Why should you be the girl who exercises? For the sake of your body? Can exercise be a catalyst for a change within you? Read this article to find out more.
I have recently been finding lovely posts advising guys to date particular types of girls. There is one with Date a Girl Who Reads, one for the girl who runs and so on. I loved how they elaborated on the qualities these habits inculcate in us. Well, I may have liked them more, because I am a girl who reads and a girl who runs, and it feels good to be appreciated for these qualities!
These posts were written with an assumed male audience though. So I decided to flip sides, and write one for girls. I have a number of friends who exercise, and an even bigger number who do not. For all those in the second category, here it is.
Be the girl who exercises. Any form of exercise. It could be working out in the gym, running, aerobics, or even the older forms like dance where you blend exercise with art. Climb a hill, jog a couple of rounds, or swim two laps. Just anything that pleases you. Take it up, practice it, and see yourself becoming a whole new person.
And how, you may ask?
Well, to begin with, you look at your food as your fuel, as your friend. You do not consider it to be an enemy, which is secretly planning to destroy your figure. Much has been written about eating disorders. I am sure that 90 percent of the victims of these disorders are women, or people in general who do not exercise in any form. When you exercise, you realize how your body needs a fuel to carry on with your daily routine. You experience that drop in sugar after rigorous exercise and the real physical craving for food. The satiety value that food offers is unmatched, and it can be experienced only when you know what is it being spent, desperate for body’s fuel.
The satiety value that food offers is unmatched, and it can be experienced only when you know what is it being spent, desperate for body’s fuel.
Do you know why the ancient texts call food ‘Poorna-Brahma’? I think because food is essential for living, and hence is a form of God of life – Brahma. It does not nurture just your body, but also your soul. Looking at food with this perspective will increase the value of it, and it can be achieved only through some form of exercise.
Be the girl who exercises, and you will not need those giant chocolate bars anymore to make you feel good. You would not need shopping therapy to make you feel worthy again. In most cases, you will also not drive your other half crazy with constant whining! We all have our days when we feel low and really not worth it. From my own experience (where I suffered from depression for some time), let me tell you that exercise is one of the easiest ways to feel good. Ignore all the negative thoughts you have, work out for a good 40 minutes, and see the magic.
Research has proven that exercise releases endorphins, the ‘happy hormone’. But frankly, I do not care for the science behind it. I just look forward to that experience of feeling good about myself post exercise. With an exhausted, blank mind, devoid of any energy- whether negative and positive!
I know that body-image issues plague many women, including me. I have days when I feel that my stomach is not flat or my arms are flabby. But my exercise routine often takes care of these issues. How, you ask? That is because I am in close touch with my body. I use her every day, I am aware of her parts, their structure and their functions. And probably that is why, I know that it does not always matter how it looks but how well it functions. I know that having a flat tummy does not make sense if it comes at the cost of falling sick every three weeks. Learn to love your body the way she is through exercise. Be the girl who exercises and your body-image will probably change to the best you have had till date.
Be the girl who exercises, just to understand that injuries are a considerable part of any training. You may be training for some tournament or just working out. Remember that there are going to be days when nothing works perfectly. Your back is hurting, you have stiff muscles and a spasm in your thighs from the previous work out. It is absolutely fine. Injuries are an important part of a training regime. It means that your body has started moving. It has finally been shaken out of its hibernation and is responding to your actions. Do not stop. Continue, and see how beautifully your body carves a better version of herself.
Be the girl who exercises, just to understand that injuries are a considerable part of any training.
Even the great Sachin Tendulkar has not been spared by the injuries, but did he stop?
Be the girl who exercises, and learn how to feel sexy. There is nothing wrong in feeling or being sexy. We get aware of our bodies, learn to take care of them, put them into good use, learn to connect them with our mind and our happiness. Exercise makes you feel the woman inside you like nothing else does.
And on another note, at the cost of sounding sexist, I will have to say that it is quite a sight to see a girl work-out!
Very few women in our society are encouraged to exercise. They are either directly discouraged by somebody or feel discouraged themselves, with assumed social ‘roles’ where exercise is not allowed. Learn to break free from those chains. Exercise for your own good, and subsequently, for the good of those around you.
Most importantly, be the girl who exercises, because it inculcates some serious patience in you. Whether you are exercising for some specific goal like weight management or recovering from an injury, or just pure fun, exercise yields slow results. You learn how to stretch yourself, how to push the envelope, how to consistently aim for something more and more. However hard you wish, exercise is not an instant food-mix. It takes its own time in giving out results, but once they are there, they stay for long.
In this age of instant gratifications, we do not practice or develop patience, however good a virtue it may be. Exercise demands patience. And the patience you develop through exercise will take you through most of the life’s situations. Life is just so much better with exercise.
Be the girl who exercises, feel liberated and feel empowered!
Image of running shoes via Shutterstock
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Importantly, a young mother.
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