The negative connotation that has been linked to exercise for years leaves many people dreading it and feeling instant negativity around it. Despite having no personal negative interactions with exercise.
I see this a lot as a therapist.
I’ve had so many patients that take pride in stating that they’ve never liked exercise, and even post-surgery or after an injury, they still dread the thought of physical movement and activity.
Mind set is everything.
Exercise and weight loss has been marketed with negative scenarios & connotations for years and years.
Even those that are passionate about fitness or health are classified as weird or extreme.
At times, I feel it’s psychological manipulation to keep the masses overweight, sick and unmotivated …therefore, unhealthy, requiring many medications and doctor visits due to overall poor health.
The body craves movement, all of our internal systems work fully and optimally with physical activity.
It’s more about full body improvement as opposed to just working off the calories after a cheeseburger or wanting to just have an amazing figure.
Not to say that I haven’t started some of my workouts thinking about my physique or my ability to eat foods that I crave and still maintain my figure.
But it’s more of internal dialogue to work out harder. Not to place any negativity on fitness.
There are days that I have to push myself to get to the gym, whether it was an extremely busy day, a long day or my time of the month.
Although, I can say I always feel better and accomplished as I’m walking out of the gym, on the other side of my workout.
Working out improves me in so many ways, it’s therapy for my psyche, and sculpting for my figure. If I’m feeling anxious, it works anxiety right out of my system.
I think the negative connotations around exercise must be revamped, focusing on the goodness that comes out of exercise.
The way that it has the ability to prevent or relieve those suffering from depression, a diagnosis which is treated by a series of pills that serve as a psychological band-aid over the true problem.
Lower stress with exercise.
So many health benefits come from exercise, as I mentioned before, it’s also anxiety and stress relieving.
I remember days in kickboxing that I would punch harder and higher because I was thinking of a specific situation or person or interaction of that day.
Feeling that release of negative emotions by the end of the class.
Exercise and physical activity increases stress reducing hormones in the brain. Organically, without medications.
So how exactly does it address anxiety.
For me, the way that I know that I’m anxious about something it’s solely because of one physical symptom, I feel tightness in my chest.
And I realize that that is pent-up energy and emotion that can only be overcome with exercise. It also allows your brain to pull away from those feelings and emotions that you’re thinking about.
It also increases your circulation…cardio for instance, is great for anxiety and any type of irritability or negativity.
Exercise causes happiness.
I can feel the release of endorphins after finishing a workout. Even though I dread and never have been a leisurely runner, there is a saying called a “runner’s high”.
So this is a show of feel-good hormones that exercise releases. Always leaving you feeling better after your workout.
A confidence boost.
Increased confidence and self-esteem comes from exercise, whether you’re losing weight slowly or the pounds or just melting away.
It’s a change in self-image and perception as well as feelings of accomplishment and pride.
The determination to physically challenge yourself and reach those daily goals each time you attend the gym.
What about changes in the bedroom, for the better.
Boosted self-esteem and self-image will directly translate into the intimate parts of your life.
Women will feel more attractive and desirable, improving confidence in the bedroom overall, men who exercise regularly will have improved function and performance.
So each gender would find improvement in this area. One more reason to start that work out.
Outdoor Fitness helps you to expand your horizons.
There are many walking paths around lakes and rivers, Lakeside parks that are safe and inviting for outdoor workouts.
Whether you’re going for a run or a bike ride, finding new paths to discover will give you the opportunity of seeing your hometown in a way you’ve never by car.
You’re able to enjoy the outdoors & connect with nature which also has mood-boosting benefits.
A healthy metabolism needs at least 7 hours of sleep to maintain fat burning abilities. Not only do you feel happier and well-rested, but also avoid the irritability that comes from a lack of sleep.
By incorporating fitness into your day you will sleep deeper, due to that physical expenditure of energy.
Exercise is a catalyst for increased productivity. Once you plan & complete a workout, you continue to have that feeling of industriousness throughout the day.
Studies have shown that people that commit to workouts as a set routine, are more efficient and organized than ones that have chosen a sedentary lifestyle.
If you hit a roadblock with creativity during a project or problem-solving … stop and take a quick walk or get a workout in, if possible… it may be just the punch your creativity needs to overcome that mental block.
Physical activity makes you stronger and improves joint stability and safety.
Joint and muscle injuries stem from muscle tightness and a lack of flexibility. Your muscles and joints crave movement and physical activity.
Especially as someone gets older, pulled muscles become more common while doing everyday activities that have nothing to do with fitness.
These are injuries that lead people to become even more sedentary which adds to the overall aging process and slows down recovery.
These injuries will continue to occur if exercise and stretching is not a consistent routine or habit.
Exercise is more than just Skin Deep. Physical activity directly benefits brain functions and concentration. Studies have shown a significant benefit to memory as well as cognition, due to improved cell production and regeneration.
Strengthens your immunity.
Exercise not only slows down physical changes that are commonly attributed to the aging process, but it also improves the immune system maintaining overall health and wellness. Which decreases many types of infections or sicknesses that may afflict someone with a weakened immune system.
Working out in groups…
As this pandemic has changed our “normal” in every facet of life.
The gym is also a location that we now approach very differently.
I personally have put my gym membership on hold for the next few months, due to these unprecedented times.
So group workouts may be done away with well into the upcoming future.
But you can still enjoy other physical activities, whether it’s going for a walk around your neighborhood, trying out a new sport or even going out for a run.
Whatever fitness routine you enjoy, there are many Facebook groups for every topic and activity.
So the ability to find your community online maybe a good choice in the meantime. Finding a connection or community in fitness is possible, even in times like this.
Be determined to approach fitness with positivity and the proper mindset.
Don’t allow yourself to be bogged down with the media’s portrayal of physical activity or exercise to be something that is dreaded or despised.
Your body hears everything your mind says.
Positive thinking equals positive results.