Feeling rusty? Out of shape? Healthy body, healthy mind – goes the saying. Being fit is not about six-packs and beach bodies but about feeling great from within. From improving your mental health and keeping your heart in good shape to boosting your creativity and performance, there are tons of reasons for getting your move on. Especially these days when we are supposed to stay inside all day. Unfortunately, there are just as many excuses to skip exercise. We know them all. As part of The Wellness Starter Pack, we wrapped up our favorite books, apps, podcasts and educational videos that will inspire you to stop finding excuses and start getting fit.
When you exercise, your body releases endorphins. These natural opiate-like chemicals reduce your perception of pain and produce a feeling of euphoria, so the post-workout buzz is real! Working up a good sweat after spending the whole day sitting hunched over your computer can significantly turn your day (and eventually your life) around. Getting on the workout grind can be intimidating, there’s always something that gets in the way. So how do you get started? The good news is that by reading these lines, you’ve just made the first steps without even noticing.
Once you’re determined to make this lifestyle change, it’s all about taking baby steps. Focus on short-term goals so you don’t feel too overwhelmed. Finding a type of activity, making it your own and then sticking to it can be tricky, but the trickiest part of it all is actually getting started. Explore the list below to get all the science, motivation and inspiration for getting your workout groove on. After all, your music is not the only thing that you need to keep in tune.
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“Getting older is unavoidable, but falling apart is not.”
If you’re someone who needs a kick in the pants and can’t get enough reminders of why you should get started with exercise, check this out! Dr. John J. Ratey is a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and he was one of the first scientists to comprehensively investigate the connection between brain and exercise. This book contains tons of compelling details about the importance of exercise that’ll make you run out of lazy excuses.
“The idea of exercise has become too much of a synonym for punishment”
Now that you know that exercise is important, let’s find you some motivation. Sustainable behavioral change scientist Michelle Segar is aware that motivation doesn’t go on trees. Her easy-to-read book debunks the myths about what counts as exercise and instead helps you focus on opportunities to move. This less stressful way of seeing things will help you find motivation and change your old habits for good.
“And who can always feel at their best? I think that is why so many artists crash.”
Mia Olson is a professor at Berklee College of Music where she teaches flute, piano, and musician’s yoga. This practical book is really interesting even if you have no prior experience with yoga. It focuses on both exercise and mindfulness, and it combines the best of both worlds. So you’ll not only get a good stretch but also learn how to develop a focused and concentrated mind for your music performance, and strengthen that infamous mind-body connection.
What happens when you combine a fitness app with a zombie game? You’ll be scared of health! If you’re one of those people who think that only a zombie apocalypse would make you get up off your butt, your time has come. This highly immersive running game gets you inspired like nothing else. You can even mix your own playlists with 200+ action-packed missions. Walk, jog or run while becoming a hero!
Price: Free with optional premium subscription
Do you know what’s better than a free app? A free exercise app that gets your sweat on in just 7 minutes! Designed by exercise physiologist Chris Jordan, this app is simple and straight to the point. You can choose from dozens of exercises that you can tailor after your personal preferences to fit your own body’s strengths and limits. Get a taste of having a personal trainer, without coughing up the big bucks.
Here’s another personal trainer app for those who are willing to invest in their health but prefer to stay away from the gym. Think of it as a playlist for working out. The app offers personalized plans, direct access to certified personal fitness trainers, an impressive community for extra support and motivation, and endless resources for all fitness levels from total noobs to experienced athletes.
Price: Free with optional premium subscription, 7-days free trial
Guess we can all agree that Nike knows a thing or two about fitness and exercise. The cutting-edge brand’s first-ever podcast fills you up with all the information and inspiration you need to reach your full potential – straight from the source! Listen to innovative conversations with innovative people, centering around the five aspects of training: movement, mindset, recovery, nutrition, and sleep.
Who doesn’t love some quick and dirty tips when you have no idea where to start? If you want to stock up on easy-to-understand explanations and practical information about all things fitness, check out Brock Armstrong’s amazing podcast. Each week, the Get-Fit Guy shares expert advice on basically all known forms of exercise, always backed by scientific research. A source worth trusting for a healthier and happier lifestyle.
Although it’s been around for a while, the NHS’s nine-week running podcast will always be an excellent companion when it comes to improving your running technique and skill practice. This running plan is designed to get complete beginners from couch potato to running 5k. Sounds like a plan? You just need to invest in some running gear. Otherwise, it’s free, achievable and relatively easy, even though you might not think so in the beginning.
Dr. Wendy Suzuki is a professor of neuroscience and psychology, author and blogger, and if that would not be enough, she’s also an active fitness instructor! In this TED talk, the energetic scientist talks about the most transformative thing you can do for your brain: exercise! She digs deep into the powerful effects of physical activity and why doing a little effort today can have a major impact tomorrow.
Here’s another enlightening piece of content that starts with drawing a parallel between a Nintendo marketing campaign from 1995 and the usual sales point of exercise. Did we grab your attention? Exercise is not only underrated but often times misunderstood, and here’s your chance to learn why. After watching this video, you’ll be asking yourself how can working out not be at the top of your to-do list?
In this snappy animation, popular albeit controversial podcast host Joe Rogan and biomedical science expert, Dr. Rhonda Patrick discusses everything from the fear of discomfort to the mental health benefits of exercise. We can all relate to the feeling of not wanting to sweat and strain, but how can you get to the point when you crave the workout and actually feel sad about missing out on a session? Let’s find out!
Editor’s note: This article is part of The Wellness Starter Pack, which is a collection of videos, interviews, and articles exploring some of the most challenging health issues music makers experience today. Think of it as a toolbox for health, specifically created with music makers in mind.
The information within The Wellness Starter Pack is provided for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Seek the advice of a physician or a qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.