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:
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.
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.
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?
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