"Health is a large word. It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well;...
and not today's pain or pleasure alone, but the whole being and outlook of a man."
~James H. West

Lisa's Blog

How to get More out your Exercise and Love Every Minute of it!

Lisa Cutforth - Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Golden Secrets to Allowing your Body to LOVE Moving

(and get the benefits it needs to help you manage your weight and feel happier)

These pearls of wisdom are shared with you by a man who understands movement, strength and power better than anyone I have ever met.  I asked Rohan O'Reilly (Founder of Mandala Keys) if he would share his secret tips and strategies to getting more out of movement and how to enjoy it more.  Here was his very wise response:

"Firstly, do not do movement (as in exercises) that you do not have positive feelings about.  There is no need and it can actually do you more harm than good.  One of the keys to maintaining a positive body image is feeling good about what you do to your body. People most often fail to achieve happiness in this respect as a result of not treating their bodies like their bodies would like to be treated. Unless you REALLY enjoy being run and pushed to the point of exhaustion whilst being shouted at i.e. boot camp style, don't do it. 

Why is this is so important? 

Well, your body, your nervous system and your emotions are all connected (inseparable in fact) and they all know what they like and don't like.  Everything you do therefore sends a signal and a pattern in motion, and you respond to that, either positively or negatively.  And the feedback is "this is good for me", or "this is hurting me".  So with this in mind, here are three steps that literally have the power to transform the way you feel about exercising and your body responds to movement.

Step 1:

Forget about exercise and start thinking about movement.  And move in a way you body responds positively to. Movement could mean anything from salsa dancing to Olympic weight lifting. Ask yourself, what do you like doing?  Does your body enjoy walking, does your body enjoy the challenge of weight lifting and figuring out where it's strength point is, does your body respond well to endurance: nice long bike rides but feels depleted and stressed from high intensity sprints?  Do you feel happy and energized after a Zumba or dance class or is a spin class more your thing?

Step 2:

Understand the difference between sheer effort and intelligent movement strategies.  This is a BIG deal!  Just because you are red faced, sweating and puffed out doesn't mean it's an effective weight loss activity.  This might sound unbelievable but it's in fact the truth. The reason has to do with how your nervous system responds to different types of stress and changes in blood chemistry. Traditionally we have been taught that aerobic movement is the best choice for weight loss, however we now know this is not entirely true.  In fact, the most effective exercise choices you can make are: the ones that give you the biggest return holistically for the time and effort you invest.

Think about it, if you were to compare how people look and feel after coming out of a Zumba or social dance class, big smiles on their face, chatting in high energy tones, as opposed to those who have just finished being pushed beyond their limits in an air conditioned mind numbing rpm class with overly loud bad music and no social interaction, which activity do you think will give you more "bang for your buck"? 

There are definite benefits to riding your bike outside in a beautiful natural environment and having a great conversation with someone you like, if you can, as opposed to paying to ride somebody else's stationary bike in an artificial (air conditioned) environment.  Laboratory derived calorie burning statistics should only be one part of why you are choosing a particular movement, instead, in my experience the most important factor to consider, or the most important question you should be asking yourself is: "How does it make your soul feel?" The feel good component will be the difference between forcing yourself to do something because you think it's good for you and automatically engaging in a life long habit because it feels good, and this will have the knock of benefit of improving all areas of your life.

Step 3:

Be Present. To make the best of of whatever movement activities you engage in remember be present, do it with passion, be conscious of what your body is telling you and just feel it!"

Rohan O'Reilly, Mandala Keys


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