The entire workout culture is usually perceived as revolving around cultural beauty standards. It all comes down to fat banishing, getting a thigh gap or whatever the current fitness trend is.
There is probably not a single soul out there that hasn’t fallen in the trap of working out only to lose weight or tone up. It is seen as a means to be fit.
While there is nothing wrong with staying in shape, an image-obsessed society has a detrimental effect on self-esteem and health in general.
Exercising and physical activity should be about self-care and self-improvement. And health goals should come first.
Let’s take a deeper look at some of the body-positive reasons to get moving that have nothing to do with obtaining a certain social ideal.
Get in Touch With Your Body
Some workouts require you to pay attention to what’s going on with your body. When you are doing bodyweight exercises, weightlifting or yoga, you need to focus on your breathing, your moves, and particular muscles.
This practice urges you to be mentally engaged and mindful. And when you completely immerse yourself in the workout, that’s when the magic happens.
You get to perform better and you feel like the exercises are easier than they truly are. When you focus on what you are doing at the moment you can do much more than when you are zoned-out.
Connect With Nature
There is a plethora of physical activity to choose from, and you should always follow your gut. Whatever suits you and makes you come back for more – go for it!
But while we are at it, bear in mind that outdoor activities come with a range of health benefits like improved mood and sleep patterns, and reduced anxiety and stress.
Exercising in nature gets you more than a slimmer waist. For instance, besides physical health, running has mental, social and psychological benefits.
Staying mindful will connect you with nature and help you expand your awareness of your environment. And this affects your physical and mental wellbeing.
Getting stronger is one of the best reasons to work out. When you push your body past its limits it will get more powerful, and you will feel more independent and safer too.
Strength exercises can be done almost anywhere. There are plenty of helpful home workout videos you can do without leaving your house.
Even when it comes to weightlifting, it is no longer reserved for the gym only.
Gaining strength and doing more reps, lifting a heavier weight or pulling off a hard yoga pose is an empowering feeling.
Tackle Chronic Pain
If you are dealing with any kind of chronic pain working out can be a life-changer. Especially when it comes to chronic back pain, regular exercises are crucial for relief.
Chronic back pain is related to poor posture or muscular imbalance. Strengthening your core and back muscles can do wonders.
Working out improves your flexibility, your posture, and your mobility while reducing the risk of injury at the same time.
Transform the Relationship With Your Body
Being mindful while exercising helps you stay in the moment and feel your strength as you work out. By focusing on what you are accomplishing, you will not only feel better in your skin but you will also get the most out of each exercise.
Mindfulness during fitness routine helps you build a stronger relationship with your body and enhances the mind-body connection. You can feel your muscles working and gain a greater appreciation for what your body does for you.
Adopting a mindful approach to working out greatly influences our body image, our physical results and the joy of the experience.
All of these things are linked together – when you get stronger, perform better and appreciate your body’s capabilities you get to feel more confident too.
Especially when you overcome some obstacles or push yourself beyond what you thought were your limits.
According to research, engaging in physical activity also boosts body image.
Improve Your Mood
There is no doubt about it – exercise makes you feel better. Even when you are tired or not feeling your best working out gets you more energized and improves your mood.
When you work out your body releases the so-called “happy” hormones like dopamine and endorphin that trigger a feel-good sensation. That’s why we feel happy and rejuvenated after the training session.
Even if you are traveling for business frequently, you don’t have to sacrifice your fitness routine and a boost of uplifting sensations. You can squeeze in a workout on your business trip if you prepare well!
Exercise does more than blowing off some steam. It is known to release tension and reduce the level of the stress hormone cortisol healthily.
Working out can serve as an emotional outlet and a way to de-stress. It helps to clear your head on a stressful day. And it works even in the long run, meaning that your stress resilience increases both to physical and mental pressure.
Be proud of your journey and don’t compare yourself to others. Make a conscious effort to be kind and patient with yourself.
Self-acceptance and self-compassion are crucial both to staying consistent with workouts and to your mental health.