Guest Post- Balancing Fitness and Self-Care for Total Well-Being

This week I have the pleasure of sharing with you folks a great article focusing on Self-Care by Sheila Olsen. Check out her site Fit Sheila for more!

Balancing Fitness and Self-Care for Total Well-Being

Fitness plays a crucial role in one’s overall well-being. Even a small amount of daily activity can create a positive and sustainable life change. When you couple fitness with self-care and overall general well-being, exercise becomes more enjoyable. That makes it less likely to be abandoned for unhealthy choices. It’s not just our bodies that benefit from a combination of working out and self-care. In fact, our emotional wellness thrives when we attend to our whole selves.

Healthy Eating

One of the easiest ways to start caring for your well-being is to make better choices when it comes to food. By eating healthy, you will gradually start to feel better as you improve your overall health. If you don’t have time to visit the grocery store or if you feel overwhelmed by all the options available, you can call on a local meal delivery service. These days, there are a wide variety of services available that will deliver ingredients directly to your door. That way, you have better control over what you eat. Try to find a meal delivery service that provides fresh, organic foods with portion control.

Tempering Exercise with Self-Care

Many of us have been down the road of trying to hit the gym more regularly, eat better, and live a healthier existence. Then life steps in and dashes all of our good intentions. Sometimes we abandon fitness goals because of poor planning or setting unreasonable expectations, and other times overaggressive goals result only in workout burnout. Self-care has a two-pronged approach. First, self-care enables the kind of self-awareness that leads to proper planning and decision making. If we are in tune with ourselves, we are not likely to make unreasonable fitness goals. Secondly, self-care soothes us before, during, and after exercise, so we feel better, even if we had a rough workout.

Types of Self-Care

 There are numerous examples of self-care that support fitness activities. Massage helps sore muscles heal so we can sustain our exercise plans. Yoga stretches can also complement certain workouts, while its mindfulness components provide valuable self-knowledge to self-care. And mindfulness can also be cultivated through meditation.

 Fitness clubs have honed in on the benefits of adding self-care to workouts, with classes and amenities targeting overall wellness. Workout classes with names such as “fusion focus” combine high-intensity interval training with meditation. Of course, you don’t need to take classes to meditate; you can create a dedicated space for it in your very own home. All you need is an area (preferably a room free of distractions) that’s filled with calming decor. You can also light scented candles to help you get into a meditative frame of mind. For those who are new to meditation, there are online videos that can walk you through the process.

 And self-care is not all bubble baths and moments of silence. It can be at the core of a workout routine. Some fitness professionals consider self-care to be a holistic plan covering fitness, strength, and flexibility. This approach places less emphasis on mental wellness, but at the same time, it avoids some of the burnout associated with poor fitness planning. A goal to run a faster 5K might not be in line with self-care if it risks injury, for example.

Self-Care to Help Avoid Burnout

 Burnout is the reason many people abandon health goals and resolutions. Overexertion and overcommitting stem from setting unreasonable goals. You get pumped up for a new you—one that will hit the gym every day and crush goals, but then you get hurt or fatigued, or you start to realize that you cannot make those early-morning classes, and your commitment trails off.

 Avoid this by setting attainable, measurable goals. Focus on calmer, less intense workouts if you get burned out quickly, or if time is short, you might want to just focus on high-intensity training. Complete a quicker, more efficient workout and then move on to some self-care.

Fitness During Recovery

For those who are in recovery from addiction, the healing potential of fitness can be a crucial component of life change. Some addiction recovery support groups are sprouting up around the self-care focus of whole-body wellness and fitness. The theory is to swap a wrong lifestyle choice for a good one—to be addicted to health, rather than substances. And for those dealing with substance abuse recovery, fitness can fill the gap that addiction behaviors and substances once held. Exercise and self-care techniques tap into brain chemicals that provide joy. Unlike drugs and alcohol, however, the side effects of exercise and self-care are weight loss, muscle growth, and mindfulness.

Self-care is a necessary component of any fitness plan. Through self-care and fitness, you can learn to know yourself better and set more reasonable health and fitness goals. Most importantly of all, however, you can learn to soothe yourself. This is truly what makes self-care part of a sustained healthy lifestyle that boosts not just your physical health, but your mental and emotional wellness, too.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

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