Finding a Balance Between Fitness and Self-Care

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Finding a Balance Between Fitness and Self-Care

Article written by Brad Krause of SelfCaring.info

women yoga fitness class

We all know how important it is to exercise. However, when you start a new fitness and workout regimen, it’s easy to get carried away.

You think restricting calories and hitting the gym hard every day can speed up progress, but the truth is that failing to balance fitness and self-care may be doing more harm than good.

For instance, sleep and relaxation are essential tools that largely influence a fitness journey. The body needs time to recuperate so it can refresh and work at its best level the next day.

Furthermore, the mental health benefits of rest and relaxation can prevent exercise burnout and relapse.

Fitness and Self-Care

First of all, it’s important to acknowledge that working out and getting regular exercise is definitely a form of self-care.

In fact, the term “self-care” refers to a lot of things that aren’t just weekly massages and sheet masks. It can mean those boring things you don’t want to do, from visiting your doctor for an annual physical to eating a bland salad when you really want a bacon cheeseburger.

However, self-care can be fun, too; it’s all about making healthy lifestyle choices that feel good, even if they seem to go against fitness goals.

The important thing is to find a balance between exercise and enjoyment—and, sometimes, that includes exercise you enjoy doing.

Move for Enjoyment

Making your way to the gym, hitting the treadmills, and pumping weights are great ways to train the body and alleviate stress.

However, it’s important to incorporate fun physical activities that aren’t all about burning calories and breaking a sweat. Get your Zen on and try a new yoga class that incorporates mindful meditation with strength, as well as flexibility-improving poses. Soak up the health benefits of sunshine and fresh air by going on a hike through a nearby park. Or sign up for dance lessons where it’s more about having fun than how you look.

Making positive associations with physical activities will help keep you motivated and happy while supporting your overall fitness goals.

Make it Social

Humans are social animals—we need connections to other people for our health and wellness.

Unfortunately, when you start a new exercise routine, it’s easy to lose track of friends; you’re busy hitting the gym and snacking on salads while they go out to dinner and hit the bars for happy hour.

Instead of becoming isolated, invite friends to do things with you that are both socially and physically stimulating. Turning a sweat session—no matter how light—into an opportunity to spend time with someone you love makes it more enjoyable.

Give Yourself a Break

So you’ve been consistently lifting weights and your cardio game is stronger than ever—that’s great! However, don’t let your fear of losing progress guilt you into constantly working out, especially when you need a break.

Whether you’re tired, too busy, injured, or on vacation, it’s perfectly fine to stop rising and grinding for a workout and instead simply enjoy your surroundings.

The truth is, it takes a lot of inactivity to lose your progress. For instance, aerobic power only declines about 5 to 10 percent over a three-week period. Meanwhile, muscle strength and endurance can retain their memories for weeks—even months—after a break.

•••

While it’s important to work out and be active, it’s not a good idea to let these things take over your life.

Happiness takes balance, and without enough rest and relaxation, your body can’t recover and perform at its best.

Adding fun physical activities like yoga, hiking, and dancing keep you active while adding a bit of levity to your fitness lifestyle. Bring a friend along to one of these activities so you don’t miss out on the health benefits of socialization.

Finally, give yourself a break every now and again. You would be surprised how long your body can hold onto progress.

Article written by Brad Krause of SelfCaring.info


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