Whole Living Daily

Exercise to Inspire Yourself—and Get Things Done

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Why do you work out? There are lots of reasons, many of which are physical. To burn calories. To tone muscles. To lower cholesterol. To fit into your wedding dress. All great – each important in it’s own way. However, 21st century fitness has many layers, one of which is to inspire. (Warning: mind-body fitness alert!)

Inspiration is defined as “stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity.” And it may have closer ties to fitness than you think.

I had a potent conversation not too long ago with an English Lit grad student named Liz. She was a regular in some of my Pilates classes and she said something really interesting:

“Whenever I have to sit down and write, I make sure I move first. Exercise is my writing prep. It get the juices flowing.” Huge, right?

Move to Get Your Life Moving
You may not need to write a term paper, but there must be something in your life that needs a little push towards resolution, solution, or fruition.

Stumped about home décor? Trying to figure out what job path to take? The answers can simply flow to you during a workout. When we move with mindfulness, exercise is not just a sweat session, but also an opportunity for intuition to bubble forth.

I’m not saying that just by lacing up our sneakers we can solve the problems of the world. And yes, most of my clients’ primary reasons for working out are still 1. a tight tush and 2. flat abs, but the benefits of fitness are limitless so let’s not put fitness into a “body box"; it’s also about the mind and spirit.

This week, try using exercise as an inspirational tool. Maybe you hit the gym before you start a big project, or go for a walk when you're stumped. Your physical activity just may have metaphysical benefits. Or at the very least, help you decide what color to paint the walls.

Ellen Barrett is a mind/body fitness expert and regular contributor to Whole Living. For information about her exercise DVDs, books, and classes, please visit EllenBarrett.com

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Comments (3)

  • I agree with Ellen tee-totally! I feel wonderful after a good, sweaty workout, many with Ellen's videos like Barefoot Cardio and Skinny Sculpt. It does get the juices flowing, indeed, as I have a lower back issue and exercise has helped me manage the pain very well. I am an artist, and many a time, after a workout, I will be inspired to paint. Yes, exercise benefits us in SO MANY ways, spiritually and physically!

  • I've experienced the same thing -- exercise opens my mind to creativity at the same time it works my body. Love it!

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