It seems the modern age demands physical perfection more than any other age up to now. We’re constantly bombarded with beauty products, organic food, and impossible exercise routines. The high standard the media enforces can do more harm than good, though. Now more than ever, people are exercising because of body shaming, not out of self-love. We seem to have forgotten that our imperfections make us unique and human and that perfection is overrated. In that spirit, use exercise as a means of taking care of yourself, not as a punishment.
1. Take it slow
You don’t have to go big or go home on this one. In fact, it’s advisable to take it slow, especially if you haven’t been big on exercise up to now. Remember that it’s all about your well-being, so push your boundaries gradually. Start with taking more frequent walks around the neighbourhood or cycling every time you get the chance.
These simple exercises will keep you moving and introduce you to the benefits of exercise. You’ll notice that a relaxed regime without added pressure keeps you more energized and prompts the production of happy hormones. Your body will also get rid of tension more easily and process stress better. Then you can try taking up yoga or Pilates classes and finally, move up to high-intensity regimes.
2. Wake up your sense of adventure
Sometimes you can’t see how beautiful you are because you’ve been stuck in the same routine for ages. It gets hard to escape the same old thoughts you’ve always had because you’re constantly in the same environment and pattern. Your daily life may be preventing you from seeing your worth and having a healthy body and mind.
So focus on something else. When was the last time you did something fun and wild? Take up hiking, start monthly fitness challenges, go rollerblading, or walk a foreign land. All of these should be enough to get you out of your rut and make you see the beauty around you. By focusing on having fun and feeling good through exercise and some adrenaline, you’ll be sculpting your body without even noticing. More importantly, you’ll be healthy and happy while doing so.
3. Go off the grid
We don’t even realize how much time we spend online. Even more so, we don’t realize how much it hurts our body image. Your feed is probably full of beautiful women with perfect bodies, which just sets off another cycle of self-hate. Be stronger than that. Deactivate your accounts for a while and stop obsessing over how you look like. This will give you time to actually do something instead of just feel bad about yourself.
Start with daily mediation and morning jogs to de-clutter your mind. Get all the hate that’s accumulated for social media on the punching bag at the gym, and see how lighter you feel. Now that you’ve got rid of the frustrations, keep up the positive vibes and exercise at the gym and at home- the way it feels good for you.
4. Back exercise up with a healthy diet
Exercising regularly won’t give you the optimal results if your nutrition doesn’t follow the regime. A healthy diet doesn’t mean starving yourself, skipping meals, or going on numerous crash diets. It means eating lots of fruits and veggies, as well as getting in your daily amount of protein. This balanced nutritional plan will help nourish your body and keep it strong so it can handle any exercise regime you throw at it.
It’s especially important to rejuvenate after a straining workout. Combine your favourite fruits, and dairy in a post-workout smoothie, and enrich it with protein from quality brands like True Protein. You’ll notice that your muscles aren’t as strained, but also that your tummy is purring contently thanks to this delicious treat.
5. Track your progress
Finally, don’t forget to track your progress. This will give you valuable feedback and show you how well your new attitude is paying off. You can do this step by taking full body pictures weekly, or daily. It will help you see your body in a new light. Each time you check you stand in front of the mirror to take a pic, find a new thing you like about yourself.
Nothing keeps you motivated to keep going more than valuing your hard work and appreciating yourself. No regime will seem hard anymore, because you’ll feel much more energized, happier, and overall healthier. These are all basis for strong motivation.
Exercising out of genuine love and care you hold for yourself will give you better results than hate ever could. You don’t have to be a slave to the media anymore. Realize that there’s no wrong way to be human and love yourself for everything that you are. You’ll be surprised how changing an outlook can improve your life so much and lift your spirits.