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So many of us exercise because we want to change our bodies, and that can make exercise feel like a punishment for what we think is wrong with us. Try these tips to try to take the focus off of the negative and watch your outlook on exercise get a bit more positive!
Tip #1 Have fun
Exercise can be and should be fun. Learning to move your body in ways that bring you joy is a very important aspect of exercise. If you enjoy running, take time to explore new running paths. If you enjoy yoga then check out a handful of different yoga studios in you area and find one that you feel at home in. Working out at home? Create a dedicated space and decorate it to feel comfortable and inviting.
Keep in mind that it may take some time to find a way of moving that you enjoy. Don’t be disappointed if you tried a type of exercise that you did not like, at least you tried it and now you know. You may have to kiss some frogs before you find your prince!
Tip #2 Be kind to your body
Many of us set lofty goals in terms of exercise like running a certain distance in a certain time, lifting a certain amount of weight, or exercising on a certain rigid schedule. These goals may look great on paper, but might not be what your body needs.
It is so important to listen to your body.
If you are tired, stop and rest for a bit.
If you feel sore, take a day off. Get a massage, take a bath, do something KIND for your body.
Focus on treating your body with kindness as opposed to counting calories burned, calculating the miles you ran or logging any other type of numbers, and you might be surprised at how well it treats you in return!
Tip #3 Express gratitude
Appreciating what your body can do for you is incredibly important. Start thinking that you GET to exercise rather than you HAVE to. That attitude of gratitude makes a huge difference.
Daily exercises such as taking notes or journaling about why you appreciate your body can help solidify positive thinking.
Tip #4 Think about what you can gain vs what you can lose
You are not exercising to lose weight, do penance for calories consumed or punish yourself for eating something. You should be exercising because it makes you feel good. Set the numbers aside and focus on how your body feels. Do you feel strong? Do you feel confident? Do you feel able? Focus on positive thoughts and emotions.
Tip #5 Positive self talk
The way you talk to yourself matters. What do you say to yourself during exercise? Try affirming phrases like
I am strong.
I can do this.
I feel powerful.
When you start to exercise because you love your body and you want to take care of it, it often becomes less of a chore. When you don’t focus on the negative, you often see more positive. Exercise can help improve your body image and your overall relationship with your body. In turn, that can help improve your other relationships as well.
After all. As Elle Woods says, “Exercise creates endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don’t kill their husbands… They just don’t”
Written by Karli Taylor