Are there days when working out feels like a slog to you? When you have to drag yourself to the gym or the Pilates studio? Do your sneakers waiting at the door taunt you each time you pass by? As much as we know that staying active and strong is good for us, and generally improves both our mood and our physical well-being, getting a sweat on or pushing our bodies to work a little harder can sometimes feel repetitive, uninspired, or the opposite of fun. Working out shouldn’t always feel like work–it’s important to find the joy in movement!
When I was still playing soccer three times a week, I often woke up the next morning with a new bruise, or a scraped knee, or a temporary limp. That might not sound particularly enjoyable, but I was more than happy to put my body through the occasional ringer because playing soccer was a lot of laughs with good friends in addition to great exercise.
Although not every activity is within my reach these days, things like paddle boarding or ziplining or tossing a football in the park with my partner and the kids remind me that playing is just as vital as working. I don’t feel the drive to excel at everything–swimming lessons, for example, are humbling, although I love how my body feels tired in a different way than it does when I take a yoga class or go spinning. But I can also recognize that afternoon dance breaks or a walk on the trail with a good audiobook are just as valid a way to move and they tend to lift my spirits, too.
Pilates, especially in a group setting or with a teacher you love, can be so energizing and joyous–it’s certainly why I kept going back class after class. This summer, make sure you give yourself permission to move for fun, free of pressure, and do things that, as Marie Kondo would say, spark joy!
Retrofit Master Instructor
Lead Instructor/Operations Associate