The Surprising Ways Exercise Can Help You Embrace Your Body
Do you often hear people say “I need to hit the gym, my thighs are too big” or “I need to start lifting weights, my arms are too fat”? If you ever used these or similar phrases get yourself to exercise, just know that there are so many other, more important and healthier reasons why you should take up physical activity. And once you start working out because you want to better yourself and not because you want to change the way you look, you will grow to love your body, embrace its flaws and find a healthy way to improve your physical appearance and fitness.
Here are all the ways mindful exercise will make your life better and improve your relationship with your body.
It will bring you closer to your body
Certain workouts really require you to focus on the way your body moves, your muscles flex and your tendons stretch. Often, working out is as much a mental activity as it is physical. These mindful movements help you understand your body, build a better relationship with it and make you more comfortable in your skin. All of these things allow you to boost confidence and embrace your body. As you progress with your exercises, you will notice you have a newfound respect for your body that will change not only your attitude towards exercising and your physical appearance, but also the way you carry yourself, the way you walk, dress and treat your body.
It helps relieve stress
Did you have a stressful day at work or university? Do you just feel like venting for no reason? Well, instead of burying your feelings or letting your family and friends suffer your built-up stress, blow off some steam in the gym or on the trek. Physical activity is one of the best ways to relieve stress and tension. It’s healthy for your body, beneficial for your mind and harmless to your surroundings. Plus, exercise can be so much fun! It also provides you with “me time” you often lack. When you lift weights, run or cycle, you can be alone with your thoughts, think about your life and make some great decisions. It’s like meditation but in movement.
It will make you stronger
No matter what you like to do, run, lift or play a certain sport, exercise will push your body to its limits and allow it to become stronger and more resilient. It’s one of the best effects of exercise—seeing yourself become more capable, independent and safer. There are amazing workouts that concentrate on pushing boundaries instead of losing weight. For instance, martial arts are an amazing way to get plenty of physical activity and boost your strength, but also exercise your brain and improve your balance, mobility and safety. Plus, you can practice them both inside and outside, alone or in a group, during the summer and during the winter. You will feel amazing once you realize you can carry all your groceries in one trip or tackle all your furniture moving without any help!
It will allow you to see all the great things you can do
No matter how your body looks like, it still functions and allows you to do all those amazing exercises, moves and lifts. Your body is one mean machine that provides you with countless benefits. So, instead of obsessing over things you hate about your body, mindful exercise will give you reasons to be proud of it and its achievements. As you stay true to your training, you will get to see your body improve, get stronger and more capable. That’s the real miracle of exercise, not some silly numbers on a scale.
It will help you fight your inner perfectionist
Many people who struggle with negative self-image only see things their bodies can’t do and go through life not knowing what their bodies are capable of. So, once you hit the gym, you will learn that you can improve and learn new behaviors, but also realize that no matter how much you exercise you will never be perfect. And guess what—that’s totally okay. You might never get that six-pack but you can do a whole lot of sit-ups. You might never run a marathon, but you can have a nice trail run. Don’t focus on your imperfections, but love your strengths.
Mindful exercise might not come overnight, but as you stay motivated and positive, you will slowly start to work out because you love your body, not because you hate it. This is when the real change happens and when your life becomes filled with love, acceptance and health.
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