How to be Fit Without Overdoing It, A Guest Post

By Sheila Olson

Woman practicing yoga at sunrise, on a mountain

Being fit can be hugely beneficial to our lives, but exercise sometimes takes the focus off other aspects of our well-being. This is especially true when we push fitness too hard. Self-care has many forms, so it’s important to find a balance between exercise and looking after yourself.

Live With Intention

Modern living can be hectic, and something as basic as self-care can be demoted to a minor consideration. Even when physically active, a non-stop schedule can negatively impact one’s quality of life. This may be countered by trying to live each day with intention, starting with the morning. This might involve meditation or the expression of gratitude or an affirmative mantra.

Intention can offer mindfulness of how we live and eat. Ask yourself what would truly be fulfilling and healthful. For instance, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and shouldn’t be skipped. A protein-based serving can set the day’s tone and give you the energy to better appreciate it. Make it a priority, as well, to find time to connect with friends and loved ones, as well as things that calm you. This can help you take a step back to re-energize, and give you perspective in finding the right balance between fitness and self-care.

Another way to bring more intention and self-care into your life is to create a quiet space for meditation in your home. Meditation is great for spiritual, mental, and emotional health – and might even help with certain physical conditions such as high blood pressure. For some people, a meditation space could be as simple as a quiet part of the room with a few candles, a floor pillow, and incense. Others may prefer to turn an unused bedroom into a meditation room, or to meditate from their backyard or porch swing. Consider the part of your home where you feel the most at peace, and consider how you could turn it into a place of warmth, tranquility, and escape.

Make Rest Days Fun

The necessity of rest days is something that is quickly apparent if you want a fit, healthy lifestyle. It may not seem like it, but recuperation is just as important to your well-being as having a fitness routine. Your rest days can also be opportunities for fun and help you refocus on quality of life. Consider activities that aren’t too demanding, but which can stimulate body and mind. Trips into nature, bike riding, and yoga are some of the activities that can achieve this. They can help you feel productive, take your mind off the gym, and give joy as well. You can round off the day by socializing or going shopping to further recharge your batteries. Such acts of self-care can go a long way toward ensuring a fit lifestyle is sustainable and balanced.

Don’t Punish Yourself

Being fit has countless benefits, but, sometimes, it can also cause feelings of guilt. This can lead to the exclusion of things that add value to our days and help ensure self-care is central to our lives. Our diets, especially, can suffer because of this. Try to avoid using food as either a reward or punishment. Instead, see food for what it is, and avail of it both to sustain your fitness and lifestyle. Don’t deny yourself indulgences perceived as unhealthy. The object of practicing fitness is, essentially, self-care. Treat fitness with the goal of being healthy and happy. Allow yourself to be vigilant against pushing your body to unnecessary extremes, which may run contrary to your fulfilment. You can try to curtail excess by distracting yourself or having someone hold you accountable. Whatever it is that you decide upon, a balanced mindset will be paramount to a positive relationship with fitness, and ensure self-care doesn’t take a backseat.

Recovery Benefits

Exercise can benefit anyone, but, for those in recovery, it does have specific advantages. Being fit, whether it’s going to the gym or just being physically active, can offer someone in recovery a welcome diversion from the stresses and strains being faced. Crucially, it can also produce dopamine, a mood-enhancing chemical. This can provide a healthy alternative to the fluctuating highs associated with addiction. Additionally, exercise can aid restfulness and improve sleep, which addiction can disrupt. These benefits have resulted in numerous treatment centers and programs encouraging physical activity. However, exercise can itself become a substitute addiction, and overdoing it can be very unhealthy. Moderation will be key to fostering a routine that works best for you and your recovery.

Self-care means more than physical fitness. Exercise can have numerous benefits, for all types of people, but it’s most effective when balanced with other positive routines. Try to bring your schedule under control and see fitness only as one facet of a broader habit of self-care.

Image Courtesy of Pixabay

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