5 Simple Ways to Find Balance
Exercise is good for you, we all know this. But, with information coming to us from almost every angle, it can sometimes be hard to work out the details.
What exercise should you be doing?
How often should you be exercising?
Is it healthy to focus on just one aspect of your body, e.g. muscle strength, stamina or flexibility, or should you try and accommodate it all?
It can be overwhelming and demotivating trying to pick through information and make healthy choices for our bodies.
With this in mind, I wanted this month’s blog to give you some simple tips to help sift through it all and find a well-balanced exercise regime. I want to guide you toward a healthy and fulfilling relationship with your body and the activities you choose.
But first, a bit of Background
The problem of balance in exercise occurred to me as I was reading something about weightlifters. It started me thinking; do they work on their flexibility or is it just about muscle building? I wonder if they have good stamina? And, most importantly, are they healthy? They certainly look strong and fit, but I wonder how their physiology responds to such extremes?
These questions apply to many sports. Female runners and gymnasts, for example, are lean and supple, but they may lack the crucial body fat percentage to allow their reproductive systems to function properly. Our physiological systems are so intricately entwined, so dependent on one another to function, that finding a balance between improving one without putting too much strain on another is both important and difficult.
All bodies are built uniquely and what works to keep one person healthy may not work for someone else. Why not try the following suggestions to see if you can find a good balance?
5 Simple Ways to Find Balance
- Pay Attention to your Body
This may seem an obvious thing to suggest but you’d be surprised how often people come to see me with pain in their back or neck and haven’t even thought about looking at their posture or their lifestyle. Spending just a couple of minutes each day to check in with how you feel is a good habit to get in to.
- Variety is Key
Looking back to the weightlifter and runner examples, it’s important to vary your routine so you get a little bit of everything. This applies whether you’re doing gentle or more strenuous activities. This way, you’re whole body benefits rather than just one aspect.
- Find what you Love
There’s nothing you can do that’ll make you feel great (and want to keep doing it) more than finding something you love. Balance isn’t just about physical exercise, but mental wellbeing too. Finding a routine you enjoy will do wonders for your body and mind alike.
- Listen to your Body
Know your limits and listen to the signals your body gives you. Learn to differentiate between muscular effort and joint pain. This is so important for your physical wellbeing, it allows you to push yourself when you’re feeling strong and to treat yourself with gentleness when it’s needed. Next month’s guest blog by Beth Williams is going to explore this in more detail, exposing the myth of ‘no pain, no gain’.
- Take a Break and have a day off
It doesn’t have to include a KitKat, but sometimes it helps! All bodies need time to rest and recover. Just like leading an entirely sedentary life, spending too much time exercising, however gentle it may be, is damaging and gets in the way of our bodies natural ability to repair and rejuvenate.
I hope this has given you some inspiration to look at your own exercise habits and see where you can take a more balanced approach and improve your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.