Fuel Yourself//

Your All-or-Nothing Mentality Could Be Holding You Back From Your Movement Goals

“Count every opportunity to move as valid and choose to take it.”

santypan / Shutterstock
santypan / Shutterstock

When it comes to fitting movement into the day, many of us are stuck with an all-or-nothing mentality. We only feel accomplished when we hit 10,000 steps or fit in a full hour at the gym, and brush off the other efforts we make to get our bodies up and moving. But that perspective can hinder our progress. Our perfectionist definitions of “what counts” are actually holding us back from reaching our full movement potential, says Michelle Segar, Ph.D., the director of the University of Michigan’s Sport, Health, and Activity Research and Policy Center.

“Most people’s beliefs reflect the ‘no pain, no gain’ philosophy. The problem is when people believe that exercise is only worth doing if it meets specific standards of duration, intensity, and activity type — they have rigid, fixed definitions and goals,” Segar tells Thrive. And of course, the truth is that any amount of exercise is worthwhile!

Practicing the Microstep of getting off public transit one stop earlier is a valuable way to add more physical activity to your day, but it could be your perspective that’s holding you back from truly putting your Microstep into action. If you still have the mindset that it’s only a long, sweaty workout that’s truly “worthwhile,” you’ll be less likely to value the movement you’re getting from your Microstep. It’s worth reminding yourself that every bit of movement is worthwhile. “Count every opportunity to move as valid, and choose to take it. Know that any and all movement is worth doing, and will benefit our mood and energy level immediately,” Segar says. 

The benefits of small bouts of movement, like taking the last leg of your commute on foot, affect more than just your mood. Segar points out that moving around for just a few minutes can boost energy and executive function, and reduce stress. What’s more, it can reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s and cancer, while improving cardiovascular health. So if you’re still letting that all-or-nothing mentality get the best of you, it’s time to think again: Any type of movement, big or small, will have a positive impact on your health, and your Microstep will help you get there. 

Follow us here and subscribe here for all the latest news on how you can keep Thriving.

Stay up to date or catch-up on all our podcasts with Arianna Huffington here.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

F Armstrong Photography / Shutterstock
Fuel Yourself//

This Mentality Is Holding You Back From Finding More Movement During Your Day

by Jessica Hicks
Dirima / Shutterstock
Thriving in the New Normal//

Struggling to Stay Active? All You Need Is a Few Minutes.

by Jessica Hicks

How to Make Movement Part of Your Daily Life and Why It Matters

by Thrive Global Staff

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.