Cultivating Self-Love Through Exercise
Exercise as a part of your self-love journey
Can exercise be part of your self-love program? Of course it can! “Doing exercise, taking care of yourself, to me that’s part of self-love, and self-care,” says Clarissa Wilson, Money Coach. For Wilson, and countless others, exercise is a way to manage stress. It also feeds your body. And, if you do it right, it can also feed your soul.
But I can’t afford to exercise!
You don’t need a fancy gym membership, or spend several thousand dollars on a treadmill, in order to exercise. The world is your exercise oyster. In some parts of the country, there are outdoor adult fitness parks. These parks offer fitness opportunities at no cost to you.
Sure, everybody can agree that running is a workout. But don’t discount walking! Most cell phones these days have a health app that you can use to track your steps. Just put on some comfy shoes, and some good socks, and walk right out your front door.
The comfort of your own home
Get out your yoga mat and go to You Tube. There are countless yoga videos available on You Tube that are absolutely free. Find one or two yogis who’s style you enjoy, and make it a habit to incorporate a yoga routine into your day.
Similarly, if you are a fan of lifting weights for your work out, you will find what you need on You Tube. Neither of those sound attractive? How about Qi Gong? Tai Chi? Tae Kwon Do? Karate? Google “New ways to exercise” and see what pops up.
If you have a Wii, check out Wii fitness. There are plenty of used Wii fitness packages for sale at a fraction of the price of a new one on Craigslist. Everything from yoga to Biggest Loser tapes appear to be available for purchase.
Another free (and fast!) alternative is the XBX program. The XBX program is a series of ten exercises designed for women by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. You need no equipment and very little space.
I don’t have time for exercise!
“I don’t have time” is both the most common excuse and also one of the biggest lies we tell ourselves to justify not engaging in exercise. How much time to you spend on time sucks like the internet, television, or indulging in reading? None of these things are bad for you, mind you. But giving yourself the gift of exercise – even for 15 minutes, can be life changing. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise provides these 7 benefits:
· Exercise controls weight;
· Exercise combats health conditions and diseases;
· Exercise improves mood;
· Exercise boosts energy;
· Exercise promotes better sleep;
· Exercise puts the spark back into your sex life;
· Exercise can be fun.
Putting aside the obvious benefits to physical health, think about this: if you had an improved mood, more energy, and slept better, wouldn’t you be a more pleasant and productive person? Wouldn’t you have more free time, because you’ve become more efficient? Of course you would.
Carving out time for exercise
One option for “finding the time” to exercise would be to set your clock for 15 minutes earlier than it is now. Get out of bed, put on your shoes, and walk out your front door. After 7 ½ minutes, turn around and walk home. You don’t have to engage in some elaborate five mile hike. 15 minutes of walking first thing in the morning is a fine start to your day.
Alternatively, consider leaving your office at lunch time. Use the same method – walk in one direction for 7 ½ minutes, then turn around and go back to the office.
Or perhaps your schedule works best with a walk with the kids when you get home from work.
The XBX program takes no more than 12 minutes (and significantly less when you are first starting out). Isn’t your lowered stress level worth 12 minutes?
This isn’t hard, it’s just not what you are currently used to. There’s no “right time” or even a “right way” to exercise. That’s not the point. Rather, the idea is to take some time just for you, knowing that in doing so you are improving your health and your sense of well being. You are not just doing yourself a kindness, you are also performing a kindness for the people closest to you.
Cultivating self love through exercise
By taking the time to exercise each day, you are cultivating self love. By cultivating self love, you are becoming a better person. As you consistently find ways to love yourself, you will find you love yourself even more, day by day. You will also inevitably find that others find you more attractive as well – not in a sexual sense (necessarily) but in an “I feel good when I am around this person. I want to spend more time in this person’s presence,” sort of way.