How to Fall in Love with Movement This Fall

Photo Credit: Martin Dee / UBC Brand & Marketing


Welcome back UBC! By now, hopefully, you’ve settled down after all the back-to-school excitement and you’re ready to set some goals for the new academic year!

One common goal upon returning to school is the commitment to exercise, which I 100% understand, given how great exercise is at mediating all the stresses of being a student! But let’s face it. While most of us know that exercise is good for us, it can be hard to turn our intention into action. I’ve been here before. I used to treat exercise as a chore and something to cross off my checklist, which made it difficult to stick with in the long run. 

Today, I see movement as an integral part of my well-being. I feel happy and grateful that I’ve shifted my perspective on exercise. Now it’s something I look forward to every day.

But how? I fell in love with movement.

I am no dating expert, but my hope is that I can also help you fall in love with movement. By transforming your intention and perspective – moving can feel more effortless and enjoyable!


Here are 3 ways to fall in love with movement this Fall:

1) Experiment with a variety of movements

Lucky for us, movement comes in many forms. Some forms might not be our favourite (confession: for me, it’s running), but there are bound to be a few that fill your cup! So, how do you find which forms of movement are compatible with you? Experiment! Some student-friendly options to sample a variety of ways to move include:

  • Day of the Longboat, the largest voyageur canoe race in the world held at Jericho Beach ($15/person if signing up as a Free Agent or $150/team, register here before September 19th, 2022 at 11:59 pm)
  • Move More, Learn More, a 7-week interactive health program for self-identifying Asian, two-spirit, non-binary, trans women and cis women that rotates students of the same cohort through a variety of fitness classes ($25 one-time fee, register here before October 5th, 2022 at 11:59 pm)
  • Gladiator, another classic UBC Intramurals event in which teams of 10 race through an inflatable obstacle course ($150/team, register here before October 31st, 2022 at 11:59 pm)
  • Gutterball Bowling, a night of bowling in teams of 4 hosted at Grandview Lanes by UBC Intramurals ($95/team, register here before November 15th, 2022 at 11:59 pm)
  • Student fitness memberships, which grant you access to both fitness centres on-campus and BirdCoop climbing cave ($40/term, available throughout the term for purchase here)

Figuring out what you don’t like is as equally important as figuring out what you do like, so you’ll be one step closer to finding the type of movement that works for you!

Photo Credit: Alfred Holmquist


2) Book a coaching session with the Move U Crew

If none of these options don’t sound like they work for you, UBC Recreation has more to offer! If you’d like to learn about options that are tailored to your interests, you can book a free, one-on-one, peer physical activity coaching session with a member of the Move U Crew to discuss options that cater to your interests!


3) Focus on how exercise makes you feel

A common motive to exercise is for appearance purposes. However, what if I told you that focusing on how your body feels (instead of how it looks) can help you strengthen your commitment to movement? According to a peer-reviewed study at Illinois State University, Shannon O’Hara and colleagues suggested that in contrast to focusing on bodily appearance, “Exercisers may allow themselves to reap both psychological and physical benefits associated with exercise by adopting a functional view of the body and focusing on the health benefits exercise provides.” These benefits include decreased feelings of objectification, less physique anxiety, increased intrinsic motivation, and guess what? Increased commitment to physical activity!

So, what are some ways you can pay attention to how exercise makes you feel? During and after your movement session, take a moment to check in with your body. How do you feel? More energized? Stronger? Happier? If it helps, write these feelings down, so you can remember why it’s worth falling in love with movement!


Figuring out what works for you may take time, and that’s okay. Good luck, UBC, you’ve got this!