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  • Written by Stella Green Thompson


You are here to fulfill only your own expectations. Too many people are chasing a sort of culturally imposed ideal which has nothing to do with feeling as balanced and healthy as you can within your own body. There are as many metabolisms as there are people. We all react differently to a variety of dietary regimes and not all food is made equal for everyone. This is why you shouldn’t impose any expectations on yourself or, even worse, punish yourself if you do not fulfill them. The goal of exercising should be the improvement of your own health, and nothing other than that.

Keep this in mind as you discover the following 5 body-positive reasons to work out.

1. You’ll get rid of stress

One of the biggest selling points of regular workout is that you will reduce all the mental and physical symptoms of stress. This is why mindful practices such as meditation and yoga are so popular today. Unless you have caught the flu or you are otherwise indisposed, you can always partake in some sort of physical activity that reduces your stress levels. In today’s world, when we are overburdened with work-related obligations, finding an outlet to ‘vent out’ your stress is worth in gold. It is perfectly legitimate to take up a martial art or boxing in order to take the edge off, but you should always do it primarily for this purpose!

2. You can do it anywhere

A workout is a flexible notion. There are many activities you can practice and enjoy within a variety of parameters. The sheer joy of exercising has nothing to do with limitations that people impose onto themselves in order to achieve a particular body framework. It’s about embracing a hobby that improves your wellbeing, but which you can practice according to your convenience! You can sweat your way through a workout routine in the gym, yes, but you can also do it at home and in the idyllic embrace of the outdoors.

You’ll find a plethora of activities these days can be practiced within the comfortable confines of your own home. Yoga, Pilates, and other stretching exercises can formally be assembled into a routine that you can easily practice on a yoga mat in the corner of your house if you are pressed for time, but there is always an option to go for a brisk jog. It’s a flexible activity with wonderful benefits for your metabolic processes, but you should be properly equipped to avoid injury. When it comes to jogging, it requires quality equipment, right running shoes and specialized compression sleeves and socks.

3. Reduce inflammation

When we exercise, we encourage our entire body to speed up metabolic processes. Our muscles heat up, our organs start ‘pumping’ faster and blood flows like a fast river. By speeding up the cycle of bodily fluids, you are perspiring more and squeezing out all of the toxins that have been trapped in your tissue. By strengthening your muscles, you are also improving the support of your bone structure, thus reducing the impact of chronic pain. All of these factors are contributing to one overarching goal - the reduction of chronic inflammation that becomes more intense as we grow older. This should count among one of the top medical, body-positive reasons for a regular workout.

4. Improve your sleeping quality

Our minds are bombarded with a constant stream of audio-visual information that is practically ‘burned’ into our cortex via screens. Blue light - the digital shimmer which spreads from LCD screens, is the plague of our existence. It impedes the production of melatonin which is responsible for our sleeping cycles. This is why so many people have insomnia and other sleep disorders these days. Well, the good news is that regular exercise can help with that.

Working out will tire you out in the healthiest way possible; you will fall asleep noticeably faster and stay asleep until your body feels it has recuperated. In addition, you will feel less chronically tired throughout the day and you will definitely feel there is a noticeable improvement in your concentration. While we are on the topic of this…

5. Get rid of brain fog

Regular exercise leads to the production of serotonin and other hormones which will keep you happy and motivated. As your chronic pain and inflammation reduce and your sleeping patterns improve, you will realize that you can think faster and perform better throughout the day - especially at work. The brain fog that seemed to have dragged throughout most of the day will suddenly lift and you will feel mentally more capable to tackle an eclectic variety of problems that come your way. Regular workout routine may be better than any caffeinated drinks, and this alone should be a good enough body-positive reason to keep on exercising.

Conclusion

You should exercise to promote your own health and to stay attuned to your own body. In order to achieve this, you have to practice mindfulness and listen carefully. What does your body want or need? Is your lifestyle harming you in the long run? The crucial thing is to take the harmful self-judgment out of the equation. You’ll manage to strike a perfect balance between physical form and wellbeing that works just for you.



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