Besides winning the lottery or looking absolutely flawless while bumping into an ex, falling in love with physical activity can be one of the best things for your health and happiness. We live in a society that is dominated by a get thin dialogue, but once you internalize the fact that exercise isn’t about skinny, you truly are able to experience a workout on a different level. Looking at your personal fitness journey through a different lens will boost your self esteem, improve your self perception, and allow you to defy pre-set limitations like you never have before. Torture is soooo 1800’s, the three tips below will push you to strive for progress and enjoyment on your unique path to greatness.
1. Focus on Getting Strong, Not Skinny
In the words of the great Derek Zoolander, there is more to life than being ridiculously good looking. Being strong is one of them. This attribute is usually not associated with being feminine, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Being strong benefits both men and women. It’s functional. It improves the caliber of your daily life. Whether you are carrying groceries up several flights of stairs, chasing down small children, or simply trying to survive transferring loads on laundry day, being strong just makes things easier. You can achieve this goal by adding resistance training to your routine. Focus on mastering multi-joint movements such as the squat, row, and deadlift and on lifting moderate/heavier weight. Compete against yourself each workout. Some indirect benefits of lifting heavier include, greater effects on fat loss, improved muscle tone, and enhanced joint health. The human body is capable of so much more than just outside aesthetics. It is up to us to uncover this brilliance.
2.”It’s About The Brain, Not The A$$”
This insta-famous Lena Dunham quote exemplifies the holistic benefits of exercise. Working out is about much more than obtaining a beach body. Shift your focus to how your mind and body feel after a workout. Studies have shown that the non-physical benefits of a good sweat include less stress, more happy hormones (such as dopamine, serotonin, etc), enhanced sleep, and boosted productivity. Feeling stronger and experiencing change builds confidence and allows you to fall in love with who you are now.
3. Don’t Get All Diet Emo On Me
When people hear the word diet they get uncomfortable. They immediately think about restriction and all of the guilty pleasures they will have to give up. There is just a negative stigma attached to the word that makes people want to head for the exit. In reality, a diet is defined as the kind of foods that an individual habitually eats. The real problem arises when we make diets emotional. What I mean by that is this: if you don’t eat a certain way, you feel miserable. I’m here to tell you that it is okay to indulge and live life a little! Don’t strive to be perfect. Focus on eating nutrient dense foods that are as natural as possible, but don’t sweat that night out on the town with your coworkers. What we do most often matters more than what we do once in a while.
Photo by Edson Hong
Soji James is a Strength Coach, Fitness Writer, and Master Motivator who uses exercise as a back door approach to hold enlightening conversations with people about true happiness. He is also ranked #1 in smiling in the world. You can learn more about him at: www.SojiFit.com