We all know exercise is good for our health, and has many benefits, with experts often suggesting exercise as a way to unwind, combat stress, illness and disease, and the obvious to keep our weight down.
But what if there was a way to exercise that specifically supported us for the work we do?
For example teachers spend many hours a day on their feet, walking round the class, so a great way to support ourselves would be to build strength in our legs, by doing gentle weight strengthening exercises such as squats or lunges, as well as regular cardiovascular exercise such as swimming; or a walk at lunchtime. Walking before eating lunch is even better if we want to get our metabolism up and keep the weight off. But we don’t need to train the body hard to run for miles or hours on end, as it’s not something our body needs to do or is useful in our line of work.
I work as a teacher and I have found exercise super supportive. Over a tough period in my personal life, it is and has helped me to build strength in my body, not just physically but a solidness and steadiness in my way of being. It has had a positive effect on my relationships, mental health and well-being. I am finding I don’t react to things as much, and feel much more present in my body. There is also a noticeable increase in my energy and vitality. I had been physically exhausted for a long time prior to this, then, in a matter of weeks by committing to a walking and exercise program the exhaustion has lifted from my body. This is huge, and joy to feel. I have not been exercising hard or pushing myself, commitment is the name of the game, and consistency. You would think, or it might be suggested to not exercise with exhaustion, but for me this has been a complete turn around.
I used to think at times I was too tired for a walk, but in fact it is the complete opposite, Walking for me regenerates and restores my body, it’s like getting a massage. I still feel tired at times, which is to be honored and not pushed through, but that comes more so from overthinking and analysing, worrying about things, and reacting, something which can easily be addressed and healed with simple self-loving and self-caring choices and how I live.
I have also been playing around with exercising in accordance to the cycles we are in, for example I may find at times I need to exercise with appreciation, appreciation of where my body is at that day, if I’m tired then I don’t push through or start a new program, and also appreciation the space exercise offers me. For example, swimming can often feel like a cleansing, washing the week away as the water flows over my body, letting go of the day. It may be at others times that it is more about starting a new or expanding on an exercise program, maybe lifting heavier weights, trying new exercises, or adding a few extra lengths to a swim.
I also find exercise a great tool to support me if I am ever feeling off, as a wise man once said ‘ my strength lies in my body’. So the worst thing for me is to sit around and mull things over, for me getting up and going out for a walk, be is long or short, going to the gym or for a swim helps me connect back to my body and myself. I love than being in my body.
Some people might not spend the day or their feet, and may need to support their body with exercise in a different way. Nurses for example spend hours on their feet, but in a very different way to teachers, they walk for miles each day and also need upper body strength, for moving and handling patients. So a nurses exercise regime to support them for work would be totally different to that of teachers; lots of walking to support the body specifically for the work they do and whole body weight training to help with moving and handling patients – this doesn’t have to be hard or heavy weights, but an exercise routine that supports, maintains and builds strength in the whole body.
Or maybe we are someone who works all day at a desk, driving in the car, or sitting in a chair, take office workers or dentists for example, exercises to support our body if this is the work we do, may be walking, swimming, and gentle all over body strength training, and simple postural exercises to make sure we support ourselves and our body in the way that we sit at our desk,in our chairs, how we are as we lean over patients whilst checking their teeth, or drive in our car.
Exercising to support our body for the work we do and the roles we work in completely transforms how we feel about ourselves, our body, work and how we exercise. It gives exercise a greater purpose and definitely has a knock on effect in how we feel. If truth be told, we don’t need to run a marathon or train hard to be fit for work, simply exercising in a self-loving way that supports our job and our body.
Are you fit for life? – Part 1
Elongate your posture: simple connective tissue exercises to support your body
Lunge Exercise to strengthen the legs.