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Exercise can be a heated topic. Some love it, some hate it. If you think of exercise as clocking minutes or miles on the treadmill (the “dreadmill!”) don’t get nervous because that is NOT what we are encouraging. This Wellie principle isn’t even called “exercise” because we are all about moving your body any way you please.
Movement is important! Daily movement keeps your organs healthy and your mind sharp. The endorphins from getting your heart rate up give you that spike of positive energy that keeps you up and at ‘em throughout the day.
It all sounds great, but incorporating movement into your day can be a challenge! So many of us (myself included!) spend far too many hours at a desk during work or school, and then we are so mentally zapped that we resort to the couch right after a long day. One way to incorporate more wellness into your life is to focus on little opportunities for movement. Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking a little farther away from your destination. Try to walk to close destinations instead of driving. You can also make your social time more active by inviting friends on a walk to catch up (or walk while you’re on the phone).
When it comes to actual exercise, it’s important to find what you love. Nothing will ever stick (and you won’t be happy doing it!) if you don’t like the activity. Hate running? Don’t run! Cardio is not the only way to exercise. There are so many fitness classes to try or even free videos on YouTube. You can do yoga, lift weights, try Zumba or another dance class, do pilates, rollerblade, surf, even cleaning your house or apartment is movement!
I used to think I needed one routine: I had to be able to run X miles. Now I realize that my preferences for movement go through phases, so I roll with it. I even mix things up within the week to stay engaged. Some days I ride the stationary bike while reading a book, some days I pump up my music and do a weights circuit, some days I do still like to run, and I love a yoga class (in person or online!) at least once a week. This is what I do, but you can tune into your own body and mind to see what works for you!
Moving is a great way to get out of your head and give your body some love. It’s for your health and for your wellness – not your body size. Let go of any intimidation due to your current fitness level and just give things a try! No matter what you end up diving into, remember: move because you love your body, not because you hate your body!
Meet the Author: Michelle Pillepich
Michelle is a graduate student in the Masters of Public Health in nutrition program at UNC Chapel Hill. She is currently studying nutrition and working as a dietetic intern during the combined program. She loves coaching for Girls on the Run in her free time as well as getting in the kitchen or getting outside to be active. In her future career as a registered dietitian, Michelle hopes to connect with young girls to inspire good nutrition and wellness. You can connect with her on Instagram at @powerdbypeanutbutter!
ABOUT THE WELLIE PROJECT
We’re on a mission to spread health and wellness to teen girls everywhere. We believe in nourishing the mind, body and soul through our twelve Wellie Principles. We’re a community of girls who are empowering each other to live the Wellie life. Learn more about our story here, and show everyone how you're taking charge of your health with #welliegirl on Instagram and Twitter!