By Jessica Ann – Personal Trainer
We cannot do great things in this world; we can only do small things with great love (Mother Teresa).
There is a vast truth to this in every sense of life including health and fitness.
So often we see fad diets or quick fixes that claim to transform your exterior enabling you to idolise a false aesthetic version of self. However if you exercise through love for your self and give back to your body on a mindful level, you will find such ideologies like that of a “transformation” will progressively become less important.
Through loving our body and self enough to feed it nutritional food, tell it positive and substantial thoughts, give it encouragement and move it every day –our bodies can do great things.
My Top 3 Ways to Give Back to Your Body
WATER, WATER AND MORE WATER
We bathe in it, we drink it, we swim in it, and it accounts for over 60% of our physical body. Water helps keep joints lubricated, assisting in the prevention against cramps and sprains. Drinking water wards off headaches through keeping us hydrated. Aim to drink 2-3 litres of water every day.
SWEAT MORE BITCH LESS
Whatever it is that is troubling you, put that negative energy into your workout rather than out of your mouth. Positive thought creates a constructive mind and in turn transcends into a productive experience. Weather you are at the gym, or waking or in a yoga class, or at home using an online workout – give yourself a chance to succeed by telling yourself YOU CAN. Be your own best friend not your biggest critic. Look in the mirror and say “I AM strong, I AM beautiful, I AM able and I AM ready”. You will notice a big difference in how you convey yourself through a loving mindset and how your body will react in time.
QUALITY NOT QUANTITY
If you only have one hour a day or even half an hour a day to exercise – do it!
Don’t wait for the opportune moment to spend three plus hours working up a sweat.
Take what you can and push yourself.
Be present and use what you know to get you where you want to be with your fitness.
Try to learn from quality sources and experts in the field rather than the latest celeb diet or workout trend.
Find what works for you and go with it.
Provide yourself and your body with quality sleep. Our muscles, organs and tissues repair as we sleep in addition to our bodies being given the time to switch to autopilot while we rest and recover. Aim for at least 7 plus hours sleep a night. If you’re that person who has heard this a million times and thinks, “yeah right – what is this idea of sleep”… then this is for YOU! Find a way to get more sleep in, even if it is not all in one go.
Try turning off all electronic devices at least an hour before bed, writing down anything that you still need to do and then put that paper away, tense your muscles then relax them or lying with your legs on your wall and body on your bed.
There are so many ways to get more sleep, again it is just about finding what works for you. So experiment because it is worth it.
Additionally, look for quality foods. This is not to say go out and buy organic everything from the boutique market… look at your budget and go from there. Eating quality food does not have to be expensive, you just need to know where and how to shop (something I will touch on in a later post). So for quality foods go for foods that are closest to their natural form and season. When you go back to basics not only does it cut cost but it gives your mind and body what it needs to function efficiently and think clearly.
Finally, quality time! Give yourself time to recover and time to just be still. This might mean sitting in your car for 5 minutes before and after a work out and just reflecting on where you pushed yourself, what you enjoyed, how you are feeling etc.
Try not to overanalyse things but come back to just being completely still and getting in tune with where your body is. More than often that is all we really want – more time. But you can make the time you have worthwhile.
So on top of being still and present aim to make the moments you have while exercising really count. Work out what the actual focus of the exercise is. If it is a weights class and you are doing 15 reps for 3 sets for each exercise – ask why.
Learn to use your time wisely and create quality time in every session by pursuing your goals with a focus and reason for doing what you do.
Photo: Simone Becchetti | Stocksy.com