• Stephanie Miller

7 Affordable Ways to Add Self-Care to Your Fitness Routine

A recent New York Times article highlighted some of the benefits of getting into exercise, including its ability to boost brain activity, increase lifespan, and help with mood. Being physically active is a great way to help your body be healthier on a regular basis — it’s a part of self-care. However, it’s still important to incorporate other types of self-care into your routine. Here are some affordable ways you can do that.

Make Healthy Food Convenient

Healthy food is an excellent way to get your body feeling great. When your body feels good, your mind feels good. Experts often recommend quick foods like microwaveable grains, frozen fruits and veggies, or ready-made salad mixes that can all be prepared in a short time. Food delivery services are also a useful way to make healthy food convenient. What’s more, you get specific portion sizes and can try a wide variety of new food.

Enjoy Your Post-Workout Shower

After a workout, considering relaxing in a shower. Using different temperatures when you shower can help with recovery, and showers are obviously a huge a source of enjoyment. A shower can also help you transition from the workout into whatever you’re planning next, whether that’s getting ready for the day, ready for bed, or continuing on with other activities. Just don’t give in to the temptation to stay in too long.

Make a Good Workout Playlist

A huge body of research has been generated which shows that music can have a profound impact on the quality and intensity of your workout. Find songs that you love listening to and that can help you stay motivated. Some people can listen to songs that pump them up, while others enjoy more mellow tunes. Find what inspires you and keeps you going.

Write Down Your Progress

Writing down your goals and putting them somewhere you can see them regularly is an important way to take control of your fitness routine and stick with it. What’s especially important here is to detail what you’ve progressed at. You’ll be able to see how far you’ve come, rather than think about how far you have to go. Since fitness is an ongoing journey to health, it’s important to celebrate your small victories along the way.

Don’t Compare Yourself

It’s easier said than done, but avoid comparing yourself to other people. Studies have actually shown that social media can influence some people to compare their fitness levels to other people, which can have a negative effect on body image and self-esteem. If you look at “fitspiration” on social media, think about if it’s inspiring you or making you feel dejected. Tailor your social media experience to help you feel good about yourself. If there are some people you’d rather not see, just mute them; you don’t have to unfollow anyone.

Just Sleep

Recovery is just as important as exercising. Getting enough sleep is crucial to your progress and helping your body recover. Go to bed a little earlier than you plan, and try to get at least seven hours of sleep. You’ll perform much better as you sleep more. And if it’s been more the seven years since you last replaced your mattress, it might be time for an upgrade, especially if you notice your quality of sleep is starting to decline.

Do Balanced Workouts

Fitness is an all-around activity, so focus on becoming stronger and healthier in multiple areas. Balance cardio with some strength training. Find workouts you enjoy, from swimming to dancing to rock climbing. The more you enjoy your workout, the more likely you’ll keep going back to it. As long as you supplement your workouts with complementary workouts that improve your fitness, you’ll progress and get greater enjoyment in the journey.

One tip from the Mayo Clinic for when you start a fitness routine is to take things slowly and gradually build up from there. This can help make the routine more enjoyable and prevent injury. While you may not be deadlifting 300 pounds yet, you can eventually reach your fitness goals and do it with a happy and healthy mind.

To learn more about Sheila Olson, the author of this article please visit www.fitsheila.com

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