If you’ve ever had a time of optimal health, you know what it feels like to be in love with exercise. Maybe you were playing on a great team for your favorite sport or had a particularly long run on a New Year’s resolution. You know when your body is a motion machine, moving with you and your intention – the feeling is one of indescribable happiness.
The miracle of exercise is that it works a lot more than the body. It elevates the mood, decreases appetite and sugar cravings. Overall, it just chills a person out! It may be the most divine counter-intuitive solution to the weariness of everyday life – ever.
Why is exercise so incredible at these things? It’s all about the relationship between the mind and the body. When we exercise, our heart draws energy, our muscles draw energy, our breath draws energy. And with every breath, each bead of sweat, push of a pedal, strike of the foot, change of a yoga pose, all the negativity from living our lives is released. It’s energy – pure and alive – and it’s the best feeling in the world. It’s sort of like that zing of falling in love. Actually, it’s just like that.
So, how do you fall out of your head and in love with exercise? It’s just like dating, falling in love and living happily ever after. Except, the good news is, you don’t have to wait until you bump into your perfect partner, you’ve already met them – because it’s you!
Dress for success
You wouldn’t go on a first date or a job interview in a ten year old T-shirt and see-through leggings, would you? Then why in the world would you show up at the gym like that? You are embarking on the most important relationship you will ever have with anyone – the relationship you have with your own body. It’s lifelong, and no matter where you are the relationship can start again – start afresh, and start today. So suit up… and look fabulous! This is the date where you are going to fall in love!
Focus on the movement
On a great date you can’t imagine yourself being anywhere else. Do the same thing when you’re exercising. When you are having the time of your life, you are not thinking about your inadequacies, your bank account, where you need to be or where you are not! You are simply there – present in the present. When you are exercising, there is nothing else to be doing or thinking.
If you struggle with body image issues – and most of us do – and these are being triggered at the gym, here’s some advice… The body you are exercising at the gym isn’t actually the body you see in the mirror. It’s the strong functional beautiful body within your body. And each time you exercise you make that perfect inner whole body stronger and more apparent to the world. You stand up straighter. You hold your head higher. You transform the very body you are in into the most ideal perfect wrapping for the being that is you. And in most instances, you’re dropping weight, making the strength you have within more transparent to everyone and to you.
You wouldn’t take your date to the same place every time. Then why would you take yourself to the same gym and use the same equipment, even the very same treadmill whenever you go to the gym? No wonder people don’t want to exercise after a few weeks or months. Even the greatest candy bar on earth tastes like an old ham sandwich if you eat it every day. Exercise is movement with a single purpose – to move. It is as zen as it gets. And you can move anywhere in the world, in any way you want to. Most gyms have classes – so take them. Try every single activity your gym offers. And get out of the gym at least twice a week. Walk, run, ride a bike, just go do something out in the world.
Okay, so on a date with another person, you have a partner for some physical fun. But how about committing yourself to 10 minutes in the steam room as an integral part of your work out? It’s amazing how many people don’t relax the body after a workout. Why would you skip the warmth of a steam room or a Jacuzzi? And that’s not all – think about getting a massage after a month of steady workouts. It’s more release, more energy pulsing through. More healing. More love.
The recipe for sustaining a loving relationship with exercise and your body is simple. By showing up, shaking it up and rewarding yourself, you are building a primary element of happiness into your life – harmony between your mind and body. So don’t let another day go by – it’s time to fall in love with exercise, by falling in love with yourself.
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