The danger of exercising for body image
30th June 2022
Most people coming to the gym have a goal relating to body image, either wanting to lose weight, change shape, body build, or body sculpt. However it’s easy to under estimate just how much work, time and effort it takes to constantly achieve this type of goal.
Losing weight requires nutritional monitoring, calorie counting and making sure your calorie expenditure is higher than your intake.
Changing shape often requires some dietary changes and a mix of strength training and cardio workouts, not many people enjoy the breathlessness associated with extremely hard workouts.
Body building and sculpting can be a long process, committing to lifting weights at least 3-4 times per week for a length of time.
The problem with choosing a body image goal is that every single one of them is a slow process, with the best will in the world you will not lose a stone in a month.. if you do then the repercussions are serious and the weight will pile back on
We have found changing mindset about exercise to a thought process of “ how do I feel now I’ve done a training session” fosters positivity. Sometimes you will feel like you have all the energy in the world and really smash the session, whilst on other days you might lack energy and enthusiasm, we have all been here. Let us focus on the lack of enthusiasm, having a mindset which is primarily focused on feeling better will allow you to workout at 50% of the pace without feeling like you have failed. Completing some kind of exercise programme will still help you to feel better, both emotionally and physically.
Exercise is undoubtedly good for everyone, during workouts we release endorphins, feel good hormones lifting mood and improving confidence. Even on the days when you can only manage 50% of your normal intensity ( to clarify this might mean brisk walking instead of jogging, lighter weights instead of heavy, etc) you will still release these important hormones.
Lunch time workouts have a number of positive qualities, firstly you get a big burst of the all important feel good hormones, additionally your lunch will be metabolised more efficiently and effectively. Here’s one for the employers, productivity will be enhanced due to your employees being far more alert during the afternoon. Typically after lunch blood sugar rises and a feeling of lethargy can ensue, making you feel a little drowsy.
Exercising with the intention of feeling physically better, more alert, happier and emotionally well is a great goal, it takes away the anxiety of failing because the self imposed pressure of losing weight, changing shape or building muscle bulk has been taken away… but make no mistake the by product of enjoying working out will result in improved shape, probably weight loss and definitely increased strength.