Workouts are more than just dripping sweat and pushing yourself until you pass out. Putting self-care and your well-being ahead of just burning calories will help you feel better after you hit the gym. So, how do you put yourself first while also trying to stick to your weekly runs, swims, or sessions pumping iron? We’ve listed some ways to balance your fitness routine with habits that focus on caring for your body and mind.
Don’t overdo it
It’s important to listen to your body when you’re exercising. Before and after you exercise, remember to stretch. Stretching will help loosen up your muscles and get your blood pumping, while also reducing cramps. Fitness is important to maintain positive mental health, especially if you’re going through addiction recovery. Starting a fitness routine can be healing, but remember not to overdo it. If you start feeling pain during a workout, stop and don’t push your body further.
Developing a healthy fitness routine is more than just burning calories. You also have to focus on balancing your mental health, along with your physical health. An easy way to put your mind at ease after physical activity is meditation. Take 10 minutes after every workout to sit down and clear your mind. Meditation is proven to not only relieve post-workout pain, but it’s supposed to help lead to improved recovery, due to lowered cortisol levels. If you can, designate a specific area in your home as a place to meditate so that you can create the perfect retreat free of distractions. It doesn’t have to be fancy or even a whole room.
Get off your phone
When you’re working out, let your mind be 100 percent in the workout. You can do this by putting down your phone and getting off social media. It’s fine if you want to listen to music on your phone, but skip the emails, texts, and Facebook updates and commit to that one hour of gym time, distraction free. Let yourself really enjoy the physical activity.
Wear the right clothes
Workout clothes can offer numerous benefits for your fitness routine. Wearing clothes that you feel good in will help you get to the gym because they can raise your self-confidence. While you’re breaking a sweat, you want to wear clothes that fit you because if they don’t, you’ll be spending the whole time focused on your too-tight or ill-fitting leggings or shirt instead of your fitness routine. The right clothes can also help you feel better after you exercise. If you wear breathable fabrics that allow you to sweat, you won’t feel overheated following your workout.
Eat a healthy diet
Incorporating your well-being into your fitness routine means taking care of your body before, during, and after your workout. This includes what you put into your body. Eating the right foods and hydrating before and while you hit the gym will help you get the most out of your workout and improve recovery time. A healthy diet that will help maximize your workouts includes water, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat yogurt.
When you write down your goals, it’s easier to achieve them. Start a journal to keep track of what you’re doing at the gym every day. Not only will you be able to track your progress, but you can plan exercise rest days and increase your motivation. Having the information about your workouts right in front of you can help you decide if you need to make any changes to your routine or goals.
It can be tempting to mindlessly go to the gym and work out until you drop, but that’s not going to be what’s best for you. Take some time to think about your well-being and how your fitness routine is going to help you achieve positive mental and physical health.