I wanted to write about relationships with exercise today. The reason being that I spent every morning doing yoga while I was away. When I told a close friend of mine about that, her reaction was that “this was a bit over the top”, and “Aren’t you supposed to be relaxing?”. This got me thinking… not just about how we perceive movement as either punishing or relaxing, and what Momentum promotes as a positive relationship with exercise. Gonna dive into a little list I’ve made. But before we crack on, I also want to share with you that we have TWO new clubs at Momentum, scroll down to the end of the email for the details, we’re very excited!!!
Ok, now back to exercise, and how it can be done without being icky or becoming weird, or slipping into Instagram fake perfectionism, I hope you know what I mean by that term.
Right so, my aim is that Momentum gives people the tools to feel this way about working out, whether that’s pole training, aerial arts, walking, abseiling or none of these 🙂
1. You feel energised and invigorated by it, it tops up your cup rather than being an additional stressor that exhausts you.
Exercise isn’t meant to make you feel shit about yourself. If it does, I highly recommend something that brings you joy, and ensuring you do it for yourself, not anybody else.
2. It can be social for anyone who craves the interaction and be more of a solo game for anyone who prefers to fly alone.
Totally cool to prefer 1–2–1 training, or indeed training entirely on your own, with a mate, or indeed in a big group. I think it’s important to do a sport that allows us to have the social interaction we crave. For some of us it’s none, for others it’s all about the social aspect and meeting new people. Personally, I find pole and aerial is great in the sense that you can work the training environs according to what you need to flourish. And even when in class, you can get fully social as well as take a step back and be in control of your social experience.
3. It’s not equated to calories burnt and isn’t linked with what stuff goes in your stomach and when. I’m very deliberate about how Momentum goes about the conversation of exercise as a means to change bodies. I am NOT anti-diet, or anti weight loss or gain, but I am anti diet culture 🙂 Big difference there, as what you do to make yourself feel good in this respect is 100% your thing, and I strongly belief in staying in your lane. I am not a registered nutritionist or dietician. But I do want to make the point that exercise should not be done solely in relation to caloric expense. It’s like having a Ferrari and only driving it to burn fuel. We wanna forget about the petrol and just focus on the driving experience lads!
4. Fun! You genuinely enjoy doing it, even the hard bits. Even when you sometimes have to decide between instant or delayed gratification. True acceptance (don’t be fooled, acceptance is fucking tough) for your bod is giving it what it needs, and making it enjoyable. I personally believe that if we do something we genuinely enjoy, even a shit session won’t put us off, plus it’s harder to have a naff class in the first place.
5. The exercise for you is the one you can be consistent with, look forward to doing, even when the enjoyment doesn’t come until afterwards. I think we often over-rely on discipline, when it’s consistency we wanna actually get to. If I’m consistent with something, for whatever reason (because the time is convenient, because I enjoy it, because I feel how it makes me happier, stronger and healthier, because I’ve got a hunger for progress, doesn’t matter what it is), then I will do week in week out, and don’t even have to think about it 🙂
6. You don’t feel guilt when you miss a session. You have the perspective and compassion to choose between pushing through or resting, depending on what your bod needs. This one is hard!!! I think when we feel guilt because we miss a session, it’s worth investigating a little. Is it guilt or FOMO? If it is guilt, do I feel bad because I’m missing the grind, or because I’ve paid for a session I can’t go to? Especially when missing a class due to injury, needing rest, illness, or life being lifey, let’s not succumb to guilt please, and thank you x
7. It gives you the right amount of push, just enough to grow and step outside of your comfort zone. Overly pushy is scary, underly pushy will yield boredom and zero results. The right amount of push is keeping you motivated, yet not panicked. Fine line this. And sometimes it’s our job to push ourselves, sometimes it’s the instructors’. And sometimes it is our job to pull back a bit and say, no I’m happy in my comfort zone today, and that’s ok!
8. It has flexibility to fit around you and your life, not the other way round. Movement should be a priority but let’s not forget that it is also a privilege ❤
9. It allows you to take a break from everything else, you to get into flow and immerse yourself. It’s a little release after a stressful day, or a soothing hour to yourself. You make it into exactly what you need it to be. Apart from the movement itself, your exercise ought to give you the space to take a break.
10. It is not punishing or overwhelming. You’re not using it to crack down on yourself or your meatsuit. Walking another fine line here, between punishment and push. Only we can decide where this line lies for us. In the example above regarding my friend’s reaction to my doing yoga on holiday every morning. What she interpreted as punishment, was actually the total opposite for me 🙂 It meant my back didn’t hurt for the rest of the day from the ubersoft mattress I slept on, plus I just really like moving, and for me, a quick stretch is part of my start to the day.
Phew! I just went for it there haha! What do you guys reckon? Have you got anything to add to this list? Would love to hear your perspective!