How I train with kindness

I train to nourish my body, not to punish it.

I actually exercise less these days because I’ve made a commitment to tune in and really listen to my body. Some days I wake up a bit tired, which means I’m going to rest and take it easy. Some days I wake up energized, which means I’m doing one of my favorite workouts. These days, that ranges from walking to yoga to a HIIT session.

I used to feel so much pressure to get a hardcore workout every day as part of the “calorie burning” diet culture mentality. Sport used to be about punishing myself, “diet sins” to me. Looking back I am sad that I had this relationship with myself but proud of where I am now, healthy and happy!

The moment I started exercising with kindness and balance, my relationship with my body changeded. Here are five tips on how to embrace this yourself:

  1. Listen to your body: Pay attention to how your body feels every day and adjust your exercise routine accordingly. If you feel tired, consider taking a rest day or doing a lighter workout.
  2. Choose activities that you enjoy: I’m a firm believer that exercise should be fun, so choose activities that you look forward to. Whether it’s dancing, hiking, or weightlifting, find something that makes you feel good. I personally love doing the workouts in the JSHealth app – there’s something for every mood, from HIIT and strength training to yoga and meditation… and if you’re short on time there are great options that take just 10 minutes last!
  3. Focus on progress, not perfection: Instead of striving for perfection (which simply doesn’t exist and causes so much stress) in your training, focus on progress. Celebrate small victories and improvements, like adding an extra rep or walking an extra mile.
  4. Avoid negative self-talk: Reframe negative self-talk around the workout into positive affirmations. Instead of saying, “I need to exercise to burn those calories,” say, “I’m going to exercise to feel strong and energetic.”
  5. Practice self-compassion: Always be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up because you missed a workout or aren’t doing as well as you’d like. Remember that exercise is just one aspect of your overall health and wellness and like all areas of your life should be flexible – that’s the JSHealth way!

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