Our guest today is the inspiring Dr. Kelly McGonigal and she is here to talk about her new book, The Joy of Movement. Dr. McGonigal is a professor at Stanford University, where she is immersed in the study and practice of movement and exercise as foundational aspects of human flourishing. She teaches a dance class and is involved in many other initiatives helping people from all different backgrounds and areas of life, find joy and health through motion. Dr. McGonigal tells us a bit about her book, the inspiration behind it and who she imagines it helping the most.
We also discuss how she decided to include her own story in its contents, personalizing the writing process and bringing the readers into her world. Our guest also gives us some great insight into the building blocks of what she does, talking about relatively recent discoveries around the importance of muscles in our psychological states and more. Viewed through the lens of evolution, movement can be seen as a necessary and enriching part of life and Kelly explains exactly why this is and how movement has made up a big part of social engagement and contribution. To finish off, she talks about ways that movement can be adopted from a potentially oppositional stance and how following what you love is the key to a great exercise practice.
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- An introduction to Dr. McGonigal’s work and interest in movement and health. [6:31]
- The role of dance in dealing with stress and experiencing joy. [7:59]
- How Dr. McGonigal meets people where they are and finds access points for them. [10:34]
- The jumping-off point for the book and the audience she wrote it for. [14:05]
- Dr. McGonigal’s enjoyment in the writing process and including her own story. [17:39]
- The newly discovered role of muscles in our bodies and the idea of ‘hope molecules’. [20:01]
- The evolution of humankind and the rewards for social engagement and contribution. [22:54]
- Solutions for portions of the population who are averse to movement and exercise. [30:05]
- The value of progress in exercise and how this differs from case to case. [34:13]
- Overcoming obstacles and fear and how movement can aid people on their journey. [40:21]
- The everyday application of different exercises and the empowerment of physicality. [43:57]
- Verbal affirmations, inner mantras and the internalization of positive associations. [45:50]
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