Is fitness a lifestyle? Why or why not? The answer is yes: fitness can become a lifestyle because the person exercising gains positive, regular, and seamless benefits from it in relation to the rest of the life pursuits.
People who have a fitness lifestyle exercise regularly for enjoyment and personal satisfaction. Working out becomes integral to their overall sense of well-being. Movement becomes a hobby and often connects them to like-minded communities. Those who practice lifestyle fitness are often more mindful of other parts of their lives, like nutrition, sleep, and self-care.
Table of Contents
How To Make Fitness Part Of Your Life
1. Ditch the Scale
Making health and fitness a part of your life has to be about more than your look or weight. Work out because you love your body, not because you hate it!
2. Create a Flexible Workout Routine
When fitness becomes a lifestyle, it’s naturally easier to fit into a busy schedule. The key is to create a fluid program that allows you to move when and where it’s convenient. Try using different venues and styles. For instance, try doing HIIT at home when you’re short on time. Or, join your friends for mountain bike rides on the weekends. Off-set outdoor workouts with weight lifting at the gym. Mix up your pace by going on long jogs with adidas Runners.
3. Focus on The Feeling
Most people start a workout routine because they have a physique or health-related goal. So why keep exercising after reaching the goal? Because the process has its own benefits. That’s why fitness is a lifestyle.
For many, the feeling of being fit is better than the physical results. And, feeling fitter can encourage other lifestyle changes. Once they’re more confident with their fitness, many people start working out with friends. They start eating to promote their training instead of exercising to offset consumption when fitness stops being about “self-control” and starts being about lifestyle.
4. Be Confident
Living a fitness lifestyle means taking the lessons learned in your workouts “off the mat” (or out of the gym). Physical activity and a healthy diet often influence other areas of life. It’s not just about how you look in the mirror; it’s more about the confidence you gain in the workplace and your relationships. It’s about igniting the courage to share ideas, speak your mind, and go for the prize. Building confidence is one of the best reasons to stay fit!
5. Practice Body Acceptance
When it comes to body image and fitness, try to appreciate your body for the incredible things it can do. Giving birth is more impressive for many women than any exercise accomplishment. After giving birth, many mothers set exercise goals around their quality of life rather than getting a six-pack. Sometimes it takes an extreme physical challenge to realize what’s truly important: being strong, healthy, and happy with who you are.
6. Define Your “Why”
Why do you exercise? Can that reason be more emotional than physical? For example, your “why” could be: so that I can watch my children grow up. Give a new “why” a try! You might find that your workouts naturally become more frequent and enjoyable.
7. Be Body Neutral
Physical activity boosts endorphins and gives you a sense of accomplishment. Every workout is a little challenge and a little success. For many, regular training creates confidence in one’s capabilities.
Since our bodies are incredibly complex, regular exercise may not result in physique changes. For instance, some people will never have a defined six-pack, no matter how healthy they are. One thing that working out as a lifestyle promotes is “body neutrality.” For many, body neutrality is emotionally more achievable than body positivity.
Body neutral exercisers see fitness purely for what happens inside the body, not out. They appreciate the body’s ability to work rather than how it looks. People who view their bodies neutrally also tend to value physical anatomy. In today’s world, when exercise is promoted as a mechanism for changing one’s shape, body neutrality can transform unrealistic workouts into enjoyable movement.
When Fitness is NOT a Lifestyle
“Lifestyle Exercise” Is Something Else
“Lifestyle exercise” is a term used in mental health. It describes turning everyday activities into exercise opportunities.(1) It’s true that raking your leaves is a great way to get movement in (and save money on gardening). But, lifestyle fitness involves actual workouts (whether they be in the gym, outdoors, or at home). For some, turning everyday activities into calorie-burning pursuits leads to exercise addiction.
Exercise Addiction Is Real
Unfortunately, exercise can be abused like anything else. “The dose makes the poison,” as the saying goes. Fitness is a lifestyle when it complements the other aspects of a balanced being. It is NOT a lifestyle when workouts become obsessive, consuming, and anxiety-provoking.
A Hungarian study by a university and health professionals explains, “Regular physical activity plays a crucial role in health maintenance and disease prevention. However, excessive exercise has the potential to have adverse effects on both physical and mental health.”
In a world that glorifies “being fit,” exercise addiction is a sneaky predator. It usually starts innocently, as a quest for a better look/life. But when exercise starts to take precedence over all other activities, it is no longer healthy.
Excessive guilt over skipping a workout, avoiding food because it may affect a workout, repeatedly canceling plans to get a workout in, strict maintenance of a workout schedule, and obsessively planning all aspects of exercise are signs of addiction. Physical symptoms include lack of sleep, loss of period in women, constant fatigue, “brain fog,” and consistently sore muscles.
Fitness as a lifestyle means that exercise is an enjoyable part of a balanced weekly schedule. It’s essential, like self-care, rest, time with loved ones, eating, work, and other things that make your life lovely.
Lifestyle Fitness Is About Enjoyment
People who make fitness a lifestyle find creative ways to fit it in. They bring exercise bands to their kids’ football practice so they can exercise on the playground. They invest in home fitness tools to get a workout during their lunch break. They don’t worry much about the time or the intensity. They move for enjoyment and power. And they’re curious about the journey. Ultimately, they respect and appreciate their body every step of the way.