Exercise & Movement just needs to be nice and simple

The 5x50 challenge is a great idea. Keep it nice and simple. Exercise and movement needs to be just that? If you end up making it all encompassing, high stakes, do or die then I fully believe you will not change habits; you will simply front end load your exercise activities for a few months and then revert back to your old ways. Or burn yourself out and end up with long-term injuries. There is a growing evidence base of little and often not do or die!

However let me tell you a brief story of why I feel exercise and movement is important. In 1996 our first child Elizabeth was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Through the three years leading to her death aged 3 I exercised to keep fit, or just enough to care for a terminally ill child 24/7. 3 years of sleepless nights took its toll and when she died in 1999 we were both completely exhausted. Not just physically tired, I mean bone tired; fatigue does not describe it. There was no get out, or DNF or DNS, this race had only one end, the death of a child.

Men, I think, respond differently to these sorts of critical times, we can become introverted and I was no different. This time I exercised to exorcise demons. It did not work and does not work. To cut a very long story short (15 years and counting) I was saved from the beating I was giving myself by a friend's wife, Pat, who invited me to attend an Iyengar Yoga class a few months after Elizabeth's death. Integrating a movement practice; making movement and exercise part of what I did changed me. I found compassion in my own movement and simply finding balance in being. The 5 by 50 challenge is about changing habits for a lifetime. Physically anyone can improve their physical fitness but the long-term effects on mental health also need to be stressed. You can find stillness in your exercise practice. You learn to breath and smile again! Your relationships improve, your clarity of purpose and a feeling of centred stillness is generated. You have more time for others. You let go of anger and open up.

So go for a walk, practice T'ai Chi, cycle with your friends; be generous to yourself and take 30 minutes out everyday for you. Avoid the reward of that glass of wine and reward yourself with a walk!

Nick Constantine, Soul in Motion

About 5x50

5x50 Challenge started with a vision to make people who are inactive become more active. Challengers become part of something that inspires, motivates, encourages you to live a healthier lifestyle. 5x50 Challenges are open to all. Individuals or groups regardless of age, health condition/ disability or fitness level can take part.

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