Hi friend, welcome to The Fit Flamingo Podcast! In this episode, I’m sharing how to incorporate movement into your daily routine. This is an episode for someone who hates working out, feels easily overwhelmed with what to do, or has a hard time finding a consistent routine that works for you and your body. So friend, if you find yourself in that place, I want to welcome you on in. You are welcomed here. And I hope this episode can help you release any shame or judgment that you may be holding onto so you can fully step into power, leaving fear and anxiety behind. I want to equip you with some small shifts that will add up big as you incorporate movement into your daily routine and create a beginner workout plan that works for you. Let’s dive in!
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01. Swap the Word “Workout” for Movement
If you’re someone who absolutely hates working out or feels a lot of guilt around working out, you may find it helpful to swap the word “workout” with movement. It’s a small shift that makes a huge difference.
And I know what you’re thinking…
Madison! Can one word really make a difference?
HECK YES. Words are powerful! They hold context, meaning, and memory. A word like “workout” can feel fully loaded. It can bring up limiting beliefs, feelings of shame, traumatic experiences, or a whole lot of weight and expectation.
That’s why if you’re wanting to build a beginner workout plan, the best way to start is actually to reframe the way we think about working out: it’s all about movement.
What things come to mind when you think about working out?
Does it excite you and bring you joy? Or does it fill you with dread and leave you feeling anxious? Honestly, you may love working out! But there’s also a good chance you feel conflicted.
Are you someone who wants to workout because you know the benefits of it but you find yourself feeling insecure or overwhelmed by just the thought of going to the gym? *@me*
Or have you ever gone to a group workout class only to find yourself comparing yourself to everyone else in the room? *My hand is totally raised*
Or maybe you remember the unkind comments your PE teacher made about your body when you were in elementary school. *Yep, this one still stings*
If this is you, I want you to know you’re not alone. Because this is me, too.
I used to workout because I felt insecure about my body and used it as a way to change the way I looked. I felt ashamed for every workout I missed and felt the need to start over from day 1 if I missed even one workout in a training program. I focused all my efforts on going 110% and didn’t give my body much time to sleep, recover, or heal. I had a love-hate relationship with the gym. I loved how it felt to challenge my body, how it boosted my confidence, and helped me work up a sweat. But I hated how I compared myself to other women in the gym, said unkind things to myself when I saw my reflection in the mirror, and how I let myself believe that the most valuable thing about me was how I looked.
My relationship with my body began to change once I stopped forcing myself to do workouts I hated – workouts that were solely focused on changing the way I looked. And for me in that season of life, the word “workout” was triggering.
One of the things that helped me the most was swapping out the word “workout” for movement. It feels more empowering and freeing to look for opportunities to move my body that just push myself to do workouts I hate.
Movement is magic and it truly is one of the best ways to boost energy, release emotions, relieve stress, heal physical pain, balance hormones, sleep better at night and feel good from the inside out. But we’ll never experience that magic unless we’re willing to break free from the narrative that says that all we are is just a body and that the most important thing is not how we feel, but how we look.
Friend, the way you look tells me nothing about how you feel on the inside. I would hate for you to spend your entire life focused on looking good enough, only to realize that you never once prioritized how you felt. Your mental health matters. You loving your life matters. You feeling energized enough to live out your dreams matters. You are worthy of feeling good in your own skin. You don’t have to suffer for it. It’s already yours. It’s available to you today!
You don’t have to workout to punish yourself, burn off calories, lose weight, or “balance out” the food you ate. It also doesn’t have to feel like something you have to do.
That’s why I love the word movement.
Movement automatically frees us up from any weight or pressure we may feel with working out.
Movement includes walking, dancing, skipping, swimming, stretching, breathing, weightlifting, cycling, running, rollerskating, playing — literally anything that sets your body in motion.
Side note: I just bought some old school roller skates and I’m obsessed!!
Instead of doing a workout with the pressure to lose weight, you can move your body to relieve stress, boost your mental health, balance out your hormones, and sleep better at night. Prioritizing how you feel can even result in weight loss. Because everything is connected!
When we sleep better through the night, our hormones balance out. As our hormones balance out, we sleep better at night. When we sleep better at night, our energy levels improve. When we feel more energized, we feel better about moving our body. As we move, we release stress. Releasing stress helps us lose weight because allowing our nervous system to calm down and not be in a constant state of fight or flight.
Everything is connected!
Swapping out the word “workout” for movement helps us expand our definition of what it means live an active lifestyle. We can swap out workouts we hate for movement that feels fun, uplifting, and inspiring.
And PS: before we move on any further, you’ll definitely hear me use workout and movement interchangeably. I refer to movement more frequently but use workout more in titles and headlines because that’s how most people refer to physical activity! But I just want you to feel empowered to other word choices if workouts feel trigging at the moment.
02. How to Create a Beginner Workout Plan That Works for You and Your Body
Now that you know the power of words, you can start to create a beginner workout plan or movement plan that works for you.
You know your body better than anyone else. It’s time to give yourself the permission to do what’s best for your body! And here’s how we’ll start…
STEP ONE: Get Clear
Pull out a pen and a piece of paper. Set a timer for 5 minutes and journal the answers to these 6 questions. Journaling is an incredible tool to help us gain clarity as we pinpoint the root of why we think and feel the way we do.
Allow yourself to write your answers without judging what comes up… (and of course, if you need more than 5 minutes, take as much time as you need!)
What forms of movement did you love most as a kid and why? (Basketball was my first love)
When was the last time you remember loving movement? (For me, fun + daily movement is a non-negotiable!)
What forms of movement bring you the most joy, currently? (PS: It’s okay if there are none!)
What 3 words describe how you want to feel everyday? (Mine are healthy, vibrant, and free)
Why is it so important for you to feel these 3 things? (Ex: If I felt vibrant throughout the day, I would be more productive. I could pursue The Fit Flamingo with more enthusiasm and confidence…)
What will happen if you don’t feel this in your life? (Ex: If I don’t feel vibrant, I miss out on my dream. I miss out on loving and serving the world the way I feel called to. I feel resentful. I’m not as present with my husband, my family, my clients. After a while, I burn out and feel too overwhelmed to keep going.)
These journal prompts are an opportunity to dig deeper. You gain clarity when you’re willing to go beyond the surface and connect dots.
After journaling, take a moment to notice how you feel. Did you have any cool a-ha moments? Without judging yourself, take a moment to notice what came up for you. Read back through what you wrote!
What I want you to start to notice is that you not feeling good is costing you something. So what we can do is start to create opportunities for us to move our body in a way that helps us feel the things we want to feel everyday.
It gives movement a purpose beyond weight loss.
Go back to your three words from Question 04 and start leaning into the forms of movement that help you feel those things.
STEP TWO: Schedule Daily Movement
Next, think through your week. If you keep a weekly schedule, pull it out. Look to see if you have any gaps or blocks of free time each day throughout the week. Then pick a few of those times and schedule a movement block with yourself. Pro tip: you don’t even need a full hour! Start with 10 minutes.
Side note — For one of my private clients, we do an hour of personal training every week. But I don’t even call it that with her. We call it movement hour! It feels special and less intimidating to write movement hour on your calendar than it does to write “workout.”
An incredible goal would be to start looking at movement as the solution. If you’re experiencing anxiety, lean into movement. Feeling depressed, frustrated, overwhelmed, or stressed? Turn to movement! Is your back aching after a long day at work? Move! For so many of us, movement has become a thing we dread or something that will require so much extra effort. We were taught how movement keeps our heart healthy and helps us lose weight. But what about the fact that movement can help you heal back/neck/shoulder/hip/knee/ankle pain, relieve stress, improve gut health, improve mental health, boost self-confidence, improve brain fog and memory, and one of my favorite benefits: it helps us connect with other people and on a deeper level. Movement is bonding. It’s empowering! It’s healing.
Your body is designed to move and your body knows how to heal itself. What I love so much about movement is that it gives you back the power. You don’t have to put your power in the hands of someone else. You can take it upon yourself to make choices that best support you and your body.
Another goal would be to make movement a daily non-negotiable within your schedule. No matter what your day looks like, you can make movement a part of your daily lifestyle.
When helping my client incorporate new habits, I like to incorporate a technique called habit piggybacking. I look for the things they’re already doing well, then add a new habit to it. For example, my husband & I go for a walk every morning. But I found myself wanting to incorporate more weight lifting and strength training into my movement routine. We walk consistently everyday but finding the time to lift weights felt overwhelming to me. So what I’ve been doing is as soon as we get back from our walk, I go straight to my mat. I’m already dressed in workout clothes so it’s the perfect time to add in another 20-45 minutes of movement.
Sometimes, I even lay out my mat and dumbbells before the walk as a way to hold myself accountable. There are so many cool habit hacks you can put into action! It doesn’t have to be complicated in order for it to work. Keep it simple and look for ways to make it fun. This is what works for me!
It’s time to find something that works for you!
Look for one habit you already do well. It can be something as small as brushing your teeth everyday! Could you brush your teeth then do 5 minutes of stretching, deep breathing, jump roping, mobility, body weight movements, etc.?
There are so many fun and clever things you could try!
STEP THREE: Experiment & Make Tweaks
Lastly, it’s time to take feel good action. You’ve gained clarity by answer the journal prompts and have designated time this week to move your body. Next, we’re going to take action. You build confidence when you take action. It’s helpful to make a beginner workout plan. But don’t stop there.
The only way you’re going to learn what forms of movement feel best for you and your body is through experimenting. As you move this week, take mental note of how you feel during and after each time of movement.
From there, let yourself make tweaks as you go. You don’t have to commit to something if it doesn’t help you feel good. Go back to your three words! These three words are our compass.
Remember, every season of life can look different. Each week can look different. Heck, even every day can look different! You and I both know that your body needs different things day to day. For women, our cycle is a huge factor in how much energy we have and what workouts feel best. So lean into that! Listen to your body. As your capacity and energy level shifts everyday, allow your movement routine to be flexible.
I want you to feel empowered to make choices day by day. This isn’t an all-or-nothing approach. It’s all about experimenting and tweaking as you go.
03. My Secret to Making Movement A Part of Your Daily Routine
Now, this is my secret to making movement a part of your daily routine… It’s helpful to have a few different modalities in your back pocket. For me, I love HIIT workouts, walks, mobility flows, playing tennis, and deep breathing. If I wake up with a headache, experience depression, or find myself feeling a lot of neck & shoulder pain, I’ll opt for a walk and a soothing mobility flow. If I want to feel creative and energized, I’ll move through a HIIT workout. If I feel heavy or notice old wounds coming up, I’ll do deep breathing. If I have more time and want to feel fun, I’ll play a couple hours of tennis! I give myself permission to adapt in the moment. But I know the power of movement. And I know that no matter what I’m feeling, movement is there to meet me where I’m at. That’s why daily movement is a non-negotiable for me!
04. Simple Tips to Make Movement More Fun
✨ Invite a friend to move daily with you! Make it a fun contest, seeing who can come up with the most creative ideas for movement that day or see who can have more fun. If you don’t have someone in your life that would make a fun accountability buddy, reach out to me. I’ll be your bestie and we can check in with each other!
✨ Create a music playlist with your all-time favorite songs so that it’s ready to go next the next time you feel inspired to move your body.
✨ Get out of your workout rut by trying something new. Most studios offer one free class, a free week of classes, or a discounted trial package. Text a friend and see if they’ll go with you! A few years ago, I really wanted to try Barre but was feeling intimidated to go by myself. So my brother’s girlfriend and I went together! It was so fun to spend that time with her PLUS we got to try something new (and omg, my legs we’re burning the whole class! IFKYK 😉). And I’ll just leave a shameless plug here… I have a virtual, on-demand studio where I offer a free, 7-day trial. I would love for you to check out my live class schedule and on-demand library. I offer energizing HIIT classes, healing mobility flows, guided meditations, and more. I’ll leave the link to this in the description of this episode. Or you can go to thefitflamingo.com.
✨ If you find yourself dreading a workout, remind yourself how you felt after your finished your last workout. Acknowledge any fear, anxiety, or overwhelm that may be coming up for you. We don’t need to sweep anything under the rug. Instead, call it out by name! Take a deep breath and lean into a form of movement that feels like your best yes today.
✨ Wear workout clothes that help you feel like your best self. No need to do the most or be super on trend. Your best is always good enough. And truly, it doesn’t matter how you look. What matters most is how you feel.
✨ Get out in nature! It’s so helpful to move outside. Not only do you get a boost of Vitamin D, but you also forget about how you look because there aren’t any big mirrors reminding you to “fix” your body! Being in nature helps you tune into how you feel, leaving everything else behind. Fresh air does wonders and it’s so helpful to get outside and take up space.
✨ Go back to the forms of movement that brought you the most joy as a kid! Nurturing your inner child is one of the most fun and healing things you can do!
Let’s Wrap This Up!
As we wrap up, I hope this episode helped you feel equipped and empowered to heal your relationship with movement. You can start by swapping out the word workout for movement. Then, get clear about what forms of movement you loved as kid, how you want to feel, and how not feeling your best is keeping you from being your best. And while thinking and planning is helpful, there’s nothing better than taking feel good action. Don’t worry about being perfect. You can always make changes and tweaks as you go. That’s the beauty of incorporating movement into your daily routine. Since everyday is different, we can be ready to adapt and meet ourselves where we’re at.
If you have a workout related question, reach out to me! I would be so happy to know how I can speak directly to you and support you incorporate movement into your daily routine. You can connect with me on instagram @thefitflamingo or fill out the contact page on my website!
Also, I do offer 1 on 1 coaching and can create a movement plan that works for you and your body. I’ll also help you heal any shame or judgment you feel towards yourself and your body. Friend, it’s time to break free, stop hiding, and regain your confidence. I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed. There is a better way!
Now with that, I’m sending you so much love. I love you. You are enough.
Have a specific question? Send me a DM on Instagram!
Friendly reminder: You are enough.
With Love from your Fitness Coach & Wellness Obsessed BFF,
Madison | The Fit Flamingo
Hi, I’m Madison Deaton. As a personal trainer, nutrition and self-love coach, I focus on the inside first, helping you get to the root of why you think and feel the way you do. Then I use things like functional fitness, holistic nutrition, mindset and self-love tools to help you connect with yourself on a deeper level, see things from a new perspective, and unlearn habits that no longer serve you so you can take up space, step into your power, and become the woman of your dreams (friendly reminder: she has been YOU all along). Welcome to The Fit Flamingo! I’m so glad you’re here.