One of the greatest things I have learned in my own fitness and health journey is just how much the skills and lessons you acquire translate over into everyday life. Because of this, fitness and health are not just important to our bodies but in EVERY ASPECT of life. Here are just a few of the lessons that fitness teaches you:
Self-Control and Respect
There are many things in this world around us that are out of our control, but the way our bodies are treated isn’t one of them. YOU are the only one who can feed yourself, make the decision to work out, avoid unhealthy choices and make healthy ones. You are responsible for YOU. Does that feel scary to you or does it feel empowering? If it doesn’t feel empowering, you are looking at fitness the wrong way.
It’s your opportunity to have power over your LIFE, the quality of that life, the positive impact you can make on those around you, to keep yourself around longer for your family and people who love you. You may not be able to control how someone else treats you, but you can treat yourself with the respect you deserve. Once you begin to treat YOURSELF with respect and care, you’ll be surprised how differently the world begins to treat you. We teach others how to treat us by how we treat ourselves!
Being fit has a snowball effect on your confidence. It starts with doing something you didn’t think you could do, like pushups or running a mile straight. This creates an inner confidence that radiates in everything that you do and makes it easier to try more and push harder. You will begin to make different choices, carry yourself in a new way, smile more, and be more sure of yourself.
This is only complimented by an outer physique that will accompany your new found confidence. Not only will you feel better about yourself as a person, but you’ll have the knowledge that you’re stacking the health odds in your favor, and having the threat of disease off your shoulders just might make you stand up a little taller. Your confidence will be contagious, those around you will admire your efforts and want some of what you have, and you’ll help change lives. Besides, there’s something really cool about knowing you could kick someone’s ass if you needed to 🙂
Patience and Discipline
Something I’ve noticed is that fit people tend to have more discipline and patience in their day to day lives than most. They understand that choices have long-term consequences, and that short-term gratification isn’t always as satisfying as long-term. They have a deep understanding that what they choose to do today determines what kind of future they will have.
Getting in shape also requires learning a new form of patience, which is finding the joy in the short-term effects of exercise and health rather than wanting an immediate transformation right this minute. They learn to listen to their bodies, to have patience with it, to focus on inner transformation rather than external so that the external has the time it needs to transform as well. Isn’t this a great way to look at all aspects of life? Focus on the things that bring you joy right now, and the long-term picture will come together without you even realizing it. Make the best choices that you can make right now to determine a successful future.
Changing your lifestyle requires forming new habits. Forming new habits is one of the hardest things to do, because it actually requires that we change our brain activity. Our brains LOVE the safe, the normal, the usual–homeostasis. Trying to change that up makes our brains freak out, but it can be done if done intelligently.
Those who have successfully made the change from an unhealthy lifestyle to a healthy one know that forming new habits, one at a time, is the key to long-term success. Once you learn how to change your bad habits, you can change ANYTHING in your life. If you can learn to give up your 2 cans of soda a day habit, you can certainly start leaving for work 10 minutes earlier, stop smoking, stop procrastinating, etc. using the exact same habit-forming skills you learned in fitness.
What ways has fitness changed the rest of your life?