Hey there —
When’s the last time you exercised? 🏋️
If you’re struggling to remember how long it’s been since you did a push up or walked farther than the distance between your home office and your couch…no shade. We’ve been there too. 😅
To say exercise is a beneficial habit would be the understatement of the century. But while we all know exercise is good for us, the doing is another thing entirely.
That’s because we tend to treat exercise as an “all or nothing” endeavor — we’re either on the bandwagon of some grueling fitness challenge, or we’re not working out at all. Needless to say, this kind of mindset doesn’t come with great results.
Which is why, for the month of August, we’re focusing on the far more sustainable habit of moving every day — no fitness app or strict regimen of reps required.
A clever procrastination trick (for any task or habit) is convincing ourselves that we need a perfect set of circumstances in order to begin. But you don’t need to have the time to go to the gym or the money to drop on expensive equipment before you can start exercising.
Instead, this challenge is designed to help you shrink the change by setting a smaller goal you’re confident you can attain — giving you daily momentum to stick with and solidify your habit.
Plus — and this is the real beauty of this challenge — you can choose to move in whatever way works for you, your schedule, your lifestyle, and your body.
Trying to implement a high-intensity exercise routine right off the bat requires significant commitment (of your body, mind, and time). But a simpler focus on intentional daily movement gives you the flexibility to experiment, while still meeting your ultimate goal of a healthier you.
Which could be exactly what you need to find a few exercises you actually enjoy — and avoid burning out on working out.
The great news is exercise doesn’t have to be high intensity to be highly beneficial! Even minor to moderate physical exertion has been shown to lower depression, improve memory, and reduce your risk of heart disease. And taking a leisurely stroll can help you slow down mentally by calming the pace of your thoughts.
Getting creative with our habits (even ones like fitness and nutrition) allows us to concentrate on the importance of showing up in whatever way we can. With that kind of mindset, you’ll make far more progress — and be less likely to give up — than if you tried to meet some rigid formula for success.
So whether it’s a YouTube yoga video, a walk around the block, or a spontaneous dance party in your living room — get moving. Your mind and body will thank you for it. 💪
Participate in the challenge!
Daily action: Every day for the next 30 days, make time for intentional movement.
To help you track your progress, download this printable Habit Tracker to mark off each day you get moving.
And after you’ve finished the challenge, fill out this Challenge Reflection to look back at your experience, take note of what you learned, and decide if this is a habit you want to make a permanent part of your routine.
Tips for success
🙅 Skip the comparisons. You don’t have to follow the latest exercise or diet trend, there’s no one right activity for improving your physical and mental health, and this challenge doesn’t have to have anything to do with losing weight. Most importantly — your body and physical abilities don’t need to look exactly like anyone else’s.
🧹 Find movement moments. This is the perfect habit to work into the rhythms of your daily life. Walk and talk during your next work meeting, check off those household or yard chores you’ve been meaning to get to, or do some simple stretches while you’re watching TV.
🛼 Have fun (with friends)! Group activities can provide additional accountability and fun (and don’t have to require a gym membership). Search for open walking, hiking, or cycling groups in your area, or classes and activities hosted by your local community centers. Gather your buds for a game of basketball or ultimate frisbee at the park.Or head to your local roller rink and bust some nostalgic moves.
Ready, set, go (with these additional resources).
How to reframe your relationship with exercise
by Danielle Friedman
What’s your motivation for exercising? 🤔
In this article, journalist and author Danielle Friedman examines cultural pressures around diet and exercise and offers a much better motivation than the one we may have come to internalize. (Spoiler alert: It has nothing to do with physical appearance.)
In short, Friedman proposes that exercise has the potential to be a form of true self care, one that cultivates “self-determination and a strength that extends beyond our muscles.”
Read on for the advice Friedman gathered from leading fitness changemakers to help you start exercising on your own terms and find joy in the process, including three questions to ask yourself at the end of every workout.
Take 5 Yoga Break!
by Yoga with Adriene
Got five minutes? That’s all you need for this quickie YouTube yoga session with Adriene (and her adorable pup, Benji.) 🧘
With moves designed to help you connect with your breath, fire up your core, and stretch your body, it’s the perfect routine for squeezing into a busy day or when you just need a moment to recenter yourself.
(And for that inevitable day when you’re about to crawl into bed and realize you totally forgot to check off your movement goal, keep Adriene’s 10-minute bedtime yoga video in your back pocket.)
We were serious about that dance party. 💃
This Spotify Dance Party playlist has the beats to get your body moving. Use it to turn your living room into a disco or to get pumped during your next bike ride or any other vigorous exercise that requires some extra oomph. (High energy music can make your workout more effective — it’s science!)