At the start of every year, most everyone is armed and ready to begin a routine that will lead to good health. But what does healthy look like?
Do you picture strength? A muscular body? Abs?
Does it mean “no days off” and doing intense exercises daily?
Is it waking up at the crack of dawn and forcing yourself to go the gym regardless of a sleepless night?
Although answering “yes” to all of the above can lead to a healthy lifestyle for many, it is not the right fit for everyone.
Healthy comes in different shapes, sizes, and fitness levels, therefore exercise should be a tailored treat, not a punishment.
The popular quote, “workout because you love your body, not because you hate it”, is a reminder that there is a thin line between a constructive workout routine and a destructive one.
Here are 4 simple ways to determine if your workouts are healthy for YOU:
1.You Feel Better
Healthy exercise improves mood and can combat various health conditions and diseases.
After or during a workout, if you’re in a worse mood, your asthma flares up, or you’re in excruciating pain, it is not a healthy mode of exercise for you.
Try reducing the intensity and/or weights, cutting the workout shorter, or changing to a different form of exercise that will keep you smiling, not frowning.
2. You Have More Energy
Exercise is a natural energy booster. Through exercise, oxygen and nutrients are delivered to your lungs and heart, which helps you have more endurance to get things done.
However, overtraining has the opposite effect and leads to sleep disturbances, excessive fatigue, and irritability.
Pay attention to how your body feels and reacts to your exercises. Also, prioritize sleep over exercise. Moving our bodies is important, but it can only go so far without recharging via sleep.
3. You Enjoy It
Working out is not defined by any specific type of exercise. For some, exercising is going to the gym and lifting weights. For others, it’s dancing or walking or even surfing. Some like to exercise alone, while others prefer to go in pairs or in groups. There is a form of movement to suit any preference.
So if you are not having fun with your workouts, do something else! Exercise should be an enjoyment and not an obligation.
4. You Have a Life
– Ian Cockerill, a sports psychologist at the University of Birmingham, England
Health encompasses more than just the physical. We are made up of a psychological, spiritual, and emotional being, which includes having a sound social life. If your workouts are interfering with other aspects of your life, take a step back and participate in the activities you have been neglecting. What good is it to be physically fit if you are stressed, depressed, lonely, and without someone to turn to?
Moving our bodies daily is vital for our well-being, but only if we keep it healthy.
Are your workouts healthy? What indicator do you struggle with most?
Share this post with others to promote healthy workouts!