These Self-Care Tactics Will Help You Balance Your Fitness Routine
by Sheila Olson, FitSheila.com
Self-care is described as any preventative measures that help take care of your body. While exercise is one of the many essential building blocks to good health, it’s important that you’re balancing your fitness routine with other self-care tactics in order to avoid burnout, injury, or even addiction. By incorporating these other measures, you’ll be more apt to feel better in your mind and spirit, not just your body.
Properly Fuel Your Body
Don’t sabotage all of your fitness efforts with improper eating habits. Properly fueling your body pre- and post-workout is the key to your success, though what you nosh on depends on your weight, as well as the duration and intensity of your sweat session. For example, someone exercising for 90 minutes or more will want to consume more than just a small pre-workout snack like those exercising for 60 minutes or less. The concept of “rapid refueling” is more geared toward someone doing intense exercise like a triathlete, so you need not feel the pressure to eat within minutes after working out. However, you shouldn’t wait too long, either, or you’re liable to overeat at your next meal. Strategize your next meal in advance so you can ensure it’s balanced and healthy.
Create A Relaxation Regimen
We live in a society where working at night or on the weekends is considered the norm, vacation days are left unused, and we’re lucky if we squeeze in five consecutive hours of sleep. These practices are not only unhealthy from a self-care perspective, but they’re liable to make you absolutely miserable. Creating a relaxation regimen can help you incorporate downtime into your life so you can have the energy to conquer all of the obligations you have on your plate.
- Take up a stress-relieving hobby such as gardening, photography, journaling, coloring, knitting, solving puzzles, or playing an instrument.
- Make it easier to get quality sleep by investing in quality pillows (there are even styles that cater to the position in which you lay), blackout shades, and a noise machine that plays ambient sounds like a gentle rainstorm.
- Find a spot in your home that can function as a meditation space — ideally, a distraction-free, low-traffic area with ample lighting. Don’t choose a location such as an office where you pay bills, as it’s only liable to conjure up negative energy.
Don’t Become Socially Isolated
It’s not uncommon for those trying to achieve a fitness-related goal to become socially isolated. To prevent this problem, ask your friends to swap cocktail hour for yoga class, but return the favor by giving yourself a cheat day once in a while — this can be another method of self-care, providing you don’t go overboard.
Reward Your Efforts
Maintaining a fitness routine is no easy task, which is why it’s important to regularly reward yourself. That doesn’t mean you should reach for a candy bar. Rather, there are several non-food ways to pat yourself on the back. For example, buy some new workout gear, get a massage or a mani/pedi, switch up your hairstyle, plan a weekend getaway or a night out, or purge your closet of your larger clothes and treat yourself to some new items — anything goes.
Self-care often leads to self-discovery — especially if you change up your routine once in a while. Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb and try a new activity or hobby, go on a yoga retreat, or take a healthy cooking class to beef up your skills. The key is to fill your life with things that bring you long-term pleasure and peace.
About the Writer
Sheila Olson has been a personal trainer for five years. She believes the best way to achieve physical fitness and good health is to set and tackle small goals. She encourages her clients to stay positive and incorporates mindfulness and practices for reducing negative talk into her sessions. She created FitSheila.com to spread the word about her fitness philosophy.