Motivation to move

This week is Exercise Right Week (21 – 27 May) – an opportunity to explore the positive impacts of physical activity, inspire those who don’t exercise to move more, and shine the spotlight on the experts of exercise – Accredited Exercise Physiologists.

To celebrate Exercise Right Week's theme ‘Motivation to Move‘, we asked exercise physiology graduate Tiana, to share with us her own real-life exercise journey.

Where my exercise journey began

From as early as I can remember, movement has been a key part of my life. From kindy gym to touch football, dancing to cross country, basketball to hockey, volleyball to weights training; it is through movement that I’ve made lifelong friends, learnt to appreciate my body’s capabilities, challenged myself mentally, and learnt to play and have fun.

For much of my later teen years my family’s calendar and life revolved around movement. I would attend individual practice or weights training prior to school, and team training or games after school with occasional lunch time training as well. Weekends were filled with road trips to matches. This was the norm for many years. I loved it and wouldn’t have had it any other way.

The next chapter – Digging deeper

Once I graduated from high school and moved out of town to study exercise physiology my sporting commitments as I knew them, ended. This new phase of my life meant a new found look on movement. I no longer had the desire to train and compete at such a high level. I had other avenues in my family environment that offered fun. However, what was missing was my consistent daily movement; it was no longer a habit but rather a decision. Should I go to the gym? Should I go for a run? It was questioned too often and actioned too little.Exercise right week

I began to lose touch with my body’s capabilities, of the remarkable appreciation I once had for my body. It was then I had to dig deeper. I didn’t just want to move my body, I wanted it to be more than that; a fun, playful and enjoyable practice rather than just running because I felt I should, or completing a tough HIIT session because I had indulged the day before. I wanted it to be something I looked forward to each day for a mental release and physical challenge, to get out of my mind and into my body.

This is when I started experimenting with different sports and activities. Hot yoga, reformer Pilates, CrossFit, boxing, circuit training, and countless others. I came to find activities I loved and others I loathed.

My epiphany – Movement is play!

I came to realise that movement is more than a few designated hours we set aside. Movement is play. It's riding along the beach, it’s attempting hand stands, it's catching up with a friend over a walk. This is when I feel in love with movement again.

I had found the right movement for me; my body being challenged and physically stimulated, yet my mind finding the peace and the play. It was when I lightened up and let go of those expectations of committing to a gym, to a specific style of movement, to a team, that I began to have fun and realise experimenting can actually just be my movement. That mixing up the way I move my body is challenging and rewarding.

So now I prioritise that fun and what feels good for my body and acknowledge this may be somewhat different to how it was a few years ago. Nowadays this looks something like soft sand running, body weight workouts, jogs by the ocean, lookout walks with friends, yoga, partner stretching, coordination games, mobility sessions, breath work, cycling and everything else in between.

Remember movement is natural, it’s what our bodies are designed to do. It doesn’t have to be a task, but rather a fun and rewarding connection with our amazing bodies. I encourage you to explore what movement feels good for you physically and mentally.

Last updated:
5 August 2020