“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” – Jim Rohn
There is no doubt that the mind and the body have an unalterable tie. When our body is not living up to its capability, our mind suffers. Likewise, if our mind is not in balance, or we give way to self loathing, doubt and stress, our body can be negatively affected. When talking about how physical fitness can affect our mental fitness, we must come to grips that the two are directly correlated and need to maintain a symbiotic relationship. Many philosophers argue that the body is the vessel for our spirit or soul. I’ve even heard some scholars define the word “soul” as both our body and spirit together. Whatever your definition, lets take a quick look-see at how maintaining a fit physique can help you to succeed and prosper.
1. The Better We Look, the Better We Feel. Think of the advice that people give you when you go in for an interview. “Dress for the job you want!” or “You have only one chance to make a good impression!”. These are invaluable pieces of advice, so why not keep your permanent “suit” looking good all the time? Everybody has had that experience where they’ve put on a nice tux, evening dress, or uniform and felt like a million bucks. Having a body you feel good about (being comfortable in your own skin, so to speak) will help you naturally keep your shoulders back, head high and also give you a high level of confidence that you carry with you regardless of what attire you may have on! This confidence not only creates a desire for others to be around you, but it can also help you to attract other confident, individuals into your life.
2. It Challenges Us. It’s no mystery that we can only grow from conflict. That is to say, its the contest itself, the challenge, that forces us to call out our talents, skills, and energies that lead to growth. To often, people have a tendency to make a mountain out of a molehill. It can be beneficial to put our challenge(s) into the proper perspective and see it for what it is. The key is to get accustomed to these challenges so it becomes a part of our regular routine. At Forte Strong, we call this “normalizing” or “normailization”. What are some things that you may have previously thought were big deals, but have learned to normailze and introduce into your life? Maybe it was working out? Cooking? Resolving conflict?
3. Attitude. “Most of us think we don’t have enough time to exercise. What a distorted paradigm! We don’t have time not to. We’re talking about three to six hours a week – or a minimum of thirty minutes a day, every other day. That hardly seems an inordinate amount of time considering the tremendous benefits in terms of the impact on the other 162 – 165 hours of the week.” – Stephen Covey
Regular exercise helps us to have a much better outlook on the rest of our lives. It changes our attitude from a “That’s too hard” mindset to a “What else can I do or what else can I accomplish?” mindset. Additionally, I have heard many people say that physically, their daily workout is the “toughest” part of their day which helps them to look at the rest of their day as no big deal, because the “hardest part of their day is already done!” This is especially helpful for those who workout early in the morning. If you only have time later on in the day or evening, look for your workout as a time to de-stress and center yourself as day winds down.
4. Routine. It’s no surprise that humans are creatures of habit. Incorporating exercise into part of your daily regimen allows you to form a routine. Routine’s make life easier for us, and allows us to mentally set “benchmarks” or “triggers” so that we know what comes next. What’s a good example of this? Have you ever left work, to commute back home and it seems that all of a sudden you’ve arrived? You barely remember the drive! The more you do something, the easier that task becomes for your brain to complete because the neural pathways are stronger and more developed, and your brain can put itself into a sort of “auto pilot” so that you can concentrate on other tasks. It helps you to create a flow for your daily activities. Likewise, by working out at the same time everyday, your brain will start to make that task easier for you, and it will allow you to focus more on other tasks throughout the day. Pretty cool, right?
“No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training… what a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” – Socrates
Whatever your reason may be, try incorporating 30 minutes to an hour of exercise at least every other day into your life. It will make you more physically fit, and will directly translate into a happier and healthier state of mental being. Any thing I left out? Let me know in the comments below!
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About the Author
Matthew Arrington grew up in Southern California and has a deep fondness for the ocean and water in general. He’s lived in most of the western united states and attended school in Oregon, where he earned a few degrees in business including, marketing, leadership and organizational management and a Masters in Business. Matt has a huge passion for working with young men to increase their chances of success and credits his current success to the many positive male role models that helped him grow into manhood.