Happy, Healthy Body – Change Your Approach
The other day my girlfriend and I were talking about our all or nothing approach to fitness. We are both aiming for a more balanced approach going forward. I think some of us have struggled to make physical fitness a regular part of your daily routine, like showering or brushing your teeth. Especially during the challenging moments in our lives, right? In the moments of the ebb to our flow, or times of healing. We are all aware of the amazing health benefits that exercise gives us both physically, emotionally and mentally. My execution was faulty. I think in the past I was overthinking the specifics of my fitness plan. Or possibly I was being too ambitious by relentlessly pushing myself to do too much. My intentions were always good in the beginning, but after a few days or weeks, my desire and drive would start to fade. This always seemed to ultimately leave me feeling very disappointed in myself. My experience literally reminded me of that quote that says, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” By completely changing my approach and mindset to fitness, I was able to turn it into something I wanted to do everyday. Exercise is more enjoyable for me after I let go of the dread of working out. I realized I held an unloving expectation of myself by pushing myself too hard regardless of how my body felt. By the way, this is not the same as challenging yourself during your workout.
The shift happened when I aimed to move my body according to my unique needs and schedule for that day. I allowed myself to make allowances for my hormones, sleep schedule, emotions, or how I was coping with life that day. I did this, not by letting myself off the hook, but by really tuning into what type of exercise my mind and body craved. I like to call it compassionate accountability. Don’t get me wrong, I still held myself accountable to move my body every day. My daily exercise habits are motivated not only from the amazing health benefits I receive, but most importantly, I consider exercise an act of self love. Exercise became a self nurturing behavior rather than a self punishing one. I will try to explain what I mean. For example, sometimes I wanted to be in nature and walk at a lower intensity to the park or near water, enjoying the fresh air and birds chirping. Other times I wanted to alternate walking and sprinting at the park so I could push myself and sweat more. Some days I wanted to dance and jump on my rebounder with weights. I loved reaching new personal records lifting weights. I paid attention to the days I needed to spend more time stretching certain areas of my body. After a few months of this approach, my body wanted more of a challenge and to move everyday. A win win in my book. This goes along with my philosophy that exercise should be something you love doing, so that you will continue.
I encourage all of you to not only move your body everyday, but check in with yourself first, so you are nurturing your body with movement as well. If you change your approach to exercise, hopefully you can enjoy a happier, healthy body.
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