomorrow.” Anon.