I just finished an hour-long run along the river in Calgary before I sat down to write this piece. Living an active lifestyle is as much for my mental health and my soul as it is for my body.
I used to think that active living was about crushing workouts in the gym and running till my lungs hurt and then doing it all over again.
I’ve recently come to another conclusion or definition I guess of what active living is. Moving your body with purpose, no matter what the purpose. And moving for the joy of moving.
Though your active living could certainly be crushing workouts in the gym and running till your lungs hurt (I still frequent CrossFit classes and lift weights because I enjoy it). But I guess my point is that it doesn’t have to look that way and it’s okay if it doesn’t.
Choose a movement (or two) that you love doing, that makes you feel alive afterwards, that puts a smile on your face, that challenges your abilities and your weaknesses and go do that. It doesn’t really matter what it is. There is just a benefit in movement.
As a collective, we sit a lot – commute to the office, in the office, at lunch, back at the office, and then for dinner in front of the TV for a few episodes of The Voice.
So how can you bring more movement into your daily life?
You could choose to park further away.
You could choose the stairs.
You could try a new movement class – Barre, Dance, High Fitness, Pilates, Limbus, Spin, Kickboxing, Yoga.
Make walk dates instead of coffee dates with friends. (or my favourite coffee and walk dates.)
Go explore a city park! (I recently discovered Pearce Estate Park in Calgary – Gorgeous!)
Get out of the city. There are hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing trails for all levels in as little as 45 minutes from Calgary. (Nature really is the best medicine.)
Find a local event – a little googling on a chilly January weekend led me to try roller skating for the first time! I’m proud to say that I didn’t fall once and had fun in the process.
Have a dance party. Seriously! It’s not only fun to dance around to some killer tunes but its movement for your body and soul.
Involve the family. Fly a kite, throw a frisbee, go tobogganing, run around a playground with your kids, go to the local pool (and don’t just sit in the hot tub – I’m totally guilty of this too…)
Join a group, club, or team. There are tons of different rec leagues available in the city. It will not only satisfy your desire for fun movement but you may even make some new friends.