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Exercise is not punishment

Jul 3, 2023   •   
Exercise is not punishment

Embracing Exercise as a Gift: Celebrating Health and Well-being

At times, we find ourselves judging our own bodies and viewing exercise as a form of punishment for not meeting societal beauty standards. However, I believe it’s essential to shift our perspective and recognise exercise as a gift. A gift that promotes physical and mental well-being, transcending beyond mere aesthetics. Drawing inspiration from my personal journey as a mum of 3 and the owner of Mums Run the World Fitness and Wellness Centre and the valuable insights of Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) and Beyond Blue, this article aims to encourage a shift in mindset. We need to focus on emphasizing the importance of self-care, self-acceptance, and celebrating the incredible capabilities of our bodies.

Reclaiming Exercise as a Gift, Not a Punishment

I often hear from my members that exercise is seen as an obligatory task rather than an enjoyable activity that enhances our lives. It’s time we recognise exercise for what it truly is. Exercise is a gift we give ourselves. By engaging in physical activity, we improve our overall health, mental resilience, and quality of life. I support the notion that exercise is not solely about physical benefits but also acts as a powerful tool to reduce stress, boost energy levels, enhance mood, and improve cognitive function. One of my clients shared with me that she felt lucky to have found a real person who understood that size does not matter. I shared that it’s about feeling strong and capable to deal with everyday life. I believe training is more than just a number on a scale or a dress size. It’s about the quality of life you want to lead. She felt blessed that I understood this from the moment we met. It made us both almost cry!

Redefining the Right Approach to Exercise

Rather than comparing ourselves to others or fixating on idealised body standards, we should focus on individual well-being. I believe exercise should be seen as a means to take care of us and find joy and fulfillment. Whether we choose weightlifting, running, dancing, or participating in group fitness classes, the only requirement is that it brings us happiness and a sense of well-being. There is no universal right or wrong way to exercise. What matters is finding an approach that resonates with our personal preferences and goals.

Embracing Self-Compassion and Encouraging Kindness

I want all women to release the grip of self-judgment and extend kindness and compassion towards ourselves and others. We must celebrate our accomplishments, regardless of their scale, and recognise that progress is a journey unique to each individual. Let’s shift our focus from appearances to prioritising health, self-care, and overall well-being. ESSA and Beyond Blue emphasize the importance of nurturing a positive body image and fostering self-acceptance. This reinforces the idea that we are all worthy of love and respect, irrespective of our body shapes or sizes.

A Personal Trainer’s Perspective

As a personal trainer, my mission is to empower clients to embrace their strength, confidence, and capabilities. I want them to view exercise as a precious gift. It is a catalyst for taking control of their health and well-being. It’s crucial to understand that self-transformation starts with self-compassion and self-care. By treating ourselves with kindness and respect, we pave the way for a more inclusive and accepting fitness community.

Broader Perspective and changing attitudes

I hope by reading this and sharing with the world that we can change the view of exercise. From being seen as a punishment to understanding that it truly is a gift that allows us to improve both our physical and mental health. Let’s shift our mindset and recognise the value of exercise in enhancing our overall well-being. By investing in ourselves through physical activity, we can celebrate our bodies and all that they are capable of achieving. So, let’s embrace exercise as a gift, choosing to prioritise our health, happiness, and self-acceptance. Together, we can build a community that uplifts and supports one another on the journey to a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Amanda embarked on a transformative journey four years ago when she left an isolating marriage. This led her to becoming a Mums Fitness Professional, as she strongly believes every woman deserves dedicated “me time’ in a safe and supportive environment. 

Amanda Comerford runs Mums Run the World Fitness in Queensland, . Learn more about Amanda and Book your Trial today.

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