Whoohoo Whole30 is over for most of us and it’s time for our next wellness challenge! Even though I didn’t finish out the month with Whole30, I’m really satisfied with what I learned and the habits I’ll be taking forward with me. For this month’s challenge, I want to focus on MOVEMENT and ACTIVITY, but with a specific intention!
Wellness Challenge #2:
ACTIVITY WITH INTENTION
So here’s what I’m challenging you and me to do this month: move for at least 210 minutes a week with a specific intention in mind. If you don’t want to do the math, 210 minutes a week works out to 30 minutes a day. The reason why I made it a weekly challenge is so that just in case you mess up one day, you don’t feel like you have to throw in the towel for the whole week, you can just do a little more the next day. The same applies if you know you’ll be really busy one day. You can do a little extra the day before. Of course, the more movement the better, but 30 minutes a day is the minimum studies have shown people should be active and I thought it would be super attainable for all of us- no matter what our current activity levels!
What kind of activity should you do? Anything you love! For me that’s walking in nature, yoga, dancing, and kickboxing! I’ll be doing lots of other things as well, but those 4 activities are the ones that really fill me up and make me feel amazing, so I’m going to try to incorporate them as much as possible!
Although this month’s challenge is a fitness driven one, I also wanted to incorporate a bit of mental wellness. That’s where the intention portion of the challenge comes in. I challenge you to set a NON APPEARANCE intention for each of your workouts. Examples might include things like feeling strong, getting a burst of energy, feeling connected to your body, feeling sexy NOW and not at some point in the future, feeling how amazing it is to move your body, feeling connected to nature if you’ll be outdoors, etc.
While I’ve always loved working out for the way it made me feel, I recently wrote about a very personal struggle where exercise became something really difficult for me. Since I stopped exercising, I gained weight and now working out just makes me feel horrible about my body as I’ve started doing it with the intention of looking good in the future, rather than valuing my body now and all the ways in which it serves me right now. The whole concept of working out to fit into a bikini or to lose weight is just self-defeating to me and I wonder how much better we would all feel about exercise and the way we CURRENTLY look and all the ways our body serves us, if we find non appearance benefits to each workout.
If you’re feeling resistance to this idea, hear me out. When we workout with the intention of making our bodies look better, I feel like that’s not treating our bodies well. Exercise shouldn’t be punitive, it should be to celebrate our bodies and all the wonderful things that our bodies do for us every day. Exercise should be because it makes us and our bodies feel great! Not because we need to look a certain way. Yes, that’s a valid benefit and it’ll come with taking better care of our bodies, but I want this month to be focused on celebrating our bodies NOW!
So rather than thinking about how lifted your butt is going to look while squatting, think about how strong you currently feel. Rather than thinking about all the calories you’re burning while running, think about how amazing and free you feel. I’m really curious to see how our attitudes towards ourselves, exercise, and our bodies change after a month of movement with intentions of self love.