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When You Begin To Enjoy Your Fitness, These 10 Things Will Happen To You

When You Begin To Enjoy Your Fitness, These 10 Things Will Happen To You

Our bodies were meant to move. To run and jump and climb and explore the world.

Sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day, hmmm, not so much. And so you have to admit that it’s a little strange that we segregate a part of our day to grudgingly march off to the gym or the bootcamp to check the virtual box for the day’s exercise. We turn our health and movement into more of an obligation and less of a celebration of what our bodies can really do.

But when you begin to open your mind and understand that what really matters is movement – pure and simple – then you are on the right track to enjoy your fitness. And when that day comes, you’ll find yourself thinking in these 10 new ways:

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1. Fitness will no longer be an obligation

I’m starting off the list with the single most important realization that fitness should be fun. Because we were meant to move in our bodies. Because as kids we all ran and jumped and climbed and threw things and so on. But as we grew up we started to see fitness as something we were only supposed to do in a gym using weights, treadmills or exercise bands. But when you enjoy your fitness, you’ll see that it has no boundaries. Making time for fitness will become more of a lifestyle theme and you’ll actually look forward to your time exercising.

2. You will think in terms of activities, not reps and sets

When you start to become happy with the way your body moves, you’ll begin seeing fitness as just a series of activities. That game of kickball with friends becomes the whole point. Or maybe it’s your yoga class. In other words, you’re no longer training for anything, but you’re actually doing it!

3. You will be skill oriented

Similar to #2 above, you start to view fitness in terms of new skills. For instance, instead of overhead pressing for 5 sets of 5 to build your strength, now your goal is to perform a handstand. And when you nail the handstand your new goal becomes a handstand push up. This is a fun way to train. So if you’re struggling to begin a new program yourself, try thinking of your success in terms of a skill – it can be a very powerful way of looking at your fitness.

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4. You will be happy with the way your body looks

This is the big one: being happy with your body. And to understand this we have to go back to the recurring theme of this post – that when you enjoy your fitness it is no longer obligatory. Because now you’re exercising for fun. And when this happens you’ll find yourself moving a whole lot more than you used to. If weight loss is your goal then you’ll start to see the pounds come off. Or, if you’re looking to build muscle you’ll begin to see new definition because you’re probably spending more time resistance training. Either way, your body is going to start being a reflection of your lifestyle.

5. You will be less concerned with fitness apps

Fitness apps are growing in popularity these days and for some people they have been a great help. And while you may still continue to use your favorite app, you’ll see it as more of a ‘nice to have’ versus a ‘need to have.’ In other words, you’ll go to the gym because you want to. Or you’ll go on that run because you look forward to it all day at the office. You’ll no longer need that nudge from your app to do so.

6. You will be less concerned with expensive fitness gear

We all fall into this trap sometimes because the latest and greatest fitness gear can be enticing. But do we really need the latest version of a pair of shorts or workout top? And when you really begin to find fulfillment in your active lifestyle, it will become more and more clear that what you do matters far more than how you look while doing it.

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7. You will be more social

When fitness becomes a lifestyle you’ll find yourself spending more and more time with like minded individuals. That can mean new friends and better relationships. And perhaps most importantly, maybe the enjoyment you find in your own fitness will help encourage those around you to be more active themselves.

8. You will spend more time outside

You’re not still walking on a treadmill, are you? Of course not, because this post is about enjoying your fitness! If walking or running is your activity of choice, then odds are you’ll have many of your workouts outside. And even if you’re a weightlifter you should give calisthenics a try. A bodyweight workout on an adult fitness ‘playground’ can be both humbling and very effective.

And training outside means sunshine, soft grass and scenery. What are you waiting for?

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9. You will spend less money on your health

This shouldn’t come as any surprise. Living at a healthy weight puts you at a reduced risk for a myriad of health complications like diabetes and heart disease. In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association, living with diabetes may incur costs of up to $7,900 annually.

10. You will be happier

You are probably aware that exercising promotes the release of endorphins – the chemicals we most often associate with a runner’s high. But there’s even more good news! A recent Penn State study suggests that people who are more physically active report greater feelings of excitement and enthusiasm when compared to their more sedentary counterparts. In other words, if you need a boost in your day, try adding some invigorating exercise to help you reset.

And this makes sense, right? When our level of fitness matches the activities we want to do – whether it’s a simple game of kickball or a 70.3 Ironman – then simply put, we can do the things we want to do. And that’s just one less barrier between us and what we’re going after.

See ya out there!

Featured photo credit: Brooklyn Morgan via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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