5 Fun and Easy Ways to Incorporate More Dance, Exercise and Movement into Your Daily Routine – and Re-Invent Your Relationship with Your Body
As a certified transformational life coach, wellness expert, and mind-body movement master facilitator, I often encounter people who tell me, “I want to be in better shape. But I hate exercise – and I don’t have time for it.”
As a former professional dancer, I love dance exercise and other forms of movement. But I understand why so many people find it distasteful. The all-too-common attitude toward exercise is that it’s a dreaded chore we “have” to do or even a punishment we must inflict on ourselves for overeating. Just think of how often you’ve heard or even said things like “No pain, no gain” or “Whip yourself into shape.”
But what if exercising and moving your body could be easy and fun, and it didn’t even require a ton of your time?
Even those few minutes a day added up and created AMAZING results — not only physically, but most importantly, emotionally and spiritually. I was strong, flexible, and balanced — on the outside and the inside.
I have a GIFT for you! Just below is a FUN 5-minute dance video you can do in front of your desk, right now, to help you destress and refresh! no fitness equipment needed – ENJOY!
If you like this type of movement and you would like to explore doing more mind-body-spirit movement, you’re going to LOVE TranscenDance™!
Movement Is Life
Over the past decade, numerous research studies have detailed exactly how much a sedentary lifestyle dramatically increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Sitting is now considered the new smoking!
Enough dance exercise and other forms of movement throughout your week can counteract the effects of too much sitting. And it’s not just the positive impact on our cardiovascular system. More movement can loosen and strengthen muscles, tendons and ligaments, resulting in fewer aches and pains, less stiffness, and improved balance and flexibility.
At an even deeper level, the truth is that movement is life.
When you move your body, whether it’s by going for a walk, going to the gym or engaging in video dance exercise, you’re allowing energy to flow through you, just like water moving in the form of a beautiful, flowing river.
However, when you don’t move your body on a regular basis, it’s like a river that gets dammed up. When the water is no longer moving, it can become stagnant and even toxic.
Remember that your body is made up primarily of water. It practically begs for movement! Movement circulates energy throughout your body, helping you be your healthiest and most vibrant self.
Ditch “All or Nothing” Thinking
OK, so you’ve accepted that you need to move more, whether through video dance exercise or some other activity. If you’re like many people, the first thought that popped into your mind was “But I don’t have time to exercise!”
When coaching clients who express this particular concern, I urge them to release an “all or nothing” attitude toward exercise.
Too often, we tell ourselves that “it doesn’t count” unless we push ourselves to the max, break into an intense sweat, or invest an hour or more into exercising.
I definitely get it. It can take a lot of time and energy to make it to the gym or to a yoga class. By the time you drive to a studio or gym, park, do the class, drive home, and shower, it’s not uncommon for the entire process to take several hours!
When you have a full and busy life, oftentimes the workout you genuinely want to do is the first thing to get cut from your schedule.
I experienced this when I became a mother. As a professional dancer, I used to spend hours a day in dance classes and in the dance studio. But after having kids, especially when they were little, it was nearly impossible to dedicate time to dance!
I obviously love dance exercise and other forms of movement. Giving it up completely wasn’t an option. Instead, I had to adapt — and adapt I did.
I adopted a new strategy for incorporating physical activity that I call, “Movement in minutes is better than no movement at all!”
I started by investing between 5 and 10 minutes a day simply moving my body in fun and playful ways. I’d dance around the house or do a few yoga poses or stretches, often with my baby in my arms. It was fun for the baby, and great weight resistance for me!
Even those few minutes a day added up and created AMAZING results — not only physically, but most importantly, emotionally and spiritually. I was strong, flexible and balanced — on the outside and the inside.
Everyone Has 5 Minutes
As a professional coach helping thousands of people around the world, I use the 5-minute movement rule regularly, especially with clients who are convinced that they don’t have time to add exercise to their regular routine.
One of my clients was adamant that she didn’t have time to work out. She worked in an office and sat at her desk for 8 hours a day. Like millions of others, she relied on coffee and sugary snacks to get her through the day.
She recognized that a sedentary lifestyle was unhealthy for her. But she didn’t know how to change it!
I encouraged her to adopt the mantra that “Movement in minutes is better than no movement at all” and to believe that she really DID have at least 5 minutes a day to move her body.
After some resistance, my client started taking short, 5-minute breaks every couple of hours throughout her workday.
She’d set an alarm to remind herself to take a short break, and then make it a point to get up, stretch a bit, walk to the bathroom, get some water, touch her toes, and so on.
And then she started having fun with it!
She’d start playing music at her desk, dance around and stretch a little more until she was actually enjoying herself. After a while, her colleagues became curious about what she was doing. When she revealed her secret, they wanted to join in!
Pretty soon, everyone in her entire office area started moving and dancing for 5 minutes every 2 hours. How cool is that?! The entire workplace became a happier, healthier, and more energized environment.
Loving how much more energized and happy she felt, she started taking walks after work and then found yoga classes to join. Little habits can pave the way for BIG life changes!
Tap Into Fun
A simple way to ease into the habit of 5 minutes of movement is to explore the activities you loved to do when you were a little kid.
Kids are always moving… and it’s because they love what they’re doing! They play tag or catch, climb trees, or make up silly dances. For kids, movement has an element of play and fun.
My client loved to dance, so dance exercise was a simple choice for her. Maybe when you were younger you used to play tennis, swim at your local pool, Hula-Hoop, do cartwheels, roller skate, or just run around. You might be surprised at how much pleasure doing these activities could bring you again!
What kind of movement can you start incorporating into your routine that you’d actually enjoy? What would feel the least like work to you? Generating a few ideas is the first step to having more fun and playing with movement.
5 Tips to Incorporate More Movement Into Your Day
Here are 5 ideas to help you incorporate FUN, creative, enjoyable movement into each day:
- Focus on “movement” rather than “exercise.” For many people, “exercise” is associated with hard work, discomfort and punishment. No wonder they avoid it! Instead, focus on simply moving your body more. Tune into how much better you feel with movement — looser muscles, an elevated mood, more alert, clearer thinking, etc.
- Start with 5 Minutes. Commit to do SOMETHING active for just 5 minutes a day. Walk up the stairs in your building, turn on some music (wear headphones if needed) and dance a little, or do some stretching. Any movement is better than none!
- Walk. Walking is one of the most basic activities we engage in as human beings. We’re literally designed to walk – a lot. You don’t have to officially “go for a walk” with a destination in mind. Just put on your walking shoes and get out there. Walk to your mailbox, a coffee shop, or around the block with your dog. As you’re walking, breathe deeply, feel the sun (or the rain, or even snow) on your body, and connect with yourself, remembering that life is truly beautiful. Bonus tip: Walk around your home or office when you’re on the phone, or up and down the stairs.
- Stop, Drop and Roll. This is one of my favorite techniques for calming the mind and body — and no, it doesn’t involve rolling around on the floor. If you’re ever feeling a little overstimulated or triggered:
- Stop what you’re doing and pause for a moment.
- Drop into your body and tune into your heartbeat.
- Roll the stressful situation from your mind and the tension out of your body while breathing deeply and rolling your shoulders mindfully.
This soothing routine immediately helps to quiet the mind and de-stress the body. It’s a great tool to help “reset” yourself.
- Incorporate video dance exercise into your day. Holistic health goes beyond our body and includes the health of our mind and spirit. One of the best forms of movement I’ve found to improve mind-body-spirit wellness is free-form, conscious dance. There are no complicated dance steps to learn, and no prescribed routine. Just turn on some music and let spirit move you.
If you would like to explore doing more video dance exercise and specifically mind-body-spirit movement, you’re going to LOVE TranscenDance™!
Lastly, we would love to hear what creative tricks work for you to bring more fun fitness into your life? Please comment below, as I know we can all use some new ideas, to think outside the box, and get us moving in even more fun, blissful ways.
Until next time – have fun, get up and move and let’s create our very best day!