We all have those days where we can barely find the energy to put the kettle on for our morning cuppa, let alone hit the gym or go for a run.
You can’t possibly activate beast mode every day, but exercising when you feel tired, stressed, or down in the dumps can have a deeply beneficial effect on your body positivity and self-confidence. It’s about pushing through those days when you feel beat and despondent.
The body positive movement currently taking the world by storm ties in with self-love and self-acceptance. But although body positivity advocates the acceptance of all bodies no matter the shape, size, or appearance, it’s also very much about taking care of yourself and being healthy.
Take Ashley Graham for example – that’s a girl who owns her body shape, but that doesn’t mean she skips the gym. According to her personal trainer, she gyms 3 times a week, frequently doing weights with a high rep count and some calisthenics in between to get her heart rate up.
So, how do you motivate yourself, how do you get yourself in the mood on those down days? Check out these tips to help you embrace exercise.
1. Dress accordingly
You know the expression, “dress for success”? Well, it applies to exercise too. Researchers at the North-Western University in Illinois have found that by simply putting on activewear, you are more likely to get into the right frame of mind to start exercising.
We actually experience a mental shift when we wear certain clothing – they’re dubbing it ‘enclothed cognition‘. “It’s the systematic influence that clothes have on the wearer’s psychological processes” and blah blah blah.
Basically, when you wear cute workout wear, you’ll want to get active. Have you ever walked down the aisles of a supermarket in trainers, leggings and a sports bra? We all know that feeling… just by wearing sportswear you will feel like you’re being active. It’s a huge motivator, trust us!
2. Eat raw food
As fab as a great exercise outfit makes you feel, let’s not pretend there aren’t other factors at play here. It’s not just about how you look on the outside and your acceptance thereof that makes you feel good. Feeling good about your body is about what you put inside your body too. Raw greens are where it’s at.
This doesn’t mean that your diet needs to be made up of only raw greens. In fact, just by starting your morning with a smoothie made of ingredients such as kale, ginger, lemon, apple, beetroot, and parsley you will be giving huge love to your body.
By incorporating a vegan raw food diet into your lifestyle, you’ll reap huge rewards. In short, a vegan raw food diet contains uncooked vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, and juices.
This will assist with toning and lower your risk of type 2 diabetes. Additionally, it’ll improve your digestive system and heart health. This doesn’t mean you can’t feast on a pizza from time to time either. It’s all about balance.
3. Start pole dancing
Another incredible trend that encapsulates the body positive movement is pole dance fitness. It’s no longer associated with squalid all-night clubs; it’s now being widely recognised as a method of exercise that promotes femininity and positive body image.
It’s also super social and empowering! Pole dancing is a full-body workout and by taking up this hobby, you’ll be joining a community of like-minded individuals.
It’s empowering because there is a unique closeness that bonds pole dancers together. There are pole dancers of all professions, cultures, sizes, ethnicities, religions and ages.
The physical benefits are obviously amazing. I mean, have you ever tried lifting yourself up on a pole?
You’ll tone up super quickly and start feeling a lot fitter. But, it’s more than just the physical element of pole dancing that will keep you wanting more.
It’s the sensation you experience when you master a particular move or the emotional baggage you shed when you’re working hard in class. It’s an athletic art form that has the power to uplift even the most downhearted individuals.
4. Challenge your inner voice
We’re our own worst critics. That voice in the back of your head telling you to wear a one-piece as opposed to a bikini, or to starve yourself when you could do with some self-love in the form of blueberry pancakes should be challenged every day.
By challenging this “voice”, you become closer to accepting yourself for who you are. This can be achieved through the following:
- focusing on your positive qualities, skills, and talents
- appreciating and respecting what your body is capable of doing
- setting positive health-focused goals as opposed to weight-loss goals
- saying positive things to yourself, about yourself every single day
- avoiding negative self-talk
Adopting the body positive movement is a radical and highly-necessary act of self-care. It is challenging the media’s grip on what it means to be beautiful. The significance of being truly happy and feeling visible and appreciated is invaluable. So, go on, embrace yourself!