A simple enough question, right? I was asked this the other week and it really got me thinking, sure I love to work out because it makes me feel healthier and improves my body, but when I actually sat back and thought about it fitness has made a huge impact on my life and really developed me as a person.
For me, the most important thing about fitness is feeling like I WANT to do it, not doing it because I feel I HAVE to. Some people loathe the gym, some people love it, some enjoy jogging and some wince at the thought, it’s about finding a style of exercise that makes you feel good and it will truly have an amazing impact on your life!
Here are a few things that I have achieved from fitness aside from being more fit and healthy:
Confidence. When I first started training a few years ago I was SO self-conscious! I couldn’t even do one push up and the thought of picking up a weight seemed ludicrous to me and pretty damn intimidating, I saw the weights as “the boy's area”. Since becoming fitter and more confident with my training I LOVE weight training more than anything else, it’s knocked the silly idea out of my head that I had to be super skinny and muscles were manly. I love my muscles and it has made me feel so much more confident with myself and my body!
Mental strength. This is a very personal one for me as it is something I have always struggled with in many aspects of my life. I always struggled with motivating myself and faced so many mental obstacles that I just used to give up. I started rowing about a year ago which really helped me with my mental strength and inspired me to keep pushing through the pain and the burn, which trust me feels almost impossible! I work out roughly 5-6 times a week and I am constantly pushing myself to do that last rep or lift that little bit heavier and I feel invincible when I achieve that! Challenging myself mentally in my training has also made me overcome mental obstacles I face in everyday life, from doing that extra blog post when I feel like I have major writer's block, or something as simple as getting out of bed in the morning ‘cause let’s face it, sometimes the struggle is real.
Recognising my strengths and weaknesses. Everybody has these, but more often than not it’s much easier to point out our weaknesses than recognise our strengths. I suppose it ties in with mental strength and confidence as by only looking at our weaknesses we develop low self-esteem, therefore we will lack the mental strength to better ourselves. Fitness has taught me to love my body, but also strive to improve it. There are certain parts of my body that I feel confident with and certain parts I don’t, just like everyone, but instead of dwelling on it and letting it knock my confidence, I see it as a challenge. Nobody’s perfect but you can damn well challenge yourself to be!
This goes to show that such a simple question can be some complex and lead down so many different paths. What I am trying to say is use fitness to better yourself, not just because you feel like you have to go to the gym or have to lose weight because that’s what you should do, find a form of exercise that you love, recognise your weaknesses to improve but also embrace your strengths, feel free to shout about them! And set yourself challenges, you are your biggest competition.
So that is a little bit about what fitness means to me, I would love to hear from you about what it means to you, we may have some in common or maybe you could make me look at fitness in a whole new way!
Check out my blog liveeatsweatlove.wordpress.com for other posts on fitness and healthy lifestyle!