How to Combine Fitness and Self-Care for the Ultimate Package Deal
Updated: Jul 1, 2020
Health and fitness are a mindset, but when combined with self-care, it can become a lifestyle. You see, fitness takes a toll on your body. While most of the effects are positive such as weight loss, improved strength and stamina, and cardiovascular health, your body needs to rest and recover too. This is where self-care comes in. The following tips can help you make the most of your fitness goals by incorporating some much-needed self-care to keep you focused, fueled, and fired up.
Make Meaningful Dietary Changes
When it comes to eating healthier, the key is to take care of your body, not starve it. Instead of jumping right into a diet, start with small changes first to ease your way into it. Be more mindful of your portion sizes by using smaller plates, and put the phone away while you eat so that you can eat slowly and tune into your body’s cues that it’s full. Make it easier to reach for healthy snacks by putting out a bowl of fruit and keeping sliced fruits and veggies at the front of the fridge instead of shoved in the bottom drawer.
Should you decide you’d like to try a diet, avoid those that are difficult and expensive to follow such as trying to cut out all sugar or counting calories. Instead, focus on the macros (macronutrients) your body needs to thrive: carbs, protein, and fat. Often referred to as the
building blocks of nutrition, balancing your macros is a healthy and effective way to eat right and take care of your body. Also, add probiotics (like yogurt and supplements) to your diet to fuel your gut with the bacteria it needs to help improve your mood. Because your gut is connected to the emotions you feel throughout the day, it’s important to keep it healthy with the right foods and supplements. Doing so can also boost your digestion and enhances your immune system.
Watch Out for Exercise Burnout
Any sort of health or fitness goal requires exercise, but don’t make the mistake of hitting the gym too hard and burning out. It is imperative that you pair exercise with recovery to reap the efforts of regular physical activity. Signs you are overdoing it include difficulty sleeping, muscle weakness, and exhaustion. Exercise should make you feel energized and strong, but you shouldn’t be extremely fatigued. You should also look out for long-lasting muscle soreness. It’s normal to be sore after a workout, but it shouldn’t last for weeks or months. Incorporating days off, altering your workout intensity, and switching up your routine are all good ways to recover. You might also look into a natural recovery method such as CBD oil to include in your self-care routine to reduce pain, inflammation, and muscle soreness. It can be used as a post-workout recovery tool as well as help ease anxiety and depression. As with anything new, get the green light from your doctor first, and spend some time researching to find the best CBD oil for you.
Take Time to Find Your Outlet
Fitness improves your body, but self-care takes care of your mind, body, and spirit. Lifting weights at the gym or attending a weekly HIIT class might be your outlet, but you need something you can turn to for rest and relaxation. One common self-care outlet is meditation. By taking a moment to sit down, take some deep breaths, and reflect, you are able to take a step back from your busy life to recharge. Being constantly on the go is stressful, so meditation gives you alone time to become more in-tune with yourself, not to mention it lowers stress and anxiety, increases self-awareness, and encourages self-discovery. Self-care doesn’t require that you sit still, so if you prefer to be a little more active, try finding a new hobby to achieve a sense of purpose, relieve stress, and potentially discover a new passion. Hobbies are an easy way to find friends with common interests too. Socialization is an important part of self-care, and having friends you can rely on when life gets tough makes a big difference.
Living a healthy life is all about balance. You’ve got to balance out your health and fitness goals with the right amount of self-care. Once you find that sweet spot, sticking to it will be a long-term commitment.
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