11 Ways to Bring Joy Into Movement
Remember the days when you were young and carefree, playing outside with the neighborhood kids or your siblings all day long? Whether you were riding bikes or running through sprinklers, there was always endless fun and energy. Ever wonder what happened to that blissful feeling of enjoying movement?
As a health coach at Hinge Health, I’m passionate about helping people reduce their pain with movement and follow a consistent exercise routine to be the best version of themselves.
Most people find success with this when they incorporate movement as a natural part of their routine, rather than viewing it as a chore or necessity. It’s easy to get caught in the trap of treating exercise like another mundane task to check off your to-do list.
Privilege vs. Punishment
To avoid this trap, try shifting your mindset so that taking care of your body is a privilege rather than a punishment. Your body requires great care and energy to continue running smoothly, and with less pain, for the long-term. Consider regular exercise as a way to show your body this care and feed your body’s craving to move, by doing activities that you find genuinely fun.
- Pair your exercise routine with a podcast. Whether the pod you pick is educational, humorous, or a regular favorite, use exercise as a time to learn about topics that interest you.
- Download a new workout music playlist or ask a music-loving friend for their recommendations to bring your workout to the next level.
- Mix up your routine by adding some calming yoga poses before or after your next Hinge Health playlist. Trying new movements helps to challenge your body’s capabilities and develop strength and flexibility along with mobility.
- Consider the power of habit stacking. One of my all-time favorite tips is to pair your Hinge Health exercise therapy with an activity that is an automatic part of your daily routine. To cultivate joy, try pairing your exercises with something you look forward to, such as eating your favorite meal of the day, having coffee in the morning, or unwinding with your regular TV show before bed.
- Start a dance party. Grab a friend or family member, turn on your favorite throwback tunes from days past, and jam out for a cardiovascular workout.
- Explore a new park or hiking trail. New adventures are exciting and fun. I encourage you to research a new spot for a walk or hike to cultivate this sense of wonderment.
- Ask a friend or family member to join your go-to workout. Use a buddy to build friendship and accountability. Create a walking schedule with a local friend so you can start your day with chit chat while padding your step count. Reconnect with an old friend and workout together virtually on a video call.
- Pair movement with laughter. After completing your next Hinge Health playlist or workout, reward yourself with a few minutes of your favorite YouTube or TikTok videos.
- Stay mindful of your body’s movements. To spark a sense of childlike curiosity, pay close attention to your limbs moving, joints bending, and muscles flexing. Be mindful of how your body moves today and celebrate its abilities. Move slow and enjoy!
- Jump on a bike or lace up your rollerblades. Growing up, you did activities that brought you joy and created priceless memories. Consider an activity that you loved as a child and try it out again today.
- Work your gratitude muscles. As a kid, you were relatively care-free and had fewer responsibilities to worry about. Practice gratitude with your next Hinge Health exercise session. Following your session, reflect on three things you are grateful for. This trains not only your physical muscles, but your mental muscles to treat movement like a privilege.
These tips should spark some ideas to cultivate joy while moving and inspire you to create an exercise routine that you look forward to and that helps relieve your pain. Pick a tip that resonated with you and incorporate it into your week. Afterall, the best exercise is the one you want to do and will do.
Anna Frinzi is a health coach at Hinge Health with more than five years of experience supporting individuals in creating attainable goals with a holistic perspective. She has a bachelor of science degree in kinesiology from the University of Minnesota, is a certified personal trainer, and has been a national board-certified health and wellness coach since 2020.