We all want results, but what kind of results do we want? Mental or physical?
Moving your body can give you both.
Fitness is what I will use as a term to describe everything from going to the gym, to dancing, to yoga to just simply moving your body. But for now, I`ll focus on the “gym” part of fitness because right now that’s where I`m at in terms of exercise. I think there’s some misconception about the gym, and people who go to the gym. If you’re in the know-how, then you already know which misconception I am talking about- well there`s a lot so maybe not…
The one I`m talking about is this concept that going to the gym is just for that beach body-that nice strong bod- that killer physique, which of course is a massive bonus, but the more I talk about the gym to people the more I realize there is more than meets the eye during these 1-2 hours workouts sessions. I have always been a promoter of the amazing benefits of going to the gym or doing sports or working out or dancing, hiking, whatever you want to do which results in you moving your body, but what I have failed to do is promote the REASONS why, I guess because for me this has been something I have done for the past six years of my life- the reasons became a routine, but that doesn’t make them any less significant. When I talk about it I typically say this: “I go to the gym for my mind”. The gym for me is a form of self-love, a time period where I get to either shut off my brain, focus on the here and now and be so completely in the present that I forget everything else- or if I’m not having the best of luck shutting my brain down (which let’s be honest that’s most of us) then its time to reflect on any of the issues I am having in my life- process any negative emotions and attempt to have moved on from them by the time I walk out of the gym. So both of these explanations have something in common- if you clued in on them then neato! You’re on roll, we are on the same page but if not – fear not I am about to break it down for you.
See the thing about ‘gym time’ is it doesn’t have to necessarily be about the results we see on our body but rather or ADDITIONALLY the results we see in our mind. I think this is practicality true for myself, because my spirits are much, much, MUCH higher if I have gone to the gym in the morning (it really doesn`t matter when as long as I have gone at some point during the day) than if I had not- even on the days where I work 11 hours, because that’s been happening A LOT as of late – I end up having actually more energy throughout the entire day- which- I know sounds crazy but I`m not lying- why would I lie… I mean if that isn’t proof that the gym is great not just for your body but your mind/soul/spirit then I don’t know what is, but let me go on…
THE BIGGEST REASON why I believe in exercising goes hand in hand with good old-fashioned meditation, let me explain: You gain significant mental clarity from any amount of time in which you choose to live in the moment and at the gym your focus CAN be only what is right in front of you- weights, treadmill, mat, whatever. AND during that time you have to make the conscious effort to actually be there, don’t go on your phone for ¾ of the time, I mean dedicated, focused, powerful time. A time where you are completely in the here and now. I mentioned this above, but let me elaborate on this “being present”. Meditation is often described as a time where you focus on your breathing, clear your mind and concentration on the mystical ‘NOTHING’- ha – ha – ha, easier said than done. But in my personal opinion, I view meditation as ‘recharge’ time (and I`ll write an additional article on this but for now let’s talk about the correlation between moving our body and meditating). There aren`t many moments in your day, or in your life where every single cell is with you hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling what is right in front of your eyes, exercising lets you do that- if you let it- if you let yourself. And while you- for once- are in the here and now your body, mind, soul gets a little recharge almost like an electric shock, a shock of peace, liberty, and love. At least that’s what I think, I believe, I experience. So what`s it like for other people? For people who go extra hard, go the extra mile- literally, pun intended- they receive this ‘shock’ and later describe it as walking out of the gym feeling strong physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. Let me get real spiritual on you if you meditate consciously after your workout the benefits reap even higher. Nothing beats that, and science is behind this. Read for more info: https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/the-insane-power-of-combining-exercise-and-meditation-20160301 again I`m not lying, this is the truth. But let me go on…
SLEEP. Let me tell you about sleep because it seems there are a lot of people these days, youngsters especially, who are having some issues in this department, myself included. However, I notice immediately when on the days that I workout that I hit the hay HARD, I am out like a light. There is nothing quite like it, trust me I`ve tried several dozen different strategies. If you work your body hard, give your mind peace, and most importantly CONSISTENCY then sleep will come.
Now GURLS, if you’re a girl keep reading if not skip to the end- we are about to talk about periods. I hear girls complain all the time about period pains and how there is just NO WAY that they can workout. First who said you need to do a crazy intensive workout. No one. Start with a walk, it`ll enhance blood circulation and actually EASE menstrual cramps. It helps with your mood, and combats PMS symptoms. And for those of you who have irregular periods, once you get your body moving they`ll become more regular. With all of this being said the most important thing is to listen to your body.
Check this out for further proof: https://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/benefits-exercising-during-your-period
The results we want are for both our mind AND our body, even if we think we just want that killer physique- if you look deep down enough you KNOW that mental strength is a requirement for physical strength. Your mind knows limits, your body doesn’t. Part of working out is building on the resilience your mind gives you when your body is so called “testing” the limits. Living in the moment allows you to fully focus on realizing these three simple words: mind over matter.
Fitness – for the mind and the body.