Movement is life. Like breathing, if we didn’t inhale or exhale, we would not live. If our hearts did not pump blood through our body we would be starved of oxygen and nutrients and would die… our body constantly moves to keep us alive, but how much do we move to keep the body alive? Truly alive and kicking?

Most of us are fortunate enough to have a properly functioning body – without any physical limitations or disability. Yet we use our bodies less and less, slowly causing it to degenerate. Lack of use and immobility causes the body to slow down and creates dis-ease.

Life, on the other hand, is vibrant, full of energy and movement. Just think about it for a minute. Do you see life as deadness? No, I’m sure not (and if you do you might need some therapy here). Yet we move along life, doing a great job of creating deadness to our own wellbeing.

People who exercise, maintaining their bodies and youthful appearance, have high energy levels, better mood levels and confidence – because they feel good, have positive inner strength, higher fat burning levels, and the list goes and on…

Over the last decade or so, health and fitness topics have become ever more popular and most people have a pretty good idea of the basics, the knowledge of why exercise and movement are good for us. Yet how many people truly practice this regularly? It is a known fact that we are producing a society of people with higher than standard body fat from a young age, where 7-9-year-old children are typically overweight. This is due mainly to lack of movement and exercise. With the advancement of technology, we have become a more sedentary species, but our food intake has not altered accordingly, hence a disproportion of energy expenditure.

There is no excuse. There are plenty of books available on the market and we now have personal trainers at our disposal. The only thing that stops people is their mind and will. That also can be worked on of course. Ask yourself, what is really stopping me here?

For further guidance on mind and body awareness, exercises, foods, health and wellbeing you can contact or refer to the recommended reading list.

For recommendations and a consultation on what type of physical routine would benefit you or any other enquiries you may have, contact

It is important to have a suitable programme. If it is mismatched, it will not last. A personal programme takes into account your personality type, time, current lifestyle, location, equipment, medical issues, frequency, and your aims and goals. Therefore it is important to have a thorough consultation in order to make the right choice of exercises and the introduction of positive habits, which will suit your health and wellbeing, and more importantly, the likelihood of you adhering to it. Boredom, distractions, crowded and smelly gyms, location, type of exercise and lack of time are all reasons people become demotivated and drop out after the initial burst of enthusiasm.

Take the time to evaluate what kind of routine benefits you the most. I can guide and advise you to find the best routine to suit the way you live…

For those who have already started, or see exercise as non-optional, book it into your calendar as with any other engagement and adhere to it. The only time you break it is if you are under the weather and truly too tired to go through with it. Sometimes a rest is as valuable as working the body. By listening to it though you have a more finely tuned knowledge of when to push, and when to pull back and lay off. This comes with practice and in time. Gone are the days of overworking the body. Forget the mantra no pain no gain. Abolish it from your sphere.

Try and keep to your exercise on the scheduled day. With time you can be flexible but until it is a part of your lifestyle, and the body knows that it gets exercised, try and keep to your schedule. Let it become part of your life, like brushing your teeth daily. Make it a priority and stick with it. I can tell you now, the moment you start you will be faced with distractions and you will be tempted to put it aside. For example, your boss asks you to stay late. Just say NO and that you have another engagement, which is true. Keep with your schedule and avoid cancelling on the designated day. If anything, just shift it to another time on that same day. Try avoiding exercise at the end of the day though, as firstly it will keep the body too alert and may affect your sleep, secondly, you won’t have time to reschedule. A very important fact.

Say you have a scheduled yoga class and couldn’t make it for whatever reason. Do something else. Jog, go for a walk, stretch and see how much you can remember from your class, follow an exercise video, anything so as to not miss it out altogether. You are instilling new habits and it does take quite a bit for the mind and body to adjust to the new routine.

Take charge of your scheduling
Empower yourself through committed effort. Reward yourself by placing a gold star on your calendar where you can see your efforts, or place £1 in a jar and buy yourself a new pair of trainers, training gear or whatever you might want. Treat yourself by going out to dinner or the movies at the end of the month.

Combine the exercise with something you love:

  • * Reading on a stationary bike
  • * Running outside in nature
  • * Catch up with a friend while jogging or power walking. Great way to do two great things and time effective!

If you are feeling a bit lazy, which happens to all of us, then trick yourself into doing only… 10 minutes. Almost always you will have run or performed for longer than you initially felt like doing. And if not, that’s OK.

Use your mind to visualise your change
Develop the changes by visualising yourself in action exercising, changing your physique, looking healthier, feeling light and strong, becoming leaner, receiving compliments. This helps you to maintain your objective and this technique can be applied to absolutely anything you want. Try it. Results will depend on where you are at currently. For example, if you are very overweight and put this technique into practice you will get there, but it takes longer than someone who has already been exercising periodically and really wants to get into shape. The chances are high that the exerciser will achieve that goal sooner, as the body has already been primed and all it took was a kick in their resolution to achieve the end result by visualising.

Be patient with your progress
It has probably taken you some time to pile on that weight of body fat, why expect it to go in a few weeks? Really! Patience and persistence is the key. The great thing is that once you start seeing slight changes it will motivate you to carry on. Be it with any change that is being made. Every step is towards the end. Do not believe in these detox hypes. They mess with your body, your metabolic rate and do more harm than good. Ensure that a qualified nutritionist supervises you before making any drastic change to the diet. If you know you junk out, then quite that. If you comfort eat on sweets sugary stuff, knock it off. You are in charge of yourself.

Health and wellbeing are built gradually. Do not be put off by this. We are in an age of instant results and gratification. No wonder we are set up for disappointments. Build it up slowly. Any change takes a while but if you do it enough and regularly it will become a lifetime positive habit. Walk everywhere as much as you can. Take the stairs, walk up escalators, take up dancing, riding, a form of sport you enjoy.

 Be the gift to yourself and those around you.

© Rafah Sabbagh 2003

Copyright (c) 2018 by Rafah Sabbagh. All rights reserved. You may quote, copy, translate and link to this article, in its entirety, on free, non-donation based websites only, as long as you include the author name and a working link back to this website. All other uses are strictly prohibited.