By: Nazirah M. Jones, M.S., CPT-NASM
Over the past few months, I've had many discussions with members about the emotional drive we experience in the gym. Anxiety is a common feeling that can hinder our productivity and leave us feeling mentally and physically drained. While there are numerous remedies available, such as medication, homeopathic remedies, and support animals, I've found that going to the gym and completing a solid workout is the most effective tool for managing my anxiety.
The level of clarity I gain from my workout is directly proportional to the effort and output I put into it. If I use my anxiety or bad mood as an excuse to half-heartedly complete a workout, I won't feel successful and will continue to be stressed and anxious. However, if I go into the gym with a purpose and push through mental roadblocks, I will feel grounded and better equipped to navigate the "real" world upon leaving.
Physical healing is an obvious benefit of exercise, such as building muscle mass and increasing blood flow and joint mobility. However, I believe that the most important healing occurs on a deeper level. The confidence gained from successfully completing a workout, the positive self-image and self-talk that result from physical progress, and the ability to recognize and manage our emotions using the tools provided by our community, coaches, and training all contribute to a more enriched and fulfilling lifestyle.
By making the gym a regular part of our lifestyle, we unlock a wealth of benefits that can enrich our lives and inspire those around us.