Hi guys and happy Monday! Hope you all had a lovely weekend filled with some good laughs and relaxation time. 🙂
Going to be linking up with the awesome Julia for a mental health Monday post!
This week we are going to be talking about exercise. Because we don’t hear enough about all over the media, through conversations with others, on the radio, on TV shows, in magazines… right?! But today we aren’t going to be talking about all that jazz we see in the media. We are going to be discussing exercising: simplifying exercise, not making a huge fuss over workouts- something that many people seem to do nowadays.
Exercise is a beautiful thing. Having two legs that can walk and run, arms that have the ability to do so much- lift weights, hold us upside down, move in so many directions… a heart that beats regularly and lungs that let us breathe in and out. We are so blessed to have bodies that have the capability of doing all of this! Exercise is great and allows us to FEEL great too. Moving our bodies gives us those endorphins that we love. Finishing a workout gives us a sense of satisfaction that we crave and as we watch the sweat drip from our bodies we feel strong and unbeatable. As we can see, exercise brings us an ample amount of positivity into our lives and allows us to truly feel good.
“Your body is the vehicle in which you experience all life. Think about it. Handshakes, floating in the pool under the sun, conversation, juice apples, kisses, beholding natural wonders. Every single experience you have is facilitated by this mind blowing creation of your body. Be generous to it. Don’t cure it for the way it varies from someone else’s.”
Yet with anything we do nowadays, we take it to the next extreme. We as humans are really good at that. We excel in complicating pretty much everything. We are amazing at overthinking situations and letting our thoughts get the best of us. And we as humans are pretty dang good at not only complicating food, but also complicating exercise. Go figure! Complicating exercise can come in many different forms. Forcing ourselves to work out x amount of days a week because if we don’t, we feel we will get fat and our minds will be flooded by thoughts of guilt. Complicating exercise can also be seen as becoming obsessed with the amount of calories we are burning as well as feeling the need to burn off how many calories we have eaten that day. We can also become too fixated on what type of exercise we are doing, and may only do that particular type because if we switch it up, we feel guilty. We think that sweating must follow a workout and if we aren’t sweating enough, we didn’t work hard enough. And if we aren’t sore the next day, we could’ve pushed ourselves harder. We feel lazy if we don’t get ourselves up at the crack of dawn to squeeze in a workout and decide to sleep and rest instead, we feel disgusting if we take a day off and relax instead, and we skip plans with others to simply workout. Working out becomes a chore, and humans tend to make it a whole heck of a lot complicated than what it needs to be.
“You deserve love + care from yourself.”
So how do we simplify exercise? How do we learn to not overcomplicate it all? To take exercise for what it is: a gift, and use it as that to simply make us feel good. That is the challenge and that is something that so many individuals out there are struggling with. Exercising to make us FEEL good. Not exercising to make us look good. Exercising because it’s fun. Not exercising because we feel that we have to and if we don’t, we will be trapped by guilt and negative self-talk. Being okay with rest and taking days off, and not having a freak-out if days off from the gym need to happen. And soon learning to enjoy those days off from working out! Because those days are beautiful too. So how can we simplify all of this?! How do we learn to take exercise for what it is and not let it dictate our lives. Learning to truly listen to our bodies will help with this. Ask yourself before a workout what you truly want to do and how you want to move today- not what will burn the most calories. Maybe that will be yoga, jump roping, lifting weights, running, doing a cardio machine, a circuit workout, going for a walk, etc. Working out to simply burn calories and not because you feel good will never help with learning to simplify exercise. Ever. It is also crucial to grasp onto the fact that you need rest days. They should not be something you dread. Because when you aren’t resting, your body doesn’t have time to recover. And that leads to a wholeeee lotta other problems. Learning to enjoy times of rest is super important too. Enjoy your Netflix time, your coffee dates with a friend, your naps, reading time, listening to podcasts or music, all that fun stuff. You betchya I do! And that stuff also brings me so much joy just like moving my body does. Without the two, my mental health would most definitely be poor (as it was in the past without relaxation time). Eliminate the pressure around working out. The feeling that you should or have to get in a workout when you necessarily don’t want to. The “should’s” around working out quite frankly should not be there. If you feel like you should hit the gym or you feel like you have to get in that workout when you really don’t want to, that’s just complicating things more. Again, listen to your body. It is a powerful tool that we often neglect and it carries the capability to do and tell us so many things. Lastly, accept that working out does not have to be confined to an hour in the gym. It can come in a variety of forms that are not so structured like bike rides with your family, walking with your dog or along the beach, swimming in the pool, etc. When we recognize that working out should be fun, feel good (which means not pushing ourselves to extremes), and is truly a gift; that is when we can grasp the true meaning of simplifying exercise. Because who ever wants to make something more complicated than it needs to be, right?!
No questions today: just would love to hear your thoughts on this topic!! And thank you Julia for the link up. Love Mental Health Monday’s so much! Have a fabulous day friends. 🙂
Sending my love as always.