If you've been following along, you've probably realized that I'm a huge fan of exercise. The physical and psychological benefits (notice I'm not talking about weight control) are unparalleled. The problem with "exercise," though, is that it just sounds so tedious and painful, like something you "have" to do instead of "want" to do. . . thus, the title above.
I love to move my body. I really do. A while back, an anonymous commenter responded to one of my posts: "Why the treadmill? Why not go out for a walk, go dancing, garden, hike, ride a bike..... Why "exercise" when you can "move" and "have fun"?
For me, semantics aside, they're one in the same. I actually LIKE the treadmill. But, I also like running outside, biking, swimming, dancing, and anything else that gets my body moving.
Of course, the right conditions do help. . . Below is a view from a treadmill I used on vacation this summer (that's the Mediterranean).
See the treadmill in the foreground?
Another day, I took a dip in the sea. Heaven! (That's me bobbing around about six feet from the deck).
And, back in New York, who could pass up a bike ride that offered a vista like this? (I do not recommend taking pictures while cycling, though!)
The point is that moving your body can and should be a positive experience. If it's not, can you find a way to make it so? Hiking, gardening, doing cartwheels in your yard. . . whatever it has to be.
And, don't forget about the music. Research shows that folks who listen to music while moving their bodies move longer and faster than those who don't. Listening to music has also shown to increase the mood enhancement typically associated with physical activity. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't about the music for me--I get on the treadmill, or the elliptical, or the bike, put on my headphones, and I'm instantly transported to Drstaceyny's private dance party. Trust me, it rocks. ; )
With that in mind, I've compiled a list of my favorite "Move Your Body" songs. These are the songs that get me going, and hopefully you'll find a couple that work for you. The disclaimer? Remember, I'm not really a lyrics person, and I apologize if any of the lyrics are offensive to anyone--I just like the beat.
Direct from my Ipod. . .
Ashley Parker Angel--Let You Go
Atomic Boys--Can't Stop the Rock
Barenaked Ladies--The Old Apartment, One Week
Beatfactory & Massiv4--Sugar, Sugar
Bob Sinclair--Rock this Party
Big Head Todd & the Monsters--Boom Boom
Black Eyed Peas--Pump It, Request Line (w/Macy Gray)
Bruce Springsteen--I'm On Fire
Buck Cherry--Crazy Bitch
Carrie Underwood--Before He Cheats
Cascada--Every Time We Touch
Def Leppard--Pour Some Sugar On Me
Eagles of Death--Miss Alissa, I Only Want You
Faith Hill--Mississippi Girl
Fatboy Slim--Wonderful Night
Garth Brooks--Staning Outside the Fire
George Michael--Faith, Freedom
Good Charlotte--The Anthem
Green Day--American Idiot, Holiday
Guster--Great Escape, Bury Me
Janet Jackson--All Nite
Jet--Are You Going to Be My Girl?
Justin Timberlake--Rock Your Body, Sexy Back
Juvenile--Back That Azz Up
Kanye West--Jesus Walks
Kelly Clarson--Walk Away, Since You've Been Gone (Remixes)
The Killers--Mr. Brightside
Le Click--Call Me
Lenny Kravitz--American Woman
Lynyrd Skynyrd--Sweet Home Alabama
Madonna-Like A Prayer
Me First & The Gimmes--(really anything--they're a punk rock group that speed up slow songs)
Mickey Avalon--Jane Fonda
Monroes--What Do All the People Know?
Nelly--Hot in Here
Nikki Blonsky, etc.--You Can't Stop the Beat
The Notorious B.I.G.--Mo Money, Mo Problems
NWA--100 Miles & Running
Pink--U & Ur Hand, Trouble
Papa Roach--To Be Loved
Red Nex--Cotton Eyed Joe
Rick Springfield--Jessie's Girl
Rob Base--It Takes Two
Shakira--Hips Don't Lie
Tom Petty--You Wreck Me, American Girl
Van Halen--Why Can't This Be Love
Violent Femmes--Blister in the Sun
White Stripes--Fell in Love w/a Girl
If you have any other heart-pumping, move-your-body songs, feel free to post in the comments, so we can all enjoy. Here's to moving our bodies with joy. . .