Exercise has endless benefits for your body, mind and soul. It is essential for good health and has a significant affect on ones emotions. I remember going to the doctors this year to discuss my anxiety. The question that was always asked was “Are you exercising?”. This question is always asked by the ones close to me. I think that alone shows how much exercise is a way of showing our body self love and care. From exercising regularly, I have felt such a positive change towards my anxiety and my self confidence. If one feels depressed or anxious, gentle exercise can allow the mind to flow better. Exercise should be about aiming to feel good in your body and mind. I don’t believe there is a perfect body, but exercise has made me feel a far deeper appreciation for my body and having good health.
1. It makes you appreciate having a healthy body. I went through a period of time where I felt very depressed, and no matter how much my loved ones were encouraging me to exercise, I didn’t. My health went down and I got sick very easily, which in contrast shows how precious it is to treasure a healthy body.
2. Exercising encourages you to eat and drink well. I found that when I started to exercise regularly, I drink more water and I eat healthier. My body craves healthy and nourishing foods.
3. You feel motivated and far more energetic to live life. If you have ever been through depression, you will understand the feeling of being extremely unmotivated. Embracing exercise can create a routine in your life and give you the energy you need to be more productive. It lifts your mood and strengthens your body.
4. Being less likely to think negatively of your body. I feel that we are all accused of thinking negatively of our body in some way, big or small. A common thought is the wish that we could lose weight. I believe that when you start giving your body what it needs, you are doing the best you can. Naturally the negative thoughts will lessen.
5. Self confidence actually comes from feeling good, rather than ‘looking’ good. There is too much emphasis on looking good when it comes to exercise, that it can often create a negative mind set. It’s not necessarily bad to want to look a certain way, but it’s the way of going about it that can become unhealthy for some. When you make the connection with physical health and endurance, and feed your body the fuel it needs, you will naturally feel good in your skin.
6. Your emotional, mental and physical health. Exercise releases endorphin’s. It gives you clarity in the mind when you’re stressed compared to feeling anxious while sitting on the couch. Your body feels stronger and stronger over time when you exercise regularly. Your mind feels more peace when dealing with stressful situations and your emotions will be more balanced.
7. You will no longer have the thought “I should go exercise…” The feeling of accomplishment no longer gives you the thoughts of having to exercise. I really know that feeling of dragging my legs to the gym at first. But after the first few times, it becomes an enjoyable routine/habit that I look forward to. A few years back, I felt extremely self conscious of my body image, I constantly felt the thoughts going inside of me telling me to lose weight.
It was extremely unhealthy, as I was already underweight during that time. I made myself feel very guilty if I hadn’t exercised that day. No one should feel guilty if they miss a day, nor should they develop an unhealthy state of mind towards exercise. This is the perfect example of showing how being ‘skinny’ won’t make you happy.
8. Stress melts away far more easily compared to no exercising. When I think back to the days where I felt a lack of self confidence in my body image, I realised how much that would then roll towards other parts of myself. The body and mind are all connected. When you feel bad about your body, you may start feeling bad about other things in your life, and the build up of stress can affect your overall health.
Exercise is an act of self love. Treat your body with the love that it deserves. No matter if it’s a simple walk outside or a run at the gym, your body will thank you for it. Remember that self confidence comes from feeling good. It is the positive self talk we have within ourselves, that reminds us that although we are not perfect, we have the ability to achieve great things.