Joyful Movement Instead of Exercise

Joyful Movement Instead of Exercise
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Increasing the amount of physical activity you engage in can have a positive influence on your health, your mental well-being and your weight. But does physical activity have to mean hitting the gym or the high school track?

No, it does not! Simply moving more as part of your everyday life can bestow multiple health benefits. So begin to think of yourself not as a gym rat, but as someone who simply enjoys moving.

How can you introduce more joyful movement into your life? The first place to focus is in your head. Let go of the idea that 45 minutes of cardio is a goal. Stop stressing about the fact that you’re not in love with the StairMaster. Find ways to move your body in the world that are productive and/or fun. Any movement, all movement, is going to help you think of yourself as someone who enjoys an active lifestyle. That shift in your brain can be huge, and once you make it, you will find yourself looking for, rather than avoiding, opportunities to move your body.

There’s no need for fancy clothes, equipment or to carve out time in your day to hit the gym. Begin thinking about how you can integrate movement into your day without disrupting your regular schedule. Here are some thoughts to get your creative juices flowing:

  • If you take a bus or a train, can you get off one stop before your stop and walk the rest of the way to your destination?
  • If you work in an office building, don’t use the bathroom closest to your office. Instead, walk down the hall, up the stairs or around the corner to another restroom.
  • If you work at a desk, set an alarm every 60 minutes. When it goes off, get out of your chair and stretch and move for a minute. These breaks will also help improve your concentration.
  • Swing your arms around. Imagine that you’re in water. Gently slap your internal organs with each rotation.
  • Turn on some music and dance your way through your favorite song.
  • If you’re only going up one flight or down two, take the stairs instead of the elevator (but only if it’s safe).
  • When you drive to the mall, park at the opposite end of where you want to end up and walk though the mall to get to the store you need.
  • Get up to change the channel or adjust the volume on your TV.
  • March in place while you wait for the water to boil or the microwave to finish heating up your lunch.
  • Pace around the room while you’re having a phone conversation.

These techniques can help you integrate more movement into your day without worrying about target heart rates, calories burned or the “no pain no gain” approach to exercise. They can be accomplished without a huge outlay of time or money and they are so easy to integrate that, once begun, you’ll find yourself looking for other ways to joyfully move your body. Even if you’re still in the earliest stages of your gastric balloon insertion, these and other ways to move your body with joy won’t hurt and will release the feel-good endorphins and decrease your overall health risks.

Author: Rebeca Espinoza

Rebeca Espinoza writes about health, fitness and weight loss for Spatz Medical, makers of the Spatz3.  You can find her on at Like the Spatz3 Adjustable Gastric Balloon page on Facebook or follow us on Pinterest for healthy eating tips, inspiring quotes, videos and photos and more.

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