If I look too closely at the world today it can be quite disheartening to me. I see a lot of negative things that I don’t quite understand including, why people say one thing but do another. I wonder if they truly see themselves, know who they are or, are connected to themselves. I hear from so many people how they want to get in better shape, lose weight, gain muscle, get more energy, sleep better, be happier over all, get out of muscular pain, and much more but then don’t follow through. Reaching your fitness goals takes integrity of self. What do I mean by that? Well, it’s being honest with yourself and keeping your word to, you. The true benefits of exercise have less to do with how you think you’ll ‘look’ after a few weeks and more to do with your health overall.
One of the purposes’ of life is to know yourself, knowing who you are and what your personal strengths and weaknesses are. For example, I know that I don’t like to commit unless I can be sure that I can be committed to something whether it is for an appointment, an outing with a friend, a meeting, and yes, even a relationship. I typically will tell my friends ‘maybe’ when invited to events unless I know I’ll go for sure because I don’t want to feel as if I lied or disappointed. I like to keep my word. If I say I’m going to do something I will typically do it. Of course I’m not perfect and at times have pulled out of something I committed to but, I am always mindful of this and try not to do it. This is an example of knowing yourself and holding yourself to a higher standard. The same can be said for your health and fitness goals.
If your goal is to get fit and healthier then you start exercising and moving your body more. You include this into your daily or weekly routine and make it a habit for life not, just for an event. If you want to lose weight and have more energy you start to watch your portion sizes, eat more fruits and vegetables and, less processed crap. You don’t go on some kind of fad short term diet because ultimately you’ll gain back the weight you lost, feel discouraged and feel yes, like crap. It’s about creating daily healthy habits for life such as, drinking at least 1.5-2 liters of good quality of water between meals for the fluidity of the fascia but, not just for an unhealthy and restrictive 2-3 week cleanse or, fad diet.
Really delving into yourself and asking those tough questions as to why you want to lose weight and what you think you’ll get from it is a great first step into possibly setting these habits. If you think you’ll get more attention from a man or woman and be ‘loved’ more you’ll fail. Loving yourself first and foremost is needed. Creating healthy habits such as exercise and eating good quality foods is putting into practical application the love of self. This is how you’ll reach your goals and, they will last. Any time you do it for someone else or for a reason that is superficial you’ll fail and end up miserable wondering what the point is anyway.
When you love yourself and have a higher sense of self-worth from within you will start to do the things that reflect that including, exercising, eating right, sleeping better, and being happier overall. It’s not about material things, not about money, or, changing how you look to please someone else. If your purpose for improving your health is to help you to be a better person or to better your higher purpose to create a rippling effect of health then this is can be everlasting.
To simply wish to look better physically to gain the acceptance of others never lasts because it’s superficial and, fleeting not to mention, trying to live up to society’s unrealistic expectations is impossible. You’ll end up looking for a quick fix and for each fad diet or exercise program you try you’ll end up more and more dissatisfied and depressed when your attempts fail. Realize that the benefits of exercise rarely translate into the perfect physical body you may idealize in your head. Your body will change its’ shape depending a myriad of factors however, below are the true benefits of exercise that may give you pause to think about why you do it and, perhaps to make you be more consistent with it.
1. Decrease stress – crazy day with screaming kids or business meetings and the right kind of exercise program can decrease stress thereby making you feel better and able to cope.
Increases endorphins – makes you feel happier and studies have shown it to be better than anti-depressants on managing your depression.
2. Increases self-confidence and self-esteem – if you consistently feel bad about yourself and question everything you do exercise can help you to be more confident with your daily decisions.
3. Increases cognitive activity – getting older doesn’t have to equate into all those negative aging assumptions people have. Exercise can actually increase your cognitive abilities as you age.
4. Decrease anxiety – I know people who are on anti-anxiety medications and still have bad anxiety. Well, why don’t you go ahead and use a more natural means such as exercise because that is a much better method with positive side effects.
5. Increases creativity – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to the gym had a great sweat breaking session and come out of it with new creative ideas for business. It can boost creativity for up to 2 hours afterwards. Imagine what you could come up with for your own business or family life!
6. Creates a healthy rippling effect in the world – if you thought what you do doesn’t matter you’re wrong. We are all connected to each other and not separate. Exercising to better your-self will help to inspire your friends, family and co-workers.
So, as you can see I did not mention one thing about being ‘ripped’ or having 6 pack abs. We are a society that values the wrong things including peoples’ physical appearance way too much. We’ve forgotten that we are not simply bodies but are spiritual beings in physical bodies. To solely focus on how you look will lead to misery and depression not to mention a lot of wasted time money and pain on plastic surgery. Embrace your strengths and be a powerful you. Create a better outlook and exercise for the love of movement as well as for all the other true benefits of exercise that will be everlasting and, beyond the physical.