It’s a great time to check in on those New Year resolutions. Remember them? You could easily be forgiven for letting them slide – this year hasn’t exactly gone to plan. But, now is the perfect time to consider picking up where you left off.
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One thing that most successful people share is an unwavering commitment to health and fitness. You only have to take a look at your own idols – whether CEOs or celebrities – to see the undeniable link between health and success.
We know that a healthy lifestyle comprising regular exercise and a balanced diet enhances your physical and mental health, and in turn, all other areas of your life will reap the rewards.
Whether your healthy habit for the New Year was to resist naughty food cravings, take on a challenge like Dry July, practice mindfulness techniques, increase your overall fitness or as specific as a half marathon, you’re guaranteed to observe the below wider health benefits along the way too.
Picture this: you’ve been running for 10 kilometres and still have another five left to go. Your body is about to give in. You feel as if your tank is at zero and every bone in your body is aching. But then, you’re on the home stretch with less than a kilometre to go and out of nowhere you miraculously discover energy and sprint to the end. How can you be fighting with every fibre of your being to stay in the game one minute then the next you’re running faster than you’ve ever ran before? Two words: mental strength.
The key to completing a physical challenge is mental endurance. And, the same can be said for any healthy habit.
Through fitness, you can push past your comfort zone and surpass superficial limits to find that there is no limit. Surprisingly, as any athlete will tell you, the key to success isn’t physical strength but in fact mental strength. And, it’s not just about exercise. While learnt through exercise, mental strength can apply to all other areas of your life too. You’ll find the obstacles you once deemed impossible now within reach – like kicking smoking to the curb or cutting back on sugar.
Improved brain function
Aside from the many physical benefits, exercising regularly is said to improve your health and cognitive functioning too. Fitness not only maintains a healthy heart, blood pressure and weight but optimum brain health too. The same can be said for other healthy habits like a balanced diet and reducing your alcohol consumption.
Aside from the obvious confidence boost that comes from absolutely crushing your fitness goals, there are other reasons why fitness makes us happier as well. That ‘walking on cloud nine’ feeling after a run is called endorphins. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins and serotonin which reduce stress and anxiety, making you your happiest self. That’s why exercising at lunch time is a great way to break up a tough day at work – if you can’t make it to the gym or hit the pavement, why not try secretly exercising at work? 😉
So, what are you waiting for?! There’s no better time to start incorporating some healthy habits into your daily life.
Main image: Free People