In this post, we’ll talk about the mental and physical benefits of working out. Hopefully, we’ll be able to provide you with an alternative to motivation for you to show up.
P: That was one of the lines from one of my favourite podcasts on fitness. Kinetic living, started by Nike, trained Urmi Kathori back in 2016. The company’s philosophy is, “training the mind through the body.”
Having a ‘Mental Strength’ as a WHY
In 2020 I started training with the same intention in mind. I had a “mental strength” as a WHY as opposed to my previous journeys. Unknowingly I had removed all the pressures to perform my best. I found the hidden cost of showing up, even 10 minutes on the mat could calm my mind.
Power of Showing Up
I found creating habits helped me show on the mat. Do whatever it takes for YOU to show up. For me, in the earlier days, it was reading encouraging quotes. There were days I didn’t “feel like showing up”, but still did. I knew I couldn’t rely on “being in the mood” to show up for myself.
Just like my best friend James Clear says
“The bad days are more important than the good days. If you write or exercise or meditate or cook when you don’t feel like it, then you maintain the habit. And if you maintain the habit, then all you need is time.”
K: Our fabulous trainer Sydney Cummings says something similar too! According to her, no two days is similar and on some days you’ll have more motivation than others. What powers you through is the knowledge that regardless of how you’re feeling, you’re guaranteed to feel better after the workout than you did before.
Inner Resilience & For Your Health
P: Another thing that I found helpful during my journey was ‘Reflecting’ where I would intentionally take a moment & think of all the times I have obstacles I have overcome. It reminded me of my inner resilience and dedication to the journey. The second thing I did was I remind myself it was ‘It’s bigger than me.’ I had recently done a course on Coursera called, ‘Hacking fitness for health.’ where I learnt
Now isn’t RAD! So if you ever lose your purpose, do it for your health.
DEFINE YOUR PROGRESS
P: Progress is different for everybody. What makes a fitness journey sustainable is knowing how you define it. As our wonderful trainer, Sydney introduced us to ‘Non-Scale Victories’ which is about accomplishing a goal from weight loss that has nothing to do with the scale.
I found this brought me so much more joy than what we are conditioned to. Other days, I notice I can pick up a heavier dumbbell or do more reps. Sometimes my non-scale victories would be in engaging in more self-compassionate talks. So I think it’s really important to define how you see progress.
K: The mental benefits of working out stay with you long after the workout is done. There are many tangible and scientific benefits to exercising regularly, but sometimes nothing feels better than knowing you’ve crushed a workout, or even attempted a workout when all you wanted to do that day was lay in bed. The sense of accomplishment you derive from it is unparalleled.
The Physical Benefits That Exercising Provides To Your Body
P: Studies have shown that people who tend to do regular exercise have an empowered sense of well being, are less anxious and have a general overall sense of positivity around them. And here’s why: while we sweat it, our brains are secreting chemicals that actually better our mood.
The main hormones I’ll talk about are Serotonin – It helps in the regulation of sleep, our ability to learn new things, it even controls our appetite. Dopamine- aka the “feel-good hormone” which makes us feel intense satisfaction and reward after a workout. & Endorphins -or most well known as the ‘runners high’ is the hormone that makes you feel exhilarated after the workout, it literally “blocks” the pain and discomfort for a while.
K: Besides all these major health benefits, one of the benefits I’ve really loved seeing recently is my ability to move better. Whether it’s the fact that my back pain has reduced immensely or the fact that I can get up from the floor without needing to anchor my arms on anything for support, the increased mobility that comes from regular activity is just something else.
I remember an instance where I was lugging heavy suitcases down a narrow staircase and lost my footing. In that millisecond, my mind raced as I nearly risked a nasty fall. However, my months of training ensured that my reflexes were razor-quick––my sense of balance had improved, and allowed me to correct my posture instantly. To me, simply being able to do what our bodies were built to do––move––without pain and discomfort has been the most valuable gift exercise has given me.
P: I couldn’t agree more with you. Working out has developed improved my functionality in real life.