The gym may not be the best place to sit and read a magazine, (don’t they have libraries for that?) but this is exactly what actor Terry Crews encourages people to do. Crews points out that going to the gym every day, even when you’re not planning to exercise, is the best way to build a healthy habit that prepares you to improve your fitness on days when you’re physically, mentally or emotionally tired.

This strategy isn’t just for the gym.

Setting aside some time every day to focus on your goals makes it more likely that you’ll reach those goals than waiting until you’re “in the mood,” “feel better,” “have the energy,” or whatever else you tell yourself when you want a day off. Whether your goal focuses on improving your strength or flexibility, practicing mindful awareness, working on your personal development, or something else, carving out dedicated time daily can help.

Some days you may not be in the mood for an intense workout, don’t feel well, or lack energy. On those days you may still have a goal of moving your body, but in a lower impact way. In those cases, you may want to try this 20-minute standing chair yoga practice:

Whole Health Coach and Yoga Instructor Katherine Hilgren from the St. Louis VA will guide you through low-impact stretches using just your body and a chair. You can make this routine as easy or challenging as you want; so whether you’re feeling energetic and want to push yourself or you’re tired and simply want to stick with your routine, this practice will meet your needs.

Chronic pain

Do you have a goal to move your body more, but chronic pain holds you back? Pain often leads people to stop moving, which weakens the body and can make the pain worse. Our bodies have a natural ability to heal given the proper conditions, and moving in a healthy way improves our overall health and well-being.

Check out this episode of the podcast “Whole Health for Veterans with Chronic Pain.” Kathryn Schopmeyer and Dr. Andrea Buccino discuss the importance of movement and activity in managing chronic pain. Instead of focusing on our injuries and limitations, we should focus on our ability to get the body moving again. Even if we have permanent different abilities than we used to, we can move the parts that are accessible to us and improve our functioning and quality of life. Just Move! Increase Function and Decrease Pain | Spreaker.

Click here for more on #LiveWholeHealth.

By Marc Castellani, Ph.D., NBC-HWC, is the Whole Health clinical education coordinator for the VHA Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation

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Published on Sep. 13, 2021

Estimated reading time is 2.2 min.

Views to date: 314


  1. David Grace September 15, 2021 at 12:37 pm

    This was very good for me, a non-yoga practicing person. Enjoyed her gentle instruction and demeanor. Hope to have more like this.

  2. Ruth September 14, 2021 at 12:22 pm

    This was amazing, thank you!!

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