Fitness has given me more than physical results, and it’s helped me become a better person overall. When I look back at my life from the beginning of my fitness journey to now, I see how fitness was the catalyst to positive changes. From mental, social, and emotional benefits, here are ten ways fitness made me a better person.
Earlier in life, I was shy and introverted. I am still those things, but fitness has helped me come out of my shell. Exercising releases hormones that allow you to feel better, improving your self-esteem. When I hit goals or take a class, it boosts my confidence because I am learning to love the person I am.
Fitness improved my discipline significantly in all areas of life. The act of setting a schedule and showing up for classes or gym sessions, then seeing the results, is practice for other areas. If I can show up for myself at the gym, I can show up for myself in the different areas of my life, making me a better person. I apply the same principles to work or side projects and feel the same satisfaction. Show up for yourself, and you can show up for others.
It’s known that exercise improves your mental health and is recommended by the American Psychiatric Association as a treatment for depression. I often turn to exercise when I am feeling down or have anxiety, and one session significantly reduces my negative feelings and helps put me in a better mood. In addition, the more you exercise, the more significant the decrease of depression over time.
Along with a mood booster, exercise helps to reduce my stress. Scientifically exercise reduces the stress hormone cortisol that may cause damages to your body if you are continuously stressed. Exercise enables you to regulate that hormone allowing you to manage stressful situations better. In addition, when you exercise, you are focused on what you are doing with your body and not what’s going on in your mind.
I’ve made many of my friends through fitness. There is nothing like connecting with like-minded people who share the same passion for fitness as you. It’s great to meet people you would’ve never crossed paths with and learn empathy for others through social support during your workouts.
Regular exercise helps me sleep better. I find I can keep a regular sleep schedule when I exercise. According to research, exercise enables you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep throughout the night. We feel like better people every morning when we get quality sleep.
Encourages healthy eating
Another trickle-down effect of exercise is the motivation to eat healthier. When you start to see results and feel good, you want to put things in your body that continue that feeling. Research even supports this as the “transfer effect” of learning new skills in an area gives you the desire to improve another. Overall, I crave better foods when I am regularly active.
The thing about physical activity is you can always change the goal post to get better. I’ve always been interested in fitness because of the different methods and genres. I’ve enjoyed switching up what I do, which motivates me to stay active. Outside of exercise, I know that if I can accomplish what I do during fitness, I can achieve other things in my life. It makes me mentally stronger.
Stronger and More Stamina
The main goal for me through regular activity is being able to do functional activities with ease as I get older. That means carrying groceries in the house in one trip, being able to move furniture, and doing household chores without getting winded. Additionally, I can enjoy traveling and walking around without needing too many breaks or getting overly exhausted. I can hike difficult terrains and enjoy the scenery more.
When I exercise, I have better blood flow helping to carry nutrients to my organs like my skin and removing waste through sweat. This process allows the skin to maintain its youthfulness and elasticity, reducing the signs of aging. In addition, I have more energy to do things, and my body can quickly move around. It makes me look and feel young; although I am getting older, I feel better than in my 20s.