Your body is your temple, you do your body good, and your body will do you good.Floyd Joy Mayweather Jr.
For most people, starting an exercise regime is usually driven by a dissatisfaction of some physical aspect of their body:
“I want to drop X amount of weight”, or “I want firmer butt.”
Does this sound familiar? There’s nothing wrong with it. It means you have a clear goal and you’re being driven by a future image of yourself, slimmer and firmer which will surely get you motivated.
However, when this is the only reason for exercise, it can turn into a chore. And nobody likes chores.
An important mental shift
After exercising for a while, before you see any obvious visual changes to your body, you notice a change beginning to take place on the mental side. And this is all good!
You see improvements in your mood and overall well being. The body starts to feel more energetic, and the mind feels refreshed.
When we start to really pay attention to these feelings and tap into them, we become more positive about ourselves and our bodies. Instead of talking to ourselves in a negative tone and looking at our bodies critically, we can relate to our bodies with positive enthusiasm:
“Today I was able to do one push-up with straight legs!”
Even the slightest success in exercise brings joy, body positivity and elevates mood, increasing the feeling of appreciation and self-love.
After a while, with all this going on, you find it hard to imagine your life without exercise.
The tighter glutes you wanted are no longer what drives you to exercise, but the feeling of holistic wellbeing and self-love. Exercise becomes something you look forward to doing, instead of just another task on your to-do list.
Exercising means taking care of yourself
In the past, exercise was a matter of course for me. I have been involved in competitive sports since I was young. My friends, family, and work revolved around the sports I was doing. I never questioned why I was exercising. It just belonged in my life, like breathing.
By now, almost in my forties, exercising has found a new form in my life. The meaning behind exercise has changed.
Now, working out means only one thing for me: taking care of myself.
And don’t get me wrong now, I can also take it easy. But without being active, I don’t feel mentally well. Working out helps me manage my stress levels as well as all the physical health benefits.
Quality time for yourself
I’m happy to say that I’m pretty good friends with my body these days, and that wasn’t always the case. Exercise has become a way for me to tell myself that “hey, I care about you”, and I take time for myself. It is me-time.
It’s good to remember that exercise shouldn’t be one extra appointment on your calendar that takes time out of your already busy daily schedule. Exercise should be a quality time for you—the moment you take care of yourself. And by the way, taking care of yourself also means having a laugh and enjoying the workout!
When exercise brings you joy, it is the best love you can give yourself.
Turn your exercise routine into a self-love practice
Here are my top tips for making exercise a priority in your life:
1 – Plan your workouts ahead of time
Planning is half of the workout done! When you plan ahead, it is more likely you are not going to skip exercise.
2 – Make your workouts ‘Me Time’
Just like mentioned before, keep in mind, working out should be your quality time and not another stressful event in your day. Create space for yourself, free from distraction and with everything you need to make it ‘you time’ – that includes your favorite music, or peace and quiet!
3 – Listen to your body
An old cliché? Often, I have found that it is worthwhile to observe whether your body is tired or is just your mind overloaded. If you feel exhausted, for example, light exercise might help better than collapsing to your couch.
And remember to appreciate your body for everything it does for you.
I wish you happy workout moments.
We can do this! x Teija