If you ever thought that exercise was something stressful, then I must tell you that you’re not exercising properly. A mindful workout session should be as much mental as it is physical, allowing for our body and mind to rest and de-stress in the process. When exercising like this, we learn over time to accept our body as it is and not feel ashamed by exposing it in public. Only then are we truly ready to work it out and help it progress in terms of muscle mass and shape.
We need consistency when exercising, as well as listening out to the signals our body is sending. Some exercises are more pleasant than others, so we can perform them more often. Also, there shouldn’t be any excuses, as not even winter time is reason enough not to exercise. There are numerous exercises that you can do indoors regardless of the cold weather outside. Such exercises will help build up our stamina and help us get rid of stress.
If you are unsure of how exercise can help you embrace your body, here are a few useful tips.
A Joyful Surrounding
One of the main pre-requisites for calming your nerves is the feeling of joy. It comes from everything that surrounds us, so we should strive to live in an environment that is as pleasant as possible. This goes for home and work alike, as a vase full of scented flowers looks equally good on the kitchen counter as it does on the office desk. In the gym, you need to remember to have fun while lifting weights as that is the whole point of the effort. Basically, everywhere you go, try to embellish the space with positive thoughts. In some cases, this can be literal, as post-it notes with reassuring thoughts can help boost your confidence and spur you on. Even a good book is enough to lift your spirits up!
If you too have developed a sense of disgust for all the voluminous works of literature we were made to read as schoolchildren, then you are not alone. As people grow up, they turn to lighter books that help them love themselves. In this sense, reading can truly achieve its didactic goal of helping an individual find their true self. Go to the bookstore or library and pick out the book you like from the shelf to read and enjoy during the leisure hours. You might not be working out actively, but the mind will be in training while leafing through the pages of your favorite book.
Taking Up Martial Arts
Weightlifting is really a loners’ sport, so you should try something more proactive that involves group sessions. Pilates, aerobics, and yoga all fit the bill but perhaps the best balance between the mind and the body can be found in martial arts such as karate, taekwondo, aikido, judo, and Krav Maga. They require a state of mind that needs to be achieved before any successful punches can be thrown. Most people actually think that martial arts are violent but they are really the perfect connection between mental composure and the physical ability to move through space. In most cases, the energy of the opponent is simply used against them, rather than wearing you out.
Calming Yourself Down
An essential part of martial arts training, or any sort of physical workout for that matter, is the ability to stay calm and slow down. This means slowing down all daily operations, from sipping tea to opening the door, as you need to focus on everything before you perform it. You need to even slow down your breathing and eating, as you will get more air and nutrients, respectively, by staying focused and not rushing things. While training, don’t forget to warm-up to mentally prepare for the intensive workout.
Getting Enough Rest
The final ingredient for extending the impact of exercise is rest. A good bodybuilder will tell you that rest is 2/3 of your muscle mass, while the remaining 1/3 are exercise and a proper diet. This means that you need to get enough sleep during the night and a nap or two in the afternoon. Your brain needs to switch off from time to time so it can recuperate and get its thoughts together. You will find working-out easier if you are rested and this will actually rejuvenate you and prolong your life.
What you need to realize is that exercising on its own is not enough, as there are many beneficial side-effects of it. By knowing what exactly your body and mind do get, you will learn to be more thankful for the positive effect working out has. This way, your mind will work in coherence with your body to make you embrace your physical appearance regardless of what other people may think of it.
Stella is a graphic designer and illustrator, a lifestyle and beauty blogger and a food enthusiast. She is very passionate about the environment and her hobbies center around her love for nature, yoga and living in balance. Stella loves giving tips about healthy lifestyle and self-development. She is a contributor to several health and lifestyle blogs. You can find more about her writing by following her on Twitter.