Balancing Fitness and Self-Care: Tips for Achieving Overall Wellness
If you’re diligent about exercising and maintaining a productive workout routine, you probably have specific objectives in mind, like losing weight, building muscle, and achieving a trim and athletic body. It can be very easy to get so focused on your body and personal goals that you neglect other factors that also impact your health and sense of well-being. True health and happiness requires a more holistic approach, one that involves mental and emotional self-care as well as physical activity, so that a strong mind-body connection can be made. There are plenty of steps you can take to make sure you don’t overlook your mind and spirit and those parts of your life that also need care and nurturing.
After you’ve worked out, try incorporating breathing exercises into your cool-down routine. Take a few minutes to focus on your breathing. Take a breath, then let it out slowly and repeat. Some people couple deep breathing with a mantra, repeating a word or phrase with each breath. It’s an excellent way to calm down and relax after exercising. It slows your heart rate and blood pressure and restores oxygen levels in your bloodstream, which produces an alert, but relaxed condition.
Make sure you drink plenty of water before and after a workout. It supports your cardiovascular system and helps keep your body cool when you’re working hard and building up a good sweat. It also helps muscles and joints function better, restoring nutrients and cleansing muscles of impurities. Some people wait until after a workout to hydrate, but it’s even more important to get plenty of water before you exercise because it helps your body function more effectively. Your kidneys also function better and are more apt to remain clear of kidney stones and infections.
Sign off your smartphone
A gym workout is a popular time for people to get on Instagram or Facebook and find out what their friends had for dinner or keep up with the latest entertainment news. But if you accept the idea that exercise is a time to concentrate on what your body is doing, staring at your smartphone can be disruptive. Use the time to ignore emails and texts and focus on how your body is feeling. Think of your exercise time as an escape from the stressful parts of your day, so turn off the phone and leave it in your locker while you get a good workout. Getting away from your phone shuts out those distractions and helps you reduce stress.
Meditation has been proven effective at helping reduce stress and restoring your energy when things get hectic. It’s one of the purest forms of self-care because it’s time spent focusing on you in an intimate way. Some forms of meditation involve self-reflection and making sense of relationships and problems you’re facing at work and in your personal life. Sometimes, the clarity that meditation instills can help show you solutions to problems that may have seemed overwhelming. Regular meditation can improve your ability to concentrate, make you feel happier, and increase self-awareness.
Recovery from addiction means recovering in mind, body, and spirit, each part being as important as the others. Few approaches are more effective than exercise. It boosts your body’s healing powers and helps you avoid negative behaviors that could lead to relapse and place your sobriety in peril. Engaging in your favorite form of vigorous exercise boosts endorphins, which makes you feel good and strengthens the mind-body connection.
Self-care is an important part of one’s overall health. It is crucial to maintaining a strong connection between the body and mind. Relaxation and quiet reflection are as important as physical exercise.
Photo courtesy of: Meditating Taurus