Self-Care Practices You Need to Fit into Your Fitness Routine

Are you struggling to stick to your fitness routine? Perhaps you’re working out and eating right but still not feeling as good as you thought you would. If that’s the case, you’re not alone. If you’ve been spending time in the gym and counting calories but still aren’t reaching your goals, the answer might be found in your self-care routine. As it turns out, if you’re not taking time for self-care, then you may be sabotaging your fitness goals and your overall well-being.

Most people struggle with self-care to some degree. If you’ve been guilty of not prioritizing time for yourself, don’t fret. Here are four easy ways to practice self-care so you can stick to your fitness and diet goals:

Make Fitness Fun Again

When fitness and self-care become monotonous habits, or when we don’t have enough variety, we can become bored. If you’ve been struggling to find the motivation to workout lately, you could start by getting creative. Try looking for ways to make your exercises fun and enjoyable. For instance, you might try a partner yoga class with your spouse, significant other, or a best friend. If you’re a pet owner, you might also consider shaking things up by working out with your dog. That might include a pet-friendly Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP) class or a long hike through your favorite park. With a little creativity, the options are endless!

Find Fitness Activities You Actually Enjoy

Finding joy in your life is the ultimate form of self-care. You don’t have to torture yourself with workouts or other self-care practices that you simply don’t enjoy. As mentioned above, it’s easy to burn calories and get your heart pumping with activities that will keep you fit and happy.

If you’re lacking the motivation to complete traditional workouts, such as lifting weights or taking a jog, you could get your body moving in other ways. For instance, you might go swimming or take a dance class. Dancing for one hour can burn as much as 400 calories. Looking for more adventure? Go for a long hike with some friends or take an aerial or acrobatics class! You’ll look awesome in those silks, and your hour-long session will feel more like playtime.

Set Your Intentions at Sunrise

Mornings can definitely be a drag, especially if you’re a night owl. Luckily, the way you wake up can determine how you feel for the rest of the day. To take control of your day, try waking up as early as possible so you have ample time for a productive morning.

Before you even roll out of your cozy bed, start by setting a positive intention for the day. Your intention can be as simple as maintaining a positive mindset as you move through your day, or you can even set intentions around staying active and healthy during the day. You might also do some simple stretches or gentle yoga to gradually wake your body. Creating positive energy right after waking up can boost your energy so you’re more likely to care for yourself throughout the day.

Choose Workouts That Work for You

There is strong evidence that exercise makes you happier. That’s because it helps your brain produce the “feel good” endorphins you need to stay healthy. That’s why stressing out over how to squeeze workouts into your schedule won’t do you any favors. Instead, you need to find exercise routines that fit your schedule rather than throwing your day off course.

Feeling pressed for time? Try purchasing some weights and a yoga mat so you can do some short, high-intensity workouts at home. You can also stay active with small choices throughout the day. Take the stairs instead of an elevator, park further from a building entrance, or walk to local stores instead of driving. By making exercise convenient, you’ll cut any added stress.

Opt for Healthy Food Choices

Everyone knows you have to feed the machine to make those workouts count. At the same time, you can’t outrun your fork. Working out but not eating healthy means all your work can be for naught. If healthy food choices aren’t typically on your radar -- and most people underestimate how healthy they eat, so don’t feel bad -- now’s the time to make a change. Look to add lean proteins, healthy fats, fruits, vegetables and whole grains to your diet, while ditching over-processed foods and sugary snacks or drinks. If time is an issue, look into getting a meal delivery service. These services can provide healthy meals that are perfectly portioned. If cooking is more your jam, then make a plan to meal prep once a week and look for ways to get your meals put together faster. Conveniences like pressure cookers are easily affordable and can cook up a meal in 30 minutes or less. Or you can look to slow cookers, which will cook while you’re at work so you come home and dinner’s ready.

Set Aside Time for Sleep and Recovery

Between work, school, family commitments, your fitness routine, meal prep, and your social life, your schedule may feel jam-packed. No matter how busy life gets, make it a priority to get enough rest. You need sleep to recharge your body for those killer workouts. Getting enough rest also helps refresh your mind so you can fully focus on your fitness goals.

To get quality sleep, you’ll need a comfy mattress, a quiet and relaxing bedroom, and a dreamy bedtime routine. Go shopping for some cute, cozy new sheets and blankets. You could even pick up some relaxing lotions or essential oils. Try to keep the same bedtime each night and be sure to switch off your phone or television a couple of hours before you go to bed. All of these things will help you unwind and relax so you can get some shuteye.

Prioritizing fitness and self-care may sound challenging, but you can find ways to fit both into your schedule. By carefully selecting your daily activities, you can make fitness more convenient and fun. You’ll feel more empowered and find it easier to make time for yourself and your fitness goals. You might even find it easier to reach your goals and care for yourself while also taking care of the other responsibilities in your life.

Editor's Note: The above article was written by guest blogger Sheila Olson of 
I want to thank Sheila for sharing this great information.

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