Exercise and life lessons

Jennifer Bonn

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Jen Bonn

I learn life lessons all the time through exercise. I see inspiration, courage, fear, and everything else that has to deal with the human condition. Many people use exercise as a weapon to prove they are strong enough, some use it as a therapy to deal with emotional pain, some want to push to be stronger, and some see it as a healthy social event. Either way, exercise can teach us life lessons.

Exercise is stronger than medication

Exercise is the healthiest drug, and it is free to use. Whatever you choose as your exercise, moving your body makes you feel better. It also offers a chance to leave troubles or a bad day behind. I do my best problem-solving and thinking while I am running. Exercise allows you to set goals and chart your improvements. It feels good to be doing something positive for yourself and to see the healthy changes.

Being strong physically requires mental strength

If you want to do well at any physical activity, you have to also work on your mental strength. Confidence in your ability or just sheer determination will push you to become stronger. Force yourself to not give up and to do some things that might be out of your comfort zone.

Consistency and practice are the keys to almost everything.

Being committed to something is the key to success. Build physical activity into your daily routine the same way you would brush your teeth every day. The more you do it, the more comfortable you will be with the activity and the better results you will see.

Perception is different for everyone

Everyone has the bar set at a different level. I hear conversations at races all the time to convince me of this. One person is depressed because his 5k time was 29 minutes, while someone else is ecstatic that she came in under forty minutes. Our expectations for ourselves and others are different according to our circumstances, so set your own goals without comparing yourself to anyone else.

Excuses and fear hold you back

Excuses are holding you back from a better life. Stop finding all the reasons why you cannot do something and figure out a solution for how you can. There is always a way to make something work whether you need to find childcare or time. I see plenty of people who show up at races refusing to make excuses. They want to live their best life instead of being a prisoner in the recliner. The first step is the hardest and each one after that will be a little easier.

Being healthy affects everything else in your life

When you are healthy you are in a better mood, you sleep better, you can focus more, and you generally enjoy life more.

Do what works for you.

It doesn’t matter what you do for exercise as long as you are active. Pick an activity you will enjoy doing and that way you will look forward to doing it and stick to a program.

You can help others by helping yourself

You never know who might be motivated by what you are doing. Someone else might begin an exercise program that could save his life because of you. When you are healthy, the effects ripple down to your friends and family. You can enjoy time with them more and better health means lower health care costs.

Be proud of your efforts and accomplishments, whatever they are.

If you are exercising regularly, you are an athlete and you need to think of yourself that way. I will never forget one day when I was out for a run and a lady who was running too was coming the other way. I said hello and she said, “Don’t laugh at me because I’m trying to run. I know I’m not a real runner.” I was so surprised at that statement that it took me a minute to react. I turned around and caught up with her and told her that she was just as much a runner as I was.

Exercise is a way to deal with demons while making yourself stronger and happier. It can help you turn so many negatives into positives. Start living your best life and learn the lessons that exercise will teach you.

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I am passionate about running, parenting, education, and self-help information. I enjoy writing articles that will offer readers the information needed to help them in some way. I recently retired from teaching French and Spanish for forty years. I run every day and have done all kinds of races from 5ks to ultra-marathons. I have three children and three grandchildren. I write for several magazines in my area, I am a contributor and in charge of the Pinterest board for a parenting magazine called Screamin Mamas, and I have a second book about to be released through Loving, Healing Press called 101 Tips to Ease Your Burdens.

Kennesaw, GA
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