What exercise is not.
Exercise is not the same for everyone.
For some people it is participating in a hard core cardio session till they are beetroot red in the face, doubled over, hands resting on the tops of their thighs.
For some people it is a walk in the park, or down the road, or to the letterbox and back.
For others it is lifting heavy weight. Bench press, deadlifts, squats.
And the list goes on. Yoga. Pilates. Yogalates. Is that a thing? Maybe. I used to wake up early, buy a couple of coffees and go walking and gossiping with my friend at the park while others were doing some sort of military style boot camp. They were happy, so was I.
So if we’ve defined some of the things that exercise can be, here’s what it is not.
Excessive pain. Pushing through an injury. Vomiting afterwards. Pushing through a workout while being really unwell. Being yelled at. Being made fun of. Humiliated. Not being listened to. Disrespected. Being subject to racism. Forced diet talk from unqualified people. Heck, forced diet talk from anyone! Sexism. This list also goes on, but hopefully you get the gist. Exercise does not exist to make you feel shit or shit about yourself, and how much space you take up.
Exercise is whatever form of moving your body you want to do at any given time. Lift heavy weights on a Tuesday, Yin Yoga on a Thursday. We don’t need to overthink it. We also don’t need to have stacks of energy for exercise. I often tell my clients that if they have had an average day at work, and aren’t sure if they should come to the gym, to just come along anyway. Come and have a gentle walk on a treadmill, or go hang out on the dippy (assisted chin up) at a high counter-weight to make it easy . Or plonk yourself down in the massage chairs. Treat exercise with a dial of energy. Feel like crap? Dial it back to what’s achievable for you. This goes for healthy eating too.. but that’s another story.
Here is your exercise to practice this week. Again I’m using a darebee video with a thin body in it (sorry, it’s been a week I tell ya!) and I do have it on my list to get myself filmed doing these exercises, but for now, here is the range of motion for a lunge.
If you are just starting out, focus on holding on to the wall or some furniture and take it slow. Each step back to the starting point, regain your balance before you take another step. If you don’t regain that balance, you could fall over and no one wants that. This person is also lunging very low to the ground. Don’t worry about that. If you can lower yourself even an inch, that’s excellent and a great place to start from. If you can’t lower yourself, don’t worry - work on taking a step forward and a step back. There are modifications for every single exercise and I can help you work out how to start if you’re struggling.
This is the second exercise I’ve shared and you can see that with each exercise I add, we’re starting to build a programme of exercises to do at home. Feel free to try a set of squats from the last email - a set being 10-12 reps or as many as you can do up to 10, and then a set of lunges. It’s the same muscles being used for both of these exercises so you could even just choose the exercise you prefer about of these two instead.