We all know that working out regularly can give us a strong body and fit physique.
Yet there are so many other awesome reasons why we should move our bodies on a regular basis.
When I was in my early 20’s, to me, fitness was all about being thin and skinny (side note: I’m using the word fitness in its general meaning, a.k.a. being in good physical condition. I’m not talking about body building or bikini fitness).
To achieve that thin physique, I used to run a lot, and for sure, I became skinny.
Fast forward from my early 20’s and intense running days to now. In my early 30’s, I see fitness and all it has to offer quite a bit differently. I think we all should learn to appreciate these other benefits more. Moving our bodies definitely changes the way we look, but it can also add value to our lives on a non-physical level.
Here are four things that fitness can give us:
We talk about it a lot here on 12 Minute Athlete: you don’t need a gym to get in awesome shape.
Sure, it’s totally fine to work out a gym (I do it too sometimes!) but it’s simply not true that we absolutely need it, or without it we will never be fit.
People who don’t marry themselves to a gym keep their mind and eyes open and figure out ways work out anywhere. They don’t have to skip their workout just because the gym is closed, or choose the hotel where they’re going to stay during the vacation based on whether it has a gym or not.
Instead, they get creative! Literally the whole world can be your gym if you’re creative enough. That can mean working out in a hotel room, doing pull ups at a playground, l-sits on a lifeguard stand, and so on.
Everything we do in our workouts carries over to our lives outside of fitness as well. When we’re creative in our training, we tend to be more creative in other areas in our lives as well.
Why is creativity is important? Creative people can figure out solutions to problems easier, they don’t throw their hands up immediately when life throws curves their way, and they’re also more open-minded and willing to try new things.
All of these traits help them to constantly grow into a more awesome, strong, and happy person.
The stronger we get, the more skills we nail, the more things we achieve that we maybe never thought possible, and the more confident we become.
When we build confidence, we start caring less of what others think of us. For example, maybe you feel like doing pull ups from a tree branch (remember, you can work out anywhere if you’re creative enough!), so you go ahead ad do it.
You can even do handstands at the Acropolis if you feel like it, just don’t get in trouble…
The more we do of what we know is good for us, the less we care what others think about it. Most of the time, people are busy with their own lives and they don’t really care. If anything, they may walk up to us and ask what we’re doing when we do our workout outside, and tell us that we’re awesome.
If you’ve experienced it before, you’ve probably also heard people like this saying that they could never do the same thing. Most of the time, that’s actually not true. In reality, they often just lack confidence to try it for themselves.
Many people love their bootcamp or a CrossFit class because of the people who show up there. Lots of friendships have started from working out together. Many of us want to be a part of a supportive community where we can hang out with people similar to us, because most of us are social creatures–some less, some more.
That being said, nowadays there are many ways of being social and finding the community that we feel comfortable in. It doesn’t necessarily have to mean being physically in the same room. Our Facebook group is a great example of that! Cheering one another in our challenges, getting those 20 workouts done in one month, staying on track with healthy eating habits–it’s all easier when we have a fun and supportive community. And that’s an important part of what fitness can give us.
Anyone who has ever had any fitness-related goal knows that there’s no success without putting in a good amount of work and staying consistent.
To be able to do our first push up, learn how to do double unders, or even run a marathon, we need to work for it, and we can’t just stop the minute it starts to feel uncomfortable. Because it will, and if we stop then… well, then we won’t get anywhere.
We all fail at times, but we’re not a failure just because of that. Consistency is what keeps us going. Showing up every day and doing the sometimes tedious work is what really matters.
Fitness teaches us consistency that we need in other areas in our lives as well. To get through school with results that we’re aiming for, to get a job that we really want, to make a living that makes us feel comfortable, and even to make relationships work the way we’d like them to work, it all takes consistency and continuous effort.
People who work out frequently have all the tips and tools to achieve their goals outside of fitness too, because they’re used to working hard and being patient.
Fitness Teaches Us Life Skills
Creativity, confidence, community, and consistency… all of these are tools that making exercising a part of our lives gives us. Fitness really goes way beyond just physical wellbeing.
What are some of the things you have learned from fitness, on a non-physical level?
Kersten Kimura is a NASM PT, kettlebell enthusiast and a fan of HIIT workouts. After relocating from chilly Estonia to California, she has taken full advantage of the area and works out outdoors whenever possible. You can find her throwing around her sandbag or swinging kettlebells at local parks, or sprinting along the gorgeous Bay Trail.
Find out more about Kersten here and sign up for her newsletter to get her one week equipment free workout plan and seven simple dinner recipes.