One of the best things we can do for ourselves when we want to get healthier – both mentally and physically – is to start an exercise regimen. Most readers already know that working out is good for basic mental health maintenance. You’ve already learned about endorphins and how they work, etc, but keeping your brain cheery isn’t the only way that working out helps your mental health. Working out can also help you with the personal growth projects (aka resolutions) that you want to tackle this year.
Of course, knowing how much help exercise can give you with regards to your personal growth is one thing. Finding ways to work out regularly and being physically able to workout regularly are two different things. Let’s tackle the how part of the problem first.
Gym Membership Vs. Work at Home
Some people thrive on competition and do their best work with a partner or a buddy. If this is you, you will probably benefit quite a bit from joining a gym or working with a personal trainer. If you are more introverted or self conscious, however, working out at home–at least while you’re getting in shape–is the better plan.
Equipment and Gear
If you want to work out at home, build your home gym slowly. Start with workouts that don’t require any equipment and then, as you figure out which exercises work best for you, buy the equipment that will help you do those exercises properly. Don’t blow thousands on a gym setup that you might not even wind up using all that much!
On the other hand, it does matter how you outfit your body when you workout. You will need, at the very least, a good pair of shoes. If your circulation is poor, you will want to wear compression gear.
For many women and men, compression products help with the healing process, both during as well as after long workouts. You’ll also want to wear clothing that absorbs moisture and wicks it away from your body. Exercising in damp clothes is how problems like athlete’s foot and contact dermatitis develop.
Now let’s talk about why you need to workout if you want your personal growth goals to be successful.
Working Out Clears Your Mind
One of the best things that you can do when you get stuck on a problem is to get up and go for a walk. Even if you’re just walking on a treadmill or pacing around your office or apartment, walking helps improve creativity and brain function. The best method of walking, however, involves going outside. The change of scenery and the fresh air help you clear your mind of clutter and distraction so you can relax. Many people find that even after a block or two, they find solutions to problems that had been eluding them for hours or even days. If you want to be more productive at work and at home, get into the habit of going for walks.
Working Out Literally Changes You
The act of exercising changes a person. This isn’t a metaphor. It is literally true. As you exercise, you are building muscle and burning fat. You’re producing hormones. If you exercise regularly you will literally change your body’s makeup and appearance. These visible changes often lead to improved confidence and make changing the unseen parts of yourself easier to shift and grow.
A Regular Exercise Routine Builds Momentum
One of the primary fears about beginning a regular workout plan is that of not being able to see it through. But guess what? By being stubborn and sticking to your plan even when you really don’t feel like it, you’ll build momentum to follow through on other ideas and problems that you need to solve. This is both because, as we already mentioned, exercise builds confidence and because achieving one goal (in this case working out regularly for a prolonged period of time) makes you hungry to go after another.
So now that you know how and why, why are you still sitting there? Get up and get moving!
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