There is a lot of research on the various benefits of regular exercise and healthy food out there. Quite likely we’ve all heard of at least a few of them, and most of us are probably over this topic in the way it’s usually presented - either because it makes us feel guilty for not eating right or exercising enough, or because we already know a lot about the “official” benefits.
So why still care?
I care about regular exercise and healthy, clean food because I believe we should all put more effort into sustaining our bodies and giving them the best we possibly can if we want to achieve more in life and live up to our full potential. It’s about the power of exercise combined with nutritious food - it gives us energy which we can then put into bigger things. We can become our best selves, and so have the energy to make bigger things happen that are outside of ourselves, such as creating change in the world.
To get there I’m not advocating any traditional diets or workout programmes - nothing excessive or obsessive. It’s about living in line with our bodies and its needs and making healthy living a natural lifestyle.
The emotional benefits of exercise and nutritious food
Eating nutritious, clean food and exercising go hand in hand. The right food and nutrition powers our workouts and replenishes our body’s needed resources.
On the other hand, exercising creates an upbeat and positive energy which drives us to become better and push ourselves harder with anything we do.
If we constantly push ourselves at the gym, during yoga or other type of exercise, we realise how much our bodies can do and that we are way more capable than we think. It’s important to realise that it’s only mental resistance and that we can push through it. This experience creates confidence and allows us to push harder in all other areas of life.
At the same time it’s vital to do all of it in balance. There’s no point pushing our body when it needs rest and time for recovery. It’s not about obsessing over anything, but learning to listen to our body and its needs. We want to give it more of what it needs because we love it like it’s our best friend, not out of guilt or pressure. Once we know why we’re doing something, it can become a natural part of our life.
Going to the gym then becomes a process. Scheduled, continuous workouts make all the difference, and there’s no more external motivation or validation needed.
So apart from realising how much we’re capable of, exercising also makes us realise that it’s about small, continuous progress. Once we’ve got systems in place we don’t need to think about whether we feel like doing something or not. It’s part of our life, we just do it. This creates certainty and focus, it gives us direction and makes us feel secure in whatever direction we’re going.
It’s the same with healthy eating - once we see the benefits on our own body we can’t go back to our old ways. Just like the saying goes “once your mind has expanded it can never go back to its old capacity”. Again, it’s all about balance. I eat whatever I feel like whenever I feel like it. If I feel like pizza and a veggie burger I do it. The reason I don’t end up eating burgers every day is because I mostly feel like clean, unprocessed, nutritious food.
Most importantly it’s about realising the powerful effects exercise and healthy food have on our own bodies and the amount of energy they provide. I’ve experienced it on my own body, and it keeps me lifting weights, eating nutritious food and preparing healthy meals. It’s providing energy every day and keeps me balanced. I wish we all give it a go.