Movement for Health and Fun

Today is cold but beautiful. After being trapped indoors with holidays and illnesses for most of the last week we had to get outside. A trip to Costco for produce and a roasted chicken for soup the kids and I headed to the RAC for a walk and playtime. We made it more than halfway around the park, stopping to play when we reached a playground. While the kids were on the monkey bars and see-saws I did step-ups on the bench and tricep dips on the steps. It was a relaxed circuit but felt good after being ill for 24 hours.

Workouts do not have to be long and complicated to be effective. Newer research indicates that both burst training and low-impact workouts (such as yoga and pilates) can be just as effective as long runs and hours spent in the gym. For many of us, particularly those with autoimmune conditions, long cardio workouts can be detrimental, taxing the adrenals. For more information on this phenomenon, check out Chris Kresser’s article. I learned that hard way that too much cardio, combined with autoimmune flare-ups can be a recipe for adrenal fatigue. As frustrating as giving up running has been, it has also be a learning experience. I am still trying to figure out how best exercise without overdoing it. For now I am walking instead of running and stretching instead of doing burpees (ok, I don’t really mind giving up burpees for a while). As always, it is important to listen to your body. If you finish a workout and feel mentally exhausted or ill it might be time to look for a new routine.

Likewise, if you hate every second of your workout it is time to try something different. Exercise should not be a bad word; if it is find a new one. When I talk to the kids about getting outside we talk about play or movement. I don’t want my children to have the same picture of exercise that I have always had (i.e. middle school gym class). We talk about how moving makes us feel good and keeps us healthy. We also talk about it can (and should) be fun. In our family movement means playing tag, taking hikes, doing a circuit at the park and having a dance party in the living room. What do you like to do?

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