Is exercising a top priority for you?
Was the answer yes? Was the answer no? If the answer was no, can I ask you why? What’s more important than your well being, your health, or your mental state.
Sometimes, it’s a reasonable answer, like your family, your kids, your job, school, which of course are all valid points. Think about it this way, if you’re not healthy and you’re sick all the time then how will you take care of your family or do your job? You want to be able to go on adventures with your friends and family, but if you’re not taking care of your body then you can’t do those things. We all want to rendezvous during our free time, but we can’t if we lack the energy, the self-confidence, you’re out of breath quickly, all of those things add up to a poor lifestyle. There are a lot of different factors that could play into you not enjoying your life to the fullest.
Our jobs are generally the top priority for us, mostly because we’d be starving and homeless if we didn’t have one. School is also a top priority, if you are in high school well, it’s required and forced by the law that you attend every day. If you’re in college, you think this is costing so much money, I have to go to class and do well. Our family, also a top priority, maybe because we birthed them or because that’s just who we are as humans. Certain friends, now I’m sure we all have a lot of friends, but how many of them do you actually speak to on a regular basis or meet up with consistently. Those people, they are higher on your friendship list, it’s not a bad thing, it’s just how it works. There was this meme when I was in college, you had to pick two out of the three: get good grades, have a social life, or get enough sleep.
We couldn’t have all three, so we had to make a choice. I’m not going to give you three options, but I will ask you to list your top five priorities right now in your head. What number does exercising fall under? If exercising regularly is in your top five then congratulations! If it falls under the top five, ask yourself, “Why is it so low?” It’s not a bad thing, but sometimes we just need to see things in front of us to realize what’s going on. I know that exercising was never a top priority for me. In my head, sleep trumps everything. Even if some things trump exercising, you can still make adjustments to your priority list. You make time for things that matter to you. You make time to see your friends and family whenever you can, sometimes you even make time for some TLC. Everyone needs it, it keeps us sane. Maybe that TLC could be you taking relaxing bath, reading a book, tuning the world out in some headphones, a nice hike outside, a sweaty gym session. Whatever keeps you calm and collected, you make time for, probably on the regular.
Do you ever ask a friend what they do when they are stressed out or if they have too many things on their mind? I ask my friends sometimes and surprisingly the answer is a tough workout. They push themselves a little more during this time or maybe they even grunt a little louder than usual to release pent-up energy. I’m not saying it’s the miracle answer to help, but it’s a good place to start. It could be a win-win situation, you get some good exercise in along with a clearer headspace.
A good workout.
Remember, exercise isn’t just about being in shape, it is about how it makes you feel and how that influences your mood and those around you. Exercising can also help you sleep better, have more energy, concentrate, and reduce anxiety. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a lot of good benefits, for one small price. That price being to get up and to actually go work out.
We need to make time to take care of ourselves. To take care of our bodies. If we want to see a change, we have to do something about it. We can’t sit around and wait for something to magically happen that will change our lives. We work for what we want. Make yourself a priority in your life.
“Do something every day that is loving toward your body…” ~Golda Poretsky
Initially, I asked you all if exercising was a top priority if the answer was no, we discussed why it should be, but if your answer was yes, then what? Maybe you’re an athlete or maybe you just have your life together. As an athlete, you push yourself to be better than someone else, to swim faster, run faster, jump higher, score more points, etc., but also to be better than you were last week. Whether you’ve gotten faster or you’ve learned how to get in the right mindset when you’re competing. There is no end to being a better athlete. Nobody knows how it feels to be in that pool or to be on that track competing against the top athletes, only you do. Only you can prepare yourself for what is ahead. Sure your coaches and parents can teach you proper form, push you to go faster, but only you can help yourself on that track. I’m no athlete, but I imagine that when you’re out there while everyone is in the stands, you just think
“This is what I’ve been training for.”
This is the moment that all those late nights or early morning workouts are for. They have prepared you for this moment and more to come when you cross those finish lines or when you’ve scored more points than the other team. Maybe you’re not on a team, you can always be better than you were last week. Run a mile faster than you did a month ago, lift more than you did a year ago.
The toughest thing you can do is beat the best version of yourself. If you haven’t gotten there yet, then that’s the first challenge you must face. Just remember, one day at a time, one workout at a time, and one step at a time. Good luck 🙂
Written by Kelly Chen.