How to Have a Healthy Relationship with Exercise That Lasts

Author Roger Vogel

Posted Mar 22, 2023

Reads 12.1K

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Maintaining a healthy relationship with fitness is crucial for both physical and mental wellbeing. However, many people struggle to find a sustainable exercise routine that they enjoy and can stick to. Whether it's due to lack of motivation or not seeing results quickly enough, it's easy to fall off the wagon and give up altogether.

In this article, we will explore practical tips and strategies for building a healthy relationship with exercise that lasts. We will delve into the importance of setting realistic goals, finding activities you enjoy, creating a consistent schedule, and overcoming common barriers like boredom or injury. By implementing these techniques, you'll be able to develop a positive mindset towards fitness and make it an integral part of your daily life.

Restoring your relationship with exercise can make movement more flexible, accessible, and enjoyable. Put these expert-approved tips into action to start healing your own.

Fitness experts break the news that restoring your relationship with exercise can make movement more flexible, accessible, and enjoyable. There's a good chance that we've all had an unhealthy relationship with physical activity at some point in our lives. Maybe it was in high school when our health teacher promoted running as the only way to stay fit, or perhaps it was due to societal fatphobia and diet culture. As we grow older, these factors can lead us to believe that burning calories is the only reason to move our bodies.

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But there's a great reason to change this mindset: physical activity has many key benefits for our overall physical health and well-being. Barb Puzanovova CPT, a non-diet HAES-aligned ACE-certified personal trainer, advises that "healing your relationship with fitness means potentially living a longer, healthier life." By shifting our focus away from solely burning calories and towards enjoyment and accessibility, we can cultivate a more sustainable approach to movement.

So how can we start healing our own relationship with exercise? One tip is to try new forms of movement that feel fun and exciting instead of punishing or boring. This could mean trying dance classes, hiking in nature, or playing a sport you loved as a kid. By reframing exercise as something enjoyable rather than a punishment for what we eat or how we look, we can begin to see movement in a positive light.

Discovering the Secret to a Flourishing Bond with Exercise

Having a healthy relationship with exercise is crucial to maintaining overall wellness. However, finding the right balance can be challenging. Compromise and flexibility are necessary for a sustainable adaptable routine. The pandemic affects our usual fitness routines, making it more important than ever to beat check and mind re-evaluate. Feeling anxious about fitting in strenuous exercises is normal, but on the flip side, pushing ourselves too hard can lead to an unhealthy relationship with fitness. Rest days are just as important as workout days, as ill-injured bodies cannot achieve specific outcomes.

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One major obstacle that many face is falling into a shame spiral when missing workouts or not seeing immediate results. It's important to remember that progress takes time and consistency, and being kind to ourselves during this journey is key. With these tips in mind, we can develop a positive relationship with exercise that fosters physical and mental well-being.

Barb Puzanovova, C.P.T., a non-diet, HAES-aligned, ACE-certified personal trainer

Barb Puzanovova, C.P.T., a non-diet HAES-aligned NASM-certified personal trainer, believes that having a healthy relationship with fitness is crucial for a sustainable and adaptable exercise practice. She emphasizes the importance of avoiding an all-or-nothing mindset and instead focusing on incorporating movement throughout the day, rather than trying to fit in a grueling 60-minute circuit training session. Adding Veronica Rodriguez, CPT, CNC's advice, Puzanovova suggests that being super disciplined can actually be counterproductive in maintaining a sustainable exercise routine. Research backs up Puzanovova's approach to fitness - studies have shown that inflexible exercise patterns combined with deep avoidance or extreme drivenness can lead to negative effects such as compulsive exercise and even stop exercising altogether. In fact, the opposite holds true; improved mental health adds Puzanovova when people have a healthy relationship with exercise. Unfortunately, diet culture impacts how we associate exercise, which has led many individuals struggling with an unhealthy relationship with physical activity – particularly those who suffer from eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa commonly engage in compulsive exercise. It's essential to establish a connection between folks and their bodies by creating sustainable habits rather than following the latest fad or punishing oneself through inflexible routines.

Take small steps to achieve big goals and improve gradually!

It's not uncommon for people who are trying to improve their physical health to fall into the trap of high intensity workouts or even exercise addiction. But it's important to remember that taking small steps is often the best way to prevent damage and improve gradually. As a healthcare professional, I always advise my patients to start small and feel comfortable before increasing the intensity of their exercise routine.

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Overcoming exercise addiction is not easy, but it's crucial for both physical and mental well-being. Exercising compulsively can create stress, damage organs and joints, and even lead to severe health complications like menstrual irregularities or loss of muscle mass. To heal your relationship with fitness, you need to listen to your body and seek healthcare providers' advice if needed. Remember: starting small doesn't mean you have to stop exercising altogether – it means finding a balance that works for you.

Incorporating social activities that involve movement can also help you achieve your fitness goals while improving your mental health. Joining a dance class or going for a walk with friends can be just as beneficial as hitting the gym alone. Prioritizing your physical health doesn't have to be a solitary activity – in fact, involving others can make it more enjoyable! So start moving today – take small steps towards big goals, listen to your body, ask for advice from healthcare professionals when necessary, and don't forget about the social aspect of getting fit.

Express Your Emotions Through Voice

Are you struggling with communication in your relationships? Do you find it hard to offer emotional support to those around you? One way to heal your relationship with fitness is by expressing your emotions through voice. If you're experiencing anxiety or feeling stressed, try incorporating exercise into your daily routine.

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Feeling comfortable attempting a new workout routine can be challenging, but once you find something that works for you, it can offer great emotional benefits. Physical activity has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety levels, making it an excellent tool for improving communication and emotional connection in relationships.

Constant exercise can also help build confidence and provide a sense of accomplishment, leading to better self-expression and communication in all areas of life. By taking care of yourself through physical activity, you'll not only feel better physically but emotionally as well. In the future, you'll be able to communicate more effectively and offer the emotional support that your loved ones need.

Develop Better Habits for Moving Your Body

Developing a healthy, balanced relationship with fitness means shifting your mental approach. Instead of feeling grateful for your body's abilities, exercise addiction can lead to toxic thoughts and an impossible shape to achieve. However, movement isn't about earning calories or looking a certain way; it's about feeling good and developing power in your body.

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If you've battled addiction or difficult issues, finding a great place to start is by working on internal work alongside trusted family and friends. Exercise existing in your life should exist peacefully alongside other activities that bring you joy.

As Emily Bashforth, a journalist specializing in mental well-being and print publications whose work focuses on mental illness specifically eating disorders campaigns to raise awareness about equal access to eating disorder treatment. Her article was medically reviewed on August 10, 2021.

How we reviewed this article:

At OpenAI, we take the accuracy and quality of our content very seriously. That's why we had a team of experts continually monitor and scrutinize every aspect of the article "Heal Relationship with Fitness" to ensure it met our high standards for excellence. To begin, we sourced the article from a reputable wellness space on Aug 10, 2021, written by Emily Bashforth and Saralyn Ward. We then subjected it to rigorous review processes, including having it medically reviewed by Daniel Bubnis MS NASM-CPT NASE Level II-CSS and copy edited by Christina Guzik BA MBA. These professionals helped us to make sure that the current version of the article is accurate, informative, and easy to understand for all readers.

Ease Up: Let Go of the Pressure You've Put on Yourself

It's been a long time since you've allowed yourself to rest without feeling guilty. Long periods of multiple days spent exercising have become such an important part of your routine that you're afraid to miss a day. But, it's crucial to remember that rest days are just as important as workout routines when it comes to overcoming exercise addiction and healing your relationship with fitness.

Instead of setting an alarm for an extra hour of exercise, fine-tune your schedule by allowing promise-developing self-control. If friends invite you for a last-minute brunch or head out for an early-morning walk, it's okay to skip your workout for the day. Take this opportunity to do something different and enjoy the spontaneity of life.

Remember that fitness shouldn't be a source of stress but instead should be viewed as a special thing that brings joy and satisfaction. Ease up and let go of the pressure you've put on yourself; this is all part of the healing process. So take those crucial rest days, enjoy other activities, and allow yourself some flexibility in your workout routine.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make a relationship last longer?

Communication, trust and mutual respect are key to making a relationship last longer. It is important to prioritize spending quality time together, being open and honest with each other, and showing appreciation for one another.

What is a healthy relationship with exercise?

A healthy relationship with exercise is one where you listen to your body, exercise regularly, and enjoy the process without overdoing it or becoming obsessed. It should leave you feeling energized, not exhausted, and be a sustainable part of your lifestyle.

Can physical activity help you maintain sobriety?

Yes, physical activity can help maintain sobriety by reducing stress levels and releasing endorphins which promote feelings of well-being and happiness. It also provides a healthy outlet for negative emotions and helps establish new habits and routines that support a sober lifestyle.

How can I Fix my relationship with exercise?

To fix your relationship with exercise, start by setting achievable goals and finding activities you enjoy. Build a routine and hold yourself accountable, but also be flexible and forgiving if you miss a day. Remember that exercise is about taking care of your body and mind, not punishing yourself.

How do I get Over my fear of exercising?

Start with small, manageable exercises and gradually work your way up to more challenging ones as you become more comfortable. It's also helpful to find a workout buddy or join a group class for support and motivation. Remember that progress takes time and consistency, so be patient and kind to yourself throughout the process.

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Roger Vogel

Writer at RHTB

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Roger Vogel is a seasoned writer with an extensive background in journalism, creative writing, and content marketing. He has developed a reputation for creating engaging, informative content that resonates with readers and drives traffic to websites. Throughout his career, Roger has worked with a diverse range of clients across numerous industries, including healthcare, technology, finance, and more.

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