Social media is a beautiful thing. We can keep in touch with childhood friends and share snaps of us finishing half-marathons or deadlifting a friend, but like all things, it has it’s drawbacks too. One that’s gotten a lot of press lately is its negative effect on body image, particularly for women. Every time you scroll through your phone you open yourself up to the possibility that aspirational pictures of ‘perfect’ women might affect how you feel about or see yourself. Cultural pressures can push even the most body-positive of us to feel like we need to be thinner, tighter, or lose the baby weight faster. Of course, any amount of screen time filled with well-curated photos of aspirational women can be #fitspiration, but don’t we all deserve to feel great about ourselves throughout every part of our fitness journeys?
So how do you go about motivating yourself to work out if you typically find it to be a bit of a chore? Just shift your perspective. Seriously! If you’re working out because you feel you ‘have to lose those last 5 lbs’ or ‘have to fit into that LBD’ you’ll probably dread going to the gym. Nobody enjoys trying to lose weight, right? Instead, let’s exclude weight loss from our goals altogether and consider it a potential added benefit to working out. Any mission to get fit should add to your peace of mind, not stress you out more! Here to motivate you are five smart fitness goals for women completely unrelated to weight loss.
1. Boost your energy.
In an increasingly distracting, multitasking world there’s no shortage of things that can drain our energy. Working out increases blood circulation, which transports oxygen to your brain and other organs (hello, healthy glowy skin!), building a healthy body and putting some pep in your step all day long.
2. Become a social butterfly.
You probably don’t think of chillin’ with friends when you think of your fitness routine, but recruiting a bestie for barre class or training for a half-marathon with your crew has #squadgoals written all over it. Plus, you’ll be less likely to skip that 8 a.m. class Saturday morning if you’ve planned to meet someone there.
3. Nail a new pose.
If you’re like me and tend to hang out in child’s pose when it’s time for handstands, make it your goal to nail handstands (or any other covetable pose) this year. Not only will you need lots of practice (i.e. active time), but you’ll fuel self-confidence and feel so good about yourself when you accomplish it. The determination needed to overcome whatever’s holding you back (Self-doubt? The fear of feeling ridiculous?) will benefit every other area of your life as well.
4. Take fewer sick days.
It might seem like a no-brainer, but this concept didn’t register for me until I became a mom of 2 kids who seem to carry cold-inducing germs at times. Logging some active time each day contributes to a more resilient immune system so you can tackle all that life throws at you and leave the Kleenex at home.
5. Clear your mind.
We know by now that working out releases endorphins that get the good vibes flowing. It’s worth pointing out that workouts can be meditative and restorative even if you’re not into yoga. (I’m looking at you, distance running.) Setting an intention before each workout can help you think more clearly, banish bad moods, and give you the time and mental space to problem solve… I’m feeling less stressed already!