Updated: Aug 10
In the popular Apple TV show “Ted Lasso”, one of the characters, Roy, retired from a wildly successful soccer career and took a job as a sports commentator. In a pivotal scene, during the live pre-game analysis show Roy was asked how he thought the players would do in the game.
He said “We don’t know. We can’t know (light bulb moment!). All we do is sit around and guess what they will do out there and then come back at half time and we complain that they didn’t do what we thought they would do. We are just on the outside looking in, judging them.”
Watching a game, spectators can yell all they want. Regardless, athletes will do what they are going to do, play the best they can, given the ever-changing circumstances inside and around them moment by moment. Beyond the quality of their training, how the player performs in the game is dependent on one thing—their embodied presence. How well they allow that to be their guide will determine how well they play.
The episode ends with Roy walking off the set of the live show, and running to get to the game where he accepts the position as coach for the team he retired from. That light bulb moment helped him realize his passion was not in the stands criticizing players for not doing what he thought they should have done, it was in the center of the field, encouraging, guiding, and helping players learn how to be the best they could be.
Most of us have a ‘health commentator’ inside our heads at one point or another. This commentator is heavily influenced by the Athletic Mindset the media has about exercise. We have a solid plan for being healthy, use motivational sayings, download the latest health technology apps and profess what we are going to do. Then, at the end of the day, we stew in self-criticism because we didn’t stick to our plan.
What Does Exercise Mean?
‘Exercise’ means to practice. What you practice gets stronger. Whether you are doing it or just thinking about it, exercise can be a time you practice distracting your mind, criticizing yourself, or ignoring your body. You step back into the game of life feeling drained, with less energy in your body and less confidence in yourself.
Alternatively, you can exercise for health; you can practice staying aligned with your center as you move through life—both physically and mentally. When exercise is based on solid information about how the brain and body are designed to work together to give you strength, freedom and energy, your whole person can embody presence with more ease as you step back into life
Well-being is not created by your ‘health commentator’ knowing what you ‘should’ do from the outside looking in. It’s created with high-quality practice that starts with clearing the misinformation from all the ‘health commentators’ out there. That frees up the mental space to exercise in the way that generates the freedom, strength and energy you need in the game of life to be well now, so you can be healthy.
How to Get Enough Exercise
Let’s start right now by clearing the biggest misinformation about exercise—how much is enough. When that is determined by calories or steps or miles, we miss out on what exercise is all about.
When enough exercise is based on physiology, how your body is designed to function best in daily life, it as simple as 1 – 2 – 3:
1 time a day remind your body how to move freely
2 times a week remind your body how to be strong
3 times a week remind your body how to have lasting energy
Here is how to do that:
1. Mindful Mobility Moments once or more a day. Stretching mindfully releases tension so it does not build up from the small and large stressors in your day. It also tells your body you want it to be able to move in a wide range of ways.
By keeping that freedom to move, your body is less likely to resist movement if you fall or move suddenly. That means less pain and injury and more calm in daily life.
2. Mindful Strength Moves one to three nonconsecutive days a week, one to three sets of 8-12 times of the six movements of daily life as an act of self-care. This not only tells your muscles, bones and connective tissues to keep their strength, it also tells your whole person you are strong, embodying confidence. That means you release your inner strength to get through the tough parts of your day with greater confidence.
3. Mindful Stamina Practice three times a week for thirty minutes at a moderate to comfortable challenge level for your breathing. You can break this up into smaller bouts of as little as three minutes!
The key is to staying engaged in how your body feels in the moment, and let your energy level be your guide. This means you tell your body you want to keep the equipment (ie: mitochondria) that turn food into energy. Now the food you eat and air you breathe has much more power to energize your cells.
There is one caveat. We know the root of health is whole-person wellbeing. Simply checking the box of ‘getting enough exercise’ can make your body stronger, but health happens in all the moments you are well.
The ultimate purpose of any health habit, including exercise, is to Be Well Now. The mission of Exercising Well is to show you how to get the most for your whole person from every minute you spend practicing moving to be well now.
Be sure to subscribe to my You Tube channel as I will be posting more videos in between these weekly messages about how to have whole-person health with a whole new way to exercise. Check out the video below if you get stuck at even hearing the word “exercise”