Learning To Love Yourself & Exercise This Valentines Day
As the High Street and Google shopping pages turn ‘red’ for the month of February, #TeamRBF thought we would share some thoughts about ‘not seeing red’ when it comes to exercise and how to show yourself some love throughout the year and not just because it’s February 14th. Have a read of our most recent blog about motivation: https://rogerblackfitness.com/blog/how-to-keep-motivated-in-february/
How does exercise improve your mood?
Many of us don’t actually enjoy exercise but do it anyway (albeit reluctantly) or perhaps shun it to the bottom of our ‘to-do’ list. If the thought of a class or treadmill makes you grumpy, the irony is that exercise is proven to improve mood. In fact, some of the same hormones released when you exercise are also released in the brain when you fall in love. So how can I practise self-love on Valentine’s Day?
Why choose to exercise with others?
As human beings, in the most general sense, we are social animals and benefit from human contact and connection on a regular basis. Jon Snow’s recent Channel4.com series about ‘Longevity’ also alludes to the sense of community is key to living longer (as well as many other factors – have a watch!) How to Live to 100. Watching 80-something Japanese residents in the fresh air, exercising together, courtesy of an early-morning daily radio broadcast is fascinating.
How to have a positive Valentine’s Day?
By contrast, group exercise is not for everyone. Is it OK to be alone on Valentine’s Day? Absolutely, it is! For introverts amongst us or those struggling with a health condition, stepping outside of ourselves is not always possible or practical. Valentine’s Day is just one day in the calendar so if you are feeling a bit low, are alone (and don’t want to be) or have recently lost a loved one, simply batten down the hatches and find a pastime that you enjoy: dance, sing, play the piano, watch some TV or prepare a meal that you enjoy.
- Begin the day with an energising exercise
- Treat yourself to healthy food or new exercise equipment
- Do something productive
- See a friend or family member outside with nature
- Remind yourself what you love about you
- What is the importance of self-love
1. Begin the day with an energising exercise
Even if you are alone and might be challenged in some way, it doesn’t mean that you can’t commit to some gentle stretching or a low-intensity cycle on a folding bike in your living room. You may even find that starting the day with some physical activity might help to set you up for the rest of the day. Why not have a go?
2. Treat yourself to healthy food or new exercise equipment
Self-love shows up in many guises. If you want to show yourself some self-love this Valentine’s Day (‘The Greatest Love Of All’ according to the late, great Whitney Houston), treat yourself to your favourite meal – with so much choice available, a treat meal doesn’t have to be calorie-laden or full of fat if you don’t want it to be! You can also spend a little time online or speaking with friends or loved ones about health and well-being. If you want to try something new, exercise-wise, starting is actually the hardest part – a folding exercise bike is both affordable and space-saving – a great way to start! Maybe someone you know already has one?
3. Do something productive
Productivity is relative – for some people just being ‘busy’ is enough but it doesn’t actually mean you are being productive. If you have ordered home fitness equipment or decided to join an online yoga class, that’s productive in itself. You have committed to something new and perhaps challenging. Often the fear of doing something new is far greater in our mind’s eye than the actual activity itself. Plus, make sure you ‘pat yourself on the back’ in some way, either alone or with a loved one. You’ve taken action!
4. See a friend or family member outside with nature
If you want to share your ‘little win’ with a friend or family member, pick up the phone or send a message and arrange a walk within nature, weather permitting, or go for a coffee or cuppa in a local café. When it comes to feeling good and releasing those feel-good hormones, connecting in the open air is one of Mother Nature’s gifts to human beings.
5. Remind yourself what you love about you
It might sound a little twee but all of these activities and recommendations link back to the self-love we want you to buy into and find. Many-a-therapist might ask us to consider how we can love someone else if we don’t love ourselves. Self-love is personal to you. A recent anecdotal conversation asked us to remember what we enjoyed doing when we were little as a way to reconnect with self-love. What brought you joy?
6. What is the importance of self-love
What brought you joy as a five-year-old might well not be practical if you are six or seven decades older, but feeling that same feeling is still more than possible – it is essential. Our daily thoughts lead to feelings and actions that determine how we view ourselves and the outside world. We have to start on the inside.
So whether you are alone or with loved ones this Valentine’s Day, don’t be afraid to show yourself some love, not just for one day of the year but every day. Red balloons and chocolates are optional.