Developing a fitness routine comes with its fair share of challenges. While your ultimate goal may be to lose 20 pounds or build muscle, it’s important to remember to stay mindful while you exercise. Self-care plays an important role in fitness and it can help you get the most out of your workouts and help your mind and body feel better following your stint at the gym.
This is particularly true if you’re in recovery and searching for healing techniques to get you through your addiction. Here are a couple of ways you can balance your workout regimen and improve your overall health.
Adopt healthy eating habits
A healthy diet and a good fitness routine go hand in hand. How are you going to find motivation to hit the gym when you’re putting drinks and foods into your body that are loaded with sugar and fat? Try and swap out pizza, beer and burgers for healthier foods like water, fish and salads. Healthy foods will not only help you gain more energy, but they will help you look better, too. In fact, a healthy diet can protect against certain cancers, improve moods, clear up skin, reduce the risk of a heart attack and improve your sex drive. A healthy diet and exercise can also be great supplements to addiction recovery, because they allow you to focus on something other than the substance you’re craving.
Don’t push it too far
When you step into the gym or hop on your bike for a ride on the trails, it’s important to remember to never overdo it. It’s healthy to push your boundaries and try and take your fitness routine to the next level, but strengthening your muscles with new workouts and pushing your muscles too far is different. When you push yourself too far, you may start to notice chest discomfort, shortness of breath, joint pain that lasts for days, fever, nausea, depression or anxiety. Overdoing your workouts can lead to serious health consequences and you should be mindful to the signs that your body is telling you when you exercise. Know it’s OK to rest and take a few days off from working out in order to improve your overall well-being.
Consider yoga or meditation
While it’s important to practice cardio and weight lifting, incorporating exercise that relaxes your mind is crucial as well. Meditation or yoga can help accomplish this. These two exercises are typically infused with one another, but they can be practiced on their own. Both yoga and meditation help you stay present in the moment instead of letting your mind wander into stressful thoughts. With yoga, you put your body into certain poses that help you build core strength and stretch muscles. Meditation helps you control and focus on your breathing so you can have peace of mind.
Put your phone away
Smartphones are often treated like a love-hate relationship. They allow us to capture in-the-moment memories and communicate easier with friends and family, but they can also be a distraction, especially when we’re exercising. While you may use your phone while at work, put it away when you’re working out. You can try putting your phone away for an hour while you attend a spin class or go for a run and see how it feels. When you’re not distracted by your phone, you can stay present in the moment and focus on the fitness goals you’ve set for yourself. Without your phone on your mind, you’ll be able to improve your self-care while you meet your fitness goals.
Photo: Unsplash - Christina Gottardi