You’re likely convinced the only route to exercise is a gym membership and back breaking routine you dread. Or you have PTSD from your school gym classes as a child and being forced to wear an embarrassing uniform and participate in activities you didn’t enjoy.
Guess what? It doesn’t have to be that way! When I was a kid, I loved gymnastics, jumping on a trampoline, riding horses, and riding my bike. As an adult, I have taken up bike riding. I also grabbed a rebounder from my neighbor on big trash pickup day (a rebounder is basically a trampoline for adults) and keep it stored under the couch, so it’s easily accessible. I take it out when I need a lift, crank up my favorite music, and jump! I have yet to get back to riding horses, but I hope to find a stable near me soon. I also loved playing basketball. I didn’t play a basketball game, but I loved bouncing the ball and shooting hoops. For Christmas, my husband got me a basketball to take to the courts in my local park. I can’t believe how breathless and sweaty I get having so much fun. It’s energizing and a total body workout. I recently discovered one of my best friends also loves shooting hoops, so now she and I have basketball dates!
What did you enjoy, and why did you stop? Did you love playing sports as a kid? Or have fond memories of messing around with friends and family at a gathering in the park playing a game without keeping score? Try participating in sports with friends, family, or coworkers for fun and without competition, shooting hoops on the basketball court, tossing a football, kicking a soccer ball, playing volleyball on the beach, baseball or softball with the kids, jumping on a trampoline, or taking a no-destination bike ride.
You may love hiking, biking, walking, running, swimming, yoga, and other activities that require movement, like gardening, dancing, walking a pet, playing with kids, and cleaning.
Move often, without a rigid structure, and focus on enjoying your chosen activities because it brings you joy and supports your health and well-being. We can do something that feels fun, celebrates our bodies, and use it as a form of self-expression inspired by self-love and self-care.