I’ve started going to the gym again after taking a pretty long break. Over the past few months, I was still keeping a little active – surfing, jogging and playing soccer – but it wasn’t enough. Due to the prolonged period of inactivity, I became a lot more prone to injuries. Today, I want to speak to you about the benefits that I’ve personally experienced from working out.
As with all habits, always remember to start with why. Keep your intentions clear and aligned with your values. The more the benefits of what you’re trying to do are clear, the more likely you are to stay consistent.
I’ll dive into the mental health benefits, the physical health benefits, developing consistency, a growth mindset and mental sharpness.
Mental Health and Self-esteem
You’ve probably heard this before but I’m here to reiterate the point, your physical health and mental health are interlinked. The better you take care of your physical needs (i.e. Exercise regularly, sleep well, eat healthy), the better your mental health will be.
The interesting thing about exercise is that it’s an incredible distraction. All you focus on when you’re working out is the next rep, the next mile or the next stretch. You narrow down your concentration and form some kind of tunnel vision, allowing you to de-stress.
When you feel good about your body, your self-esteem naturally boosts. This has tremendous benefits to your psyche, because your inner self-talk plays a critical role in your day-to-day activities.
Next time you’re feeling lazy to work out or go for a jog, think of how much better you’ll feel when those muscles are burning. Not only will you have more mental clarity, but you’ll also have more confidence in yourself.
Physical Health and Longevity
This is a bit more obvious. Exercising improves your physical health (Duh). To ensure that your body functions effectively, you need to constantly keep it active. A simple way to think about it is like a car. If you keep it static and stagnant for a long period of time, things can go in many different ways.
The circulation in your body also helps deliver blood more efficiently to the different organs, as well as your brain. This relationship helps cells recover faster and keeps you healthier, for longer. In essence, keeping fit helps you survive for longer (keeping in mind that the time you pass on has already been written and is inevitable).
An invaluable skillset. I talk about this quite a lot, but this habit emphasizes it perfectly. You only get better, fitter and stronger when you exercise consistently. It’s also quite incredible how you can transfer this mindset into other areas of your life.
How you are in one part of your life is how you are in all parts of your life. You can’t separate who you are. The way you carry yourself at work, at home, at the gym, on the field, whilst studying, inevitably leaks into all other areas. Focus on giving everything your best shot.
“What you do everyday matters more than what you do once in a while.”
Keep at it. Don’t stop after a week or 2. Don’t even stop after a month or 2. Just keep at it for a few months and make improvements on your weak spots. This brings me to my next point, having a growth mindset.
I absolutely love talking about this concept because it’s such an important part of life. You have to believe in overcoming the discomfort. You have to believe that the struggle is making you stronger. You have to believe that pushing yourself past your limits will lead to growth.
This is easily proven when you’re doing any kind of exercise. Whether it’s lifting weights, running a half marathon, working on difficult yoga poses or just stretching. You need to continuously exert yourself and see how that allows you to reach your goals.
You’ve got to learn to love the burn. This will then allow you to build on your resilience; which as you should know, works exactly like a muscle.
Energy and Mental Sharpness
I’ve already mentioned how the blood circulates to your brain better when you exercise. This in turn gives you energy and an ability to focus. You’re training yourself mentally as much as you are physically, and the benefits are holistic.
The point of this blog post was to motivate you to get up and get going. There’s always a million and one excuses why we can’t exercise. I’ve hopefully given you a million and one reasons to make it a priority. Start small and keep consistent, even if it’s just a 15 minute walk everyday.
If you say ‘I don’t have the time’, you need to carefully re-arrange your priorities. Taking out the time to exercise will not only help you stay fit, but it will also give you more energy, help with your mental health, and allows you to develop consistency, resilience and a growth mindset.