Love & Fitness
♫ L, is for the way you …lift with me ♪ – or, what was it again?
Hello, hello & happy Friday!
Congrats! You successfully made it through January, the perpetual ‘Monday’ of the year.
We’re now in February, surrounded by heart-shaped …everything: balloons, chocolates, pillows – you name it. Hence, the topic we’ll be tackling in this post is, you guessed it, LOVE!
I know it may sound cheesy, but please bear with me as I elucidate love in the context of fitness: what does it mean to love fitness? Does fitness influence what we love and who we love?
First things first, can you love fitness?
Some of us may have said it every now and then: “I love fitness!”, in a similar way as one would say “I love cooking” or “I love painting” when talking about their hobbies and passions. But what does it mean, and does it even mean anything at all?
When we say we love something, it’s usually because this something makes us feel good, fulfilled, satisfied and happy. I might be stating the obvious but there is a science behind the ‘love for fitness’: serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in our bodies that helps regulate mood and promote positive feelings, whilst low levels of it can be associated with depression. 30 minutes of aerobic exercise increase serotonin production in the body and so do other exercises (e.g. Pilates) despite less significantly. Hence, when we engage in physical exercise we release serotonin, which makes us happy. We feel satisfied with and fulfilled by our fitness achievement. Happiness, satisfaction, fulfillment… we just love that feeling, don’t we?
Hence, I’d say yes, you can love fitness.
If you haven’t done so yet as part of your NY resolutions, why not make the occasional gym session a regular habit? Fitness should be a lifestyle change associated with positive emotions; something we do to feel better and which, indeed, makes us feel better.
Thus, the question that follows is: does fitness determine what we love? And the answer is, most likely, yes.
When we embark on our personal fitness journey, whether we’re starting from scratch or setting new goals, we will be engaging in fitness activities of all sorts: from simple changes like taking the stairs to discovering a new sport, maybe. New experiences excite us. Doing physical activity makes us feel good (serotonin, remember?). As we promote positive feelings through these practices, we will start loving what we do because, as a matter of fact, what we do that makes us feel good.
So, guess we can claim that yes, fitness does influence what we love. because we love the things that make us feel good.
In summary, physical activity releases serotonin, the feel-good hormone that makes us enjoy what we do, hence, we can come to love fitness and anything associated to it.
Which ultimately leaves the million-dollar question still unanswered: if fitness can define what we love, does it also determine who we love?
If we say we love fitness, exercising, eating healthy… can we love e.g. a couch-potato that smokes and loves fast-food? I’ll let everyone decide for themselves. At the end of the day, romantic love is such a simple yet complicated matter that makes it virtually impossible to give a straightforward yes/no answer.
But let me just leave you with one last thought…
Surely, we can love fitness and anything that relates to it: we can “love a good HIIT session” and we can “absolutely love avocado on toast”. But, eventually, our ability to truly love something or even someone comes down to whether we love ourselves first. And undoubtedly fitness is a great way to achieve self-love. Not only because we will be achieving physical goals (be fitter, stronger, healthier) but also because we will realise how amazing we are. Amazing for pushing though these changes, for not letting go, for being strong, resolute. We will start appreciating our body for keeping up with our ambition: enduring a long run in preparation for a marathon, balancing advanced yoga poses, recovering from an intense workout session. It will unveil all of its greatness and we will be thankful to it for not giving up on us. And the moment we start loving our body for what it actually is, not what it should be, we will start loving yourself too. And it’s only when we truly love ourselves, that we can openly and honestly start loving others.
Therefore, February’s #FridayFitTip is: embrace the fitness journey, get to love what you do but, more importantly, learn to love yourself in the process.
Hope you enjoyed this read – would love to hear your thoughts.
Or maybe share it with friends & family and encourage self-love.
Lots of love,