Joyful movement may or may not be a concept that you’re familiar with, but essentially in contrast to ‘sweating it out’, it is about finding enjoyment in activities that make you feel good. While hardcore exercise can make you feel exhilarated in the short term, long term it may also leave you feeling drained and worn out, joyful movement tells us there is another way.

We’ve all been conditioned to believe that being ‘fit’ goes hand in hand with gym memberships, activity trackers, calorie-burning, targets, personal bests and diet plans, but what about a gentle activity such as dancing, walking the dog, yoga or even a good gardening session? All of these count towards the recommended 150 minutes of activity each week and can be just as beneficial for your mind as they can for your body. Plus, research shows that if you can find a form of exercise you actually enjoy then you are far more likely to stick with it. So, with party season almost upon us, rather than struggle through your next workout, why not shift your focus from fitting into the ‘perfect outfit’ and prioritise movement that inspires a positive mindset and is most importantly – fun!

Here are our top 5 tips for getting active ahead of party season (without getting a major sweat on)

  1. On your bike – if a sweaty spin class floats your boat then go for it, but equally why not think about a weekend bike ride with friends? Do some research into your local cycle routes, wrap up warm, pack a picnic and enjoy the social benefits of spending time with people you care about too. 

Use your lunch break – a bit of food prep in the morning or the night before can free up valuable movement time during the day. Get some fresh air with a 30-minute walk around your nearest green space, or if you’re stuck in the city try zoning out to your favourite audiobook or Spotify playlist while you circuit the block to help refresh your mind and body ready for the afternoon ahead. 

Team up – when things get back to normal why not look for your local walking group, netball or rounders team? With a bit of research, you might be surprised at just how many activities are going on in your area. Meetup.com is a great way to find local groups and not just for exercise, have a browse and meet like-minded people interested in a wide range of activities from the great outdoors to food and drink and book clubs. While this might not be something you can do right now, it’s worth pencilling in for the New Year. 

Park games – it might be getting a bit chillier but there’s nothing like exercising outside for boosting those endorphins so round up the people you live with, grab a football and have a kick about in your local park, or if that’s not your cup of tea, how about a frisbee or take inspiration from the French and enjoy a game of boules.

Go old skool – channel your inner child and dig out your rollerskates, skipping rope or hoola hoop! These are all calorie burners but are also huge amounts of fun, and can be done anytime and on your own, just go careful if you’re taking to your skates for the first time since you were 12. 

Even though we’re in lockdown, there’s still an abundance of exercises and movements we can get involved with to boost our endorphins. Remember to stay safe while you’re getting your daily exercise and practise social distancing where possible!