You know you should work out today, but there are always so many excuses. You’re busy, tired, and sometimes the gym can be so crowded, intimidating, and even far away. However, there are also many ways to battle these excuses, and it starts with making fitness a priority.
Fitness does more than strengthen and nourish the physical body. When you work out effectively and safely, you’re also bettering the mind and spirit. Exercise and options such as yoga are often “prescribed” to help with a number of non-physical ailments including anxiety and depression. It’s also become increasingly popular in the world of addiction therapy, as it has proven effective in helping those recovering from addiction to continue pursuing a healthier overall life.
When we raise the heart rate, we welcome a dose of dopamine throughout the body. This feel-good chemical is at the heart of what athletes call the “natural high” or sometimes “runner’s high.” It’s enjoyable, and we want to feel it again. However, it doesn’t follow the same pathway as addiction. Still, those who are in addiction recovery may especially enjoy the rush of feeling good that comes with good, steady workouts.
Re-organizing your life
If you think or know you want a dramatic life change, where do you start? Everyone has habits and “addictions” that are holding them back. Changing your life requires that you swap out bad habits for good ones, and sometimes it means just ditching bad habits altogether to make room for more peace and stillness in your life. Most people don’t make fitness a priority—or even consider it a part of their life. However, it’s one of the single best “swaps” you can make. It doesn’t need to be a clean swap in terms of time, money, or commitment. You can always work out for free, don’t have to work out a ridiculous amount of time, and should never choose a workout schedule that you know will burn you out. Instead, design a workout (preferably under the guidance of a physical trainer) that will actually work for your schedule and budget.
What bad habit will you give up in exchange for regularly working out? That’s up to you. It might be spending too much time on your phone, and downloading an app to monitor your screen time is a great way to keep you in check. For others, perhaps fitness is the fix they need as they recover from addiction or dependency. If you feel like you need more than just exercise to keep you on that tough road, there are resources available for you You’ll be amazed by how much time you’ll save, and how easily some of that time can be filled with fitness.
Fitness is increasingly important as we age. In our thirties, we start to experience sarcopenia (age-related muscle loss) and our bones become more porous. Age also comes with an increase in the risk of a number of physical and mental complaints, from higher risk of diabetes and heart disease to an increase in the risk of dementia. Fitness has shown to help battle nearly every age-related complaint. It’s never too late to add physical fitness to your life and routine, setting the stage for the most dramatic of life changes.
However, remember that changes aren’t made overnight. There will be slips and stumbles. There might still be days you just don’t want to work out, and either skip it or choose a gentle option like restoration yoga instead. Learning how to make peace with yourself and not increase your own stress are both tools for a better fitness regimen. It’s also important to play around and discover what type of fitness you love.