‘Exercise’ is a dreaded word for many
‘Exercise and spirituality’, how do these intertwine you may ask, well in this addition I’ll go into how these two practices are more related than you think.
Exercise is often left at the bottom of every to-do list and tends to be a necessary evil for many. For some, it’s just a new year’s resolution that’s dropped a couple of weeks later. For others, it’s a lifelong passion and a rewarding journey. Think to yourself; “In which category am I?”
Regardless of which camp you fall in, have you ever thought of the benefits exercising can have aside from improving your health, and giving you that much-desired body? Our emotional, mental, and spiritual lives mimic and intertwine with our physical lives in many, many areas.
For instance, instead of just seeing exercise as a way to get the girls/guys’, abs or butt, see it as an opportunity to grow spiritually. Maybe this is a fresh perspective that will intice you into moving exercise right to the top of your to-do list and commit to it.
How Your Exercise and Spirituality Intertwine
There are many lessons we can take from exercise in terms of utilisation for other areas in our life. However, I’m going to primarily focus on three today that can help us build and transform our spiritual and emotional life, whilst concurrently building our physical stature and well-being.
Let’s not kid ourselves. Dragging your body out of bed early in the morning for vigorous exercise is useless at face value in terms of motivation unless you have a goal in mind. But, if you believe that those early morning sacrifices and countless hours of hard work will aid your journey and deliver you to your goals, you’re much more likely to conjure up the motivation.
When you hit the gym every day, you’ll start to see the version of yourself you’ve envisioned for years, start to come to fruition. The faith that your work and sacrifice are changing your body one day at a time, even if you don’t see the changes today, this will motivate you to work even harder.
As a spiritual person, when life gets hard, it’s good to remember that what you sow today, you’ll eventually reap. If you manage to challenge yourself every morning in the hopes of a better physique, surely you can replicate the same in your spiritual life and general life.
Regardless of your spiritual compass, human beings live by faith in the unseen – believing that the rewards are soon to come.
Trusting the Process
If you’ve tried exercising before (successfully or not), you’ll hopefully know that it’s a long term investment, you can’t expect to go to the gym once and be ripped forever.
How many times have you started a weight-loss regiment or a fitness ‘transformation only because a magazine or a Facebook ad read ‘Get a six-pack in 4 weeks?’.
It’s easy to give up and turn back to your old ways, like eating unhealthy foods or skipping a workout. When frustration kicks in this is often the inexperienced exercisers’ go-to due to the results being slow. Whereas, exercising and healthy living aren’t just popcorn processes where results pop in a couple of minutes.
The work you put in today is part of a long process – a journey. And if you stick it out, the results will start to show. The effort and time you spend behind closed doors, the pain you felt when no one was watching, were creating a foundation for a healthy and fit lifestyle that yields lasting results. But, you have to wait for a month or two or even six to start to see these results.
Eating healthy and working out regularly allows us to live life with minimal limitations. It feels great when you are strong – to have enough energy to go on a hike with friends or a long bike ride with your family on a sunny day. Or, a simple thing like picking your little one or sibling up and down.
However, to build that level of strength requires a lot of dedication. Say you are doing a pushup, and on your way down, you feel you have nothing left in the tank. Instead of quitting, you dig even deeper to complete another pushup.
If you dig deeper, you’ll always find the energy to take your dedication and sacrifice to the next level.
The Crossroads of Exercise and Spitituality
1. It gives a feeling of fulfillment
Besides the physical benefits, engaging in exercise helps you feel more alive and happy because it keeps you in an elevated state. Generally, the better you feel physically, the better your spiritual sense of well-being will be. If you are grounded in your decision to exercise, you can make healthy decisions in other aspects of your life.
2. Working out Affords you Time to Reflect
The time you spend lifting weights or on the treadmill is precious. You will think about your life issues and find solutions to these problems. You will process the situation in your life and find where your mind and heart lie in different situations. The self-reflection will lead you to a better understanding of who you are, why, and where you are in life.
3. You Release Energy and Emotions
Physical exercise serves as an emotional and mental release; you can release the inner pressure and the distress building up inside. The exercise regimen transforms into a metaphor for the things happening in your life. If you produce the energy to keep going on a 10k run per-say through sheer determination, you can summon this determination in other aspects of life, because you’ve already done it in the gym.
Hopefully, if you’ve been struggling with staying healthy or general exercise, the article above shall give you a fresh perspective. There’s no better time to build your spiritual strength than today. And it doesn’t get any better than hitting two birds with one stone.