Desiree of Beyond Studios in Oklahoma City is here to shed light on how to make fitness a part of your daily life, and not something that just comes and goes. Establishing a healthy routine is essential to staying well-rounded and not hitting burn-out.

Making fitness a part of our daily lives is not all about having a tight bum, or sculpted muscles. Physical confidence in our appearance is just one piece of the puzzle. We can get tripped up on the vanity aspects of fitness, especially if we’re working really hard in our workouts, but our results aren’t showing up as quickly as we’d like. The unhealthy habit of comparing ourselves to others can come into play when all of our focus is on our outer body. If this starts to happen to you, thats when it’s time to re-hash your fitness goals. (Because you’ve made those, right?) Remember what your “why” is, and if your why doesn’t go deeper than “having abs like so- and-so”, hopefully this article will shed light on the other aspects of your life that you can focus on to be wholly “fit.”

Mental Clarity
Exercise is one of the biggest stress relievers out there. There’s just something about physical exertion that helps us clear our heads and work out those mental cobwebs. Have you ever noticed that a simple walk through the park can give you clarity on a particular issue you’re facing? That’s exactly how fitness or wellness can fit into your everyday grind. During certain times of our lives, fitness can literally be a walk in the park. Other times, we need heavy weights and lots of sweat! It’s important to incorporate every type of exercise that we enjoy to get the full benefits of less stress, and more inner peace.

A few days without a workout, and our bodies can slip into a fog. Maybe we get a little depressed, and the smallest things can make us mad. It’s harder to handle stressful situations when we haven’t felt those endorphins for a while!

That’s why it’s important to find the type of exercise you enjoy the most, so you’ll look forward to your workout everyday and it wont be another thing you “have to do”. It will be much easier to be consistent, think clearly, be happy, find joy.

Pain Relief

Younger people don’t have to deal with quite as many aches and pains as the older crowd, but as we age it becomes more important to move our bodies every day to keep our joints healthy and our muscles pliable. This is where flexibility comes into play (and why yoga and pilates are a MUST HAVE in everyone’s fitness regimen!). If you’re in your early 20’s now, start the habit of nurturing your flexibility. If you’re in your 30’s and over, its not too late!

Flexible muscles don’t injure as easily, and they make it possible to go harder in your strength workouts. Being flexible also makes it easier to do every day tasks, like reach for a bowl in the back of the kitchen cabinet, or twist in the car to attend to your toddler in the backseat. Injuries don’t always occur in the gym; they can happen when you least expect it and can sideline you for weeks!

Working your muscles everyday keeps your body from getting stiff and tight, which only leads to muscular and spinal imbalances that lead to chronic pain. Our bodies were designed to MOVE!

Good Nutrition
After a week’s worth of good workouts and clean meals, the most satisfying reward is a big juicy cheeseburger, or a plate of creamy pasta, am I right? Planning treat meals out of the house with friends and family, with no restrictions on calories, is so important to keep your lifestyle consistent. When we tell ourselves we “can’t” have something, it’s our human nature to want it even more. We CAN eat anything we want, but all that “bad stuff” gives us headaches, stomach aches, feelings of lethargy, and guilt over our choices. If we keep ourselves one step ahead by making conscious decisions at every meal, and practicing control over our food choices, we won’t have to deal with all those plaguing, negative side effects. Eating consistently healthy is something everyone struggles with. You are not alone if this is one of your downfalls! Give yourself a pass when you mess up, and pick back up where you left off next time you eat. Every meal is a new choice!

While “Team No Days Off” sounds great and all, you actually do need days off. Especially if you’ve got a rigorous routine going on. We’re all made the same, whether we’re a beginner or an advanced athlete, and we all need rest days so that our muscles can repair. Schedule these rest days and stick to them! Beginners may need 2-3 rest days a week, and more advanced athletes might only need one. Listen to your body; it will tell you when you need a breather.
To get the benefits of all these aspects of fitness, we have to be consistent with our healthy lifestyle, even through the busy seasons of our lives, like a particularly busy work week, or when the kids are getting back to school. Smaller, quick circuit workouts are best for those times. Even just 20 minutes of a workout and a good stretch will warm your body up, kick on your endorphins, and keep you consistent. Once your life slows down, then you can linger in your workouts again.

Final Thoughts
Living a fit lifestyle can be hard! Its not always easy, not even for the professionals. Becoming part of a studio and growing your roots there will give you the support and friendships you need to keep consistent. We are never through learning and growing! Once we accomplish goals we’ve set, it’s time to make new ones! Through journaling and reflection, the areas that need the most work will become apparent.