Are you exercising for the right reasons and does it matter? We’re frequently advised that exercise is vital to good health and goes hand in hand with a nutritious diet. Most people are aware that being fit and healthy reduces our risk of contracting serious illnesses. However, when asked why they embark on healthy eating and exercise plans, most people state losing weight as their priority. If you dig a bit deeper, their reasons are looking better in their clothes or improving their outward appearance. There’s nothing wrong with this, of course, but as so many plans fail, it’s worth addressing motivations and priorities.
How happy are you? What does happiness mean to you? Could you be happier? What would you need to change in your life to feel completely happy? A large percentage of people are likely to state being their ideal weight as a gauge for their happiness level. But sadly this is not usually the case. All of their problems would still be present, regardless of the number on the scales. The only thing that changes is their dress size.
The problem with thinking in this way is that it creates a situation where we’re constantly living in the future. And the problem with that is that if we don’t achieve what we’re striving for, we’re caught in an endless cycle of wishing our lives away.
Many philosophers, therapist, yogis, etc. believe that to achieve true happiness and contentment we must live in the present. This doesn’t mean throwing caution to the wind and failing to plan for our future. It means taking sensible steps but enjoying the here and now.
Few people appreciate their health until they become ill or someone close to them becomes ill. It is only usually at that point that they can fully appreciate the thing they have taken for granted for so long. When planning our eating and exercise plans, if we focused on health and well-being, we may find that we’re able to sustain these plans for longer. The reason for this is that healthy plans focus on making small, achievable changes and building on them gradually. Finding the right plan for you is also important. For example, a lot of research has gone into the keto diet. As well as weight loss, it is thought to reduce the risk of contracting many serious illnesses significantly. If we focus on healthy diets rather than fad diets and quick results, we’re likely to achieve our goals and boost our health at the same time.
It’s easy to forget that our bodies are vessels for the real person. No matter how we look, how thin we are, and how firm our abs are, etc. we still live in our minds. Even if we achieve our ideal body weight, we can still feel stressed, anxious, sad, depressed, etc. Mental health is often an area that is overlooked.
What’re Your Thoughts
So what is the answer? It’s quite simple. Think long and hard about what is really important in your life. Prioritize health, well-being, and happiness. Don’t get bogged down with false dreams. Get clear and focus. Goals that bring significant benefits and improve your happiness are much more achievable and will prevent you from constantly living in the future.
Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.