When was the last time you truly enjoyed exercising?
To stay fit and healthy, it’s important that we all get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. But we all have those friends who live at the gym and complain if they miss it for fear of not burning off their last meal.
Many people workout for all the wrong reasons. They look at being fit as a way to be more attractive or to make more friends. But these are superficial reasons that stem from low self-esteem. To them, working out may become a compulsion that arises out of the fear of being left behind. This is even more heightened in a city like L.A., where appearances are more important than they might be in other cities.
So it’s time to ask yourself: do I have a healthy relationship with exercise? Here’s how to know.
Use Your Intuition
While it’s good to have fitness goals and plans, try not to be too rigid about sticking to these. Instead, check in with your body and understand the movements that work best for you. Are you in the mood for an intense HIIT workout or a gentle yoga session? Pay attention to the needs of your body rather than blindly working out to lose pounds.
Work to Feel Good, Not Just Look Good
Beyond working out simply to look good, your goal should be to feel good. By focusing on and starting to enjoy the feeling of moving your body, the rewards are much greater and also instantaneous. It may not happen immediately, but you can work towards genuinely loving exercise. Stop working out because you think your body isn’t good enough, but try to enjoy and appreciate how strong your body is and can be.
Don’t Punish Your Body
Never exercise for the sole purpose of burning calories or to penalize yourself for overeating. This is a dangerous practice that could lead to injuries or binge-eating. It may bring you the short-term results you want but is not sustainable in the long run. Think of working out as something you do to care for your body rather than punish it.
To have a healthy relationship with fitness, it is important not to look at it as a chore. Think about working out as something that makes you feel great while keeping you physically fit. Remember, exercise is something you do for yourself. If others are pressuring you to hit the gym, try to teach yourself to trust your intuition once again and do what’s best for you.
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