When you think of exercise, what comes to mind? Even if just a pinch of guilt or dread pops in, it’s time to take a step back and gain a fresh perspective on this key to being well.
In past blogs, we have clarified the definition of fitness specifically for well-being: the ability to do daily tasks with ease and have energy left over for recreation and emergencies.
It’s safe to say it’s human nature to want to be able to go through daily life with ease, be able to enjoy life, as well as keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. Being well is instinctive, yet the details of what we need to be well are different for all of us. Plus, life is dynamic, so our sense of well-being is constantly changing. Being well, then, is an individual, ever-changing process.
Well-being involves our mental and emotional, as well as physical, states. Consider the last time you had an illness or an injury, a time when you were not physically well. It was a challenge to do the activities of daily life, much less have energy left over for enjoying life! Having the physical skills needed to “do” life with as much ease as possible is a key to being well.
Let’s say you really want to learn a certain musical instrument. What would you need to do? Practice! Starting with the basics, with regular practice, you would build skills needed to enjoy playing that instrument. It would take time, energy, and guidance, but since this is something that would add to your enjoyment of life, you would probably look forward to practicing. Would you expect to be able to play well the first time you tried? Would you start with the most complicated song and be able to play it with ease? If you didn’t practice, would you still expect to be able to play well?
Looking back to your Fitness Test for Well-being, what qualities and skills do you need more of to live life well? Stamina to sightsee or keep up with kids? Strength for a certain hobby or home project? Ease of movement to feel more comfortable in your own body?
Exercise is simply taking time out to practice the skills needed for you to live well. That’s it! No pain, no guilt, no dread. No should, have to, or supposed to. Exercise for well-being is simply means setting aside 3-5% of your waking hours and investing them in developing the physical skills YOU want to be able to live life with ease. Practice having stamina. Practice being stronger. Practice balance and control of movements you do in daily life. Your only measure of success is how your physical capabilities enhance your enjoyment of life, moment by moment.
We all want to be well right now, and have confidence we can be well in the future. Exercise training is an investment in our time now so we have the physical capabilities to live well in the future.
In a broader sense, though, movement is a key to being well now. In the next blog we will take a look at why and how to move to be well now!
Be Well Now!