The majority of us don’t realise that getting in shape isn’t a simple addition to a weight loss plan. Long ago we lost the interconnectedness between our mind and body; and how the two affect each other. Reestablishing that connection can help you develop a lifelong program critical to a healthy mind and maintaining overall wellness; this article will help you reestablish that connection.
Whether you choose yoga, or another form of physical exercise – our body’s were designed to move, and this is key to establishing mental wellness. It’s important to choose realistic fitness options, if you are overweight this limits you – however, with steady and consistent progress you can build towards your goals and perform exercises you were otherwise incapable of performing.
Exercise unites your mind and body, and reduces your stress levels. High levels of stress influence emotional eating, resulting in becoming overweight. Finding activities that you genuinely enjoy and can complete correctly (in the way they were designed) is important to developing your exercise plan. Is a 40-60 minute run on a treadmill realistic to you? Are you immediately setting yourself up for failure the second you commit to that workout on your exercise program? Would you prefer some light meditative exercise, followed by lesser time on a treadmill?
Your exercise plan must fit your lifestyle. Long term weight loss is more about consistency than it is about the exercises you are performing. The reality is, if you aren’t enjoying what you’re doing, you will quickly find something else to substitute the time you spend exercising. It doesn’t matter what you have written on your workout plan, if you aren’t performing the exercises, you aren’t making progress.
It’s important to ease into your program initially. If you haven’t exercised in a long time, it can become very easy to overestimate what you are capable of, particularly if you are comparing your 40 year old, out-of-shape self to an 18 year old version of yourself hitting the gym five times a week. All-or-nothing exercises plans often result in giving up after a short stint; gradually ease into your program and listen to your body.
It’s important to tailor your fitness goals to your preferences. Some people enjoy a cardio or weight session after they’ve completed their daily errands, and would otherwise use that time to watch television and binge on food as they’re awaiting dinner. Others, find it easier to begin their day with exercise as it gets them ready for the day ahead and it fits better into their schedule. Adopting either approach, or a combination of the two will be beneficial to your mind and body.
It is critical that you become aware of what your body responds to, and what it does not. If you enjoy peace and quiet, cardio and weight sessions performed at home may be best. If you crave human interaction and the company of others, a public setting such as the local gym or outdoor bootcamp may satisfy your inner voice.
Long term weight loss takes time, there is no magic pill to achieving instant results – it’s perfectly normal to feel dismay if you don’t see immediate results. Maintaining an exercise routine is as much a physical demand as it is a mental. A tip we like to recommend is to avoid the weight scale – it can be deceiving. The mirror is your most accurate reflection of whether you’re making progress or not. Upon building muscle and losing fat, the weight scale may indicate you’ve made no progress at all, whilst the mirror reveals a more accurate reflection. Focus on how you’re feeling with your exercise routine. How is your body reacting to a more time demanding schedule? Is it increasing your stress level? If so, you simply won’t maintain what you’re doing as the negatives outweigh the benefits.
You may have tried losing weight in the past and failed miserably. You have not failed, rather, dieting or a poorly developed exercise plan has failed you. Fitness of mind and body should remain closely related, it is essential to maintaining your plan and achieving the outcome you desire.
Paul Campbell covers the mind-body connection in a concise 13 minute video below: