~~A guest blog by Sheila Olson of fitsheila.com
Wanting to become or stay fit while still enjoying life is a challenge for many of us today. Some may aspire to be the world’s strongest man or woman, some are recovering from addiction, and some just want to live a healthy life in general. Whatever your story, fitness and self-care are equally important on the quest for a thriving life, and finding balance is essential to long-lasting wellness. Though it takes time and energy, a healthy rhythm that is right for you can be found. Below are a few tips to help you on your quest.
Build a plan
Making a carefully considered fitness and self-care plan will encourage healthy living for the long haul. By realistically examining your life and goals, you can make objective decisions about your exercise routines, diet, and other ways to take care of yourself. If you’re like most people, it’s hard enough to juggle work, leisure, family, and friends in your busy life. Nonetheless, try to prioritize wellness and build a plan that works for you and your schedule. Don’t forget to keep it fun and don’t be afraid to change the plan to accommodate your changing life.
Keep a journal
Once you have a plan, it’s good to reflect regularly on your routine. How are your workouts going? What food are you eating? Do you feel well rested? What goals have you met, and where have you fallen short? Recording your thoughts in a journal can help you make sure you’re balancing your fitness and self-care. Those who make time to write often experience a boost in self-esteem and a reduction in stress and anxiety. It’s easy to forget the good things in life, and it’s hard to see growth as it’s happening. Jotting down something or someone you’re thankful for and documenting your progress can help put things in perspective.
Focus your breathing
Focusing on your breathing can help you find your fitness and self-care rhythm. How you inhale and exhale affects strength workouts like lifting weights and pull-ups. Matching the pace of your breaths to your arm swing or footsteps helps to get you in a flow while doing cardio movements like running or water aerobics. Besides working out, focusing your breathing in everyday life situations can also prove beneficial. There are several breathing methods that can be done anywhere at anytime, such as the 4-7-8 exercise, which can help reduce inner tension in stressful moments and help you fall asleep.
Don’t overdo it
When taking steps toward a healthy lifestyle, it’s important to remember that you can easily overdo it. It usually happens when you realize how much progress still has to be made or when the honeymoon stage at the gym ends. If you’re not careful, knowing you’re a long way from hitting your target weight can lead you down a rabbit hole of joyless eating. Likewise, never taking a break from working out can lead to burnout, especially when the shine wears off your new gym membership card. Whatever it is, overdoing it is counterproductive, and it can quickly revert you back to the sedentary lifestyle.
Whether you’re striving to be the next greatest athlete, using exercise to help you recover from an addiction, or simply wanting to improve your well-being, health and wellness are within reach. Making a plan, writing in a journal, managing your breathing, and taking it easy every now and then are all ways to see fruit from your labors.
Photo Credit: Pexels
Keasha Marie is a Reiki Master and Advanced Crystal Healer who lives in SE Arizona.