Music, movement & weight loss
Ever met a sedentary person who laments their declining health but unfortunately they are just not an “exercise person”?
Maybe you sometimes say this about yourself.
Perhaps you say, “I’m not an exercise kind of person. Other people like that sort of thing but I don’t.”
The implication being “…so it’s reasonable for me to sit on the couch and at my computer all day, even though ‘sitting disease’ is a real thing associated with many undesirable and avoidable health risks.”
Don’t just hate it when the obvious and apparently virtuous thing to do is so unappealing?
Cue a large raspberry!
Now for me, exercise is not actually unappealing a lot of the time. You may say, “Well, there you go. YOU are an exercise kind of person, Victoria, and I’m not like you So Get Off My Case.”
The bit about being on your case I mean. Perhaps it’s not my business. Free choice and all that. (Of course, I could go on about the cost to the public health budget and how that does actually impact me in a problematic kind of way but I won’t because that’s not helpful right now.)
Back to you – and what you might want. If you would like to be less sedentary, if you wish could embrace physical activity even just a little more, read on for some ideas to shift your perspective…
How to get active even if you don’t like exercise
Take care with the label “I’m not an exercise kind of person”. This can be true for you – and yet it doesn’t require you to be sedentary.
Recognise that an “exercise workout” exists on a continuum called physical movement. It is an over-generalisation to say:
“I’m not an exercise kind of person therefore I’m not a movement kind of person.”
You just wouldn’t say that.
Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water
People ask “What kind of music do you like?”
They don’t really ask, “Do you like music?”
(That would be like asking, “Do you like having fun?” The answer to that is always, “Of course I like having fun; what kind of a totally daft question is that? Are you an idiot? I Like To Have Fun – and here is a list of things I do that feel fun for me….”)
Back to music.
Music is available in so many areas of our lives. There’s the music we purchase and choose to listen to. The music on the radio in the car. The theme music to the news and to our favourite TV show. The soundtrack to the film we’re watching. The kids singing on the bus on a school excursion. The national anthem. That annoying ad jingle. The ringtone on your mobile, on your fellow commuter’s mobile, on everyone’s mobile! There’s the music in the supermarket. The music in the lift.
And there’s silence. “Ah, silence – music to my ears!”
There’s a continuum of music. Or sound. Yes, the soundtrack of your life.
Every aspect on the spectrum is available to you and your ears, and is processed in your brain (unless you are deaf, in which case these things are not available to you in the same way).
Consider the whole spectrum
If you have a body that can move to any degree, then you have a spectrum of movement available to you. You do not have to be “an exercise kind of person” to move. Nature intended us to be active. Our bodies are designed to move. In all sorts of ways and for all sorts of reasons. I’m sure you can come up with a list.
Reasons to be active, Part 3*
Have you made the mistake of reducing the value of physical activity to “burning calories” in order to lose weight?
Moving – getting physical – is about so much more than weight loss. Use it for that by all means but take the time to find other things to value about it too. You can value different types of physical activity for different things.
For many years of my life I lost sight of this; everything was about burning calories. This was actually useful for a time; I was focused, felt empowered and achieved the weight loss I sought. However, once I’d achieved my ideal weight I needed to shift my perspective on exercise and physical activity. The continuing journey of maintaining a healthy, lean body – especially as I mature into my middle years – means I have found different and additional things to value about being active.
Today I focus on the pleasure of:
- Feeling strong (when holding a plank or executing a push up)
- Feeling physically capable (when I carry in all those bags of groceries from the car or rescue a scooter from under the kids’ trampoline before they start jumping)
- Being aerobically fit (when I run for the train because I’m late)
- Being flexible (when I reach around into the back of the car from the driver’s seat)
- Walking tall and expressing self-confidence through my posture
- Dancing around the house with my nine year-old daughter (highly exaggerated balletic moves are our specialty!)
I really do appreciate being mobile. I’ve had my fair share of back pain and some injuries over the years. Thank goodness there is a continuum of movement available and that it’s not an all or nothing game. Just as with music.
What music do you like?
And what movement?
Until next time
* Couldn’t resist sampling a bit of Ian Dury and The Blockheads