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By Olivia Janisch

Physical activity is critical for a vibrant and happy life, and the time is now to make habits that support you and your future self. Exercise is important not only for your physical health, but also creates a strong foundation upon which you build your life and develop your self-expression.

Here’s how.

Exercise makes you comfortable with pain

Life is difficult, but once we understand and accept that it becomes a lot easier. By pushing ourselves and suffering physically, we become more comfortable when we face the challenges that life throws our way. When difficult things arise, instead of whimpering and shying away, we step up to the test and face it head on. Committed exercise makes getting out of your comfort zone part of your life, so when adversity arises, you can take it on and process it quickly and efficiently.

It makes you take responsibility for your situation

The price we pay for not taking 100% responsibility for our experience is that we’re not able to change it. When you set a fitness goal for yourself and then work towards achieving it, you accept that it’s up to you to get there. Not anyone else, just you. This transfers over to other areas of your life, as you realize that almost everything is in your control. Committing to goals and developing the regimen to get there enables us to change anything we desire. Whatever we want is attainable, we just have to commit to creating the plan to get there. Exercise is a tangible way of understanding this.

The feeling of success makes you hungrier for success in other areas of your life

While major financial success or meeting your soul mate can take time, physical improvements from a consistent fitness routine come relatively quickly. When you begin to feel the high of accomplishing your fitness goals, it makes you hungry for success in other areas of your life. This is the ground basis for big change, making you more competitive and driven in other places that are important for you.

The more energy you use, the more you have

Exercise doesn’t deplete you, it flushes toxins, releases endorphins, burns through stress and anxiety, helps you sleep better, and improves your metabolism, effectively enhancing every process of your body. All of these benefits contribute to a more energized and vibrant you. So, next time you think you’re too tired to get up early to run or that you’ve spent all your energy at work that day, look at it in terms of the energy you’re gaining, by putting the effort in to move your body and sweat a little. This energy will transfer into your relationships and your work life in ways you wouldn’t expect. Of course, healthy exercise is all part of a bigger overall balance, but something as simple as twenty minutes of yoga or walking a day is enough to be effective.

It creates a deep communion with your body

If you’ve done an intense class for the first time, you’ll notice that muscles you didn’t even know you had are sore. This is the basis of something much bigger, which is that when we exercise we begin to become a lot more self-aware of our bodies and begin to appreciate them in different ways. How often do you thank your feet for carrying you through each day? We frequently overlook how incredibly powerful and dynamic our bodies are, but through exercise we come back into understanding of this and begin to really become very appreciative and alive in our own bodies.

It sets a tone to make more healthy choices

Studies show that you’re ore likely to make healthy food choices after physical activity. By making the commitment to exercise, you subconsciously begin to shape your will power around more long-term goals, instead of short-term pleasure centric needs. Thus, if you work out first thing in the morning, you’re psychologically more inclined to go for a kale smoothie instead of a latte and a pastry. This sets the tone for the choices you make throughout your day, and supports your physical and mental wellbeing.

Exercise is extremely personal, so make sure to choose classes and activities that suit your needs. Find ways to commit to a routine and challenge yourself, and to be aware and enjoy the journey.

Photo By Chris Sardegna

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