Exercise and body positivity may sound like a confusing pair, but they’re not! Exercise is great for your body and mind—it helps you get in closer touch with your body, releases some feel-good hormones, makes you physically stronger, and the list goes on. Anybody can exercise—whether it’s a yoga sesh or just a brisk walk around the neighbourhood—and everybody deserves to feel the benefits that being active brings.
However, many of us feel pressured by society to fit into predetermined ideas of what a fit, healthy body looks like, and these ideas tend to be limited. When only certain body shapes are validated as healthy, such messages can only worsen one’s relationship with exercise and movement, their own body and food. In the long run, this can leave so many of us feeling bruised—especially when we know firsthand that shape and size don’t determine how much joy one can derive from the simple act of moving.
This is where body positivity comes in. Exercise may play a key role in your journey of loving yourself and your body, but a body positive mindset can help you approach fitness more holistically. In essence, body positivity is what we’ve been talking about—everybody deserves to feel good about their body regardless of what anybody else thinks.
If you need a little self-love boost, here are a few tips to help you make exercise and your body better friends.
Redefining Your Goals
The first step to building a positive relationship with your body and exercise is to establish appropriate goals. For instance, it might be more helpful to refrain from making weight loss the only reason you’re working out. Consider widening your set of goals and your rewards will swell, too—they could include getting stronger, building your self-esteem, improving your endurance, or bettering your mental health.
Besides motivating you to stick to your exercise routine, this approach can also make working out a more fulfilling and enjoyable experience. If you’re not sure where to start, a good rule of thumb is to set realistic and achievable goals, no matter how small. (Can’t lift those 15kg weights yet? Start with the 10kg or even lighter if you have to—you’ll only get stronger, after all!)
Avoid Comparison and Judgement
As you work on attaining your fitness goals, it can be tempting to compare your body and progress with those of others. But it’s important to stay focused on yourself and your own journey. If you find your thoughts straying a little too far into self-judgement, spend a few minutes just appreciating how far you’ve come—and the vast potential you still carry. Do the same for those around you, if you find yourself needing to practice a little more kindness.
You can consider repeating these affirmations to reinforce your positive thoughts:
- I am strong.
- My hard work is producing results.
- I have limitless potential.
- I am more than my weight.
Be in Tune with Your Menstrual Cycle
For some women, exercising during that time of the month can be anything but comfortable. Between menstrual cramps, fatigue, lethargy and fear of leakage, feeling accomplished after working up a sweat can be challenging. Although it can be difficult to find the motivation to exercise during your period, know that working out can actually alleviate many of the painful and uncomfortable symptoms. Exercise helps decrease PMS, relieve cramps, improve your mood, and much more!
Take it a step further by syncing your exercise routine with your cycle! It’s always crucial to listen to your body when you’re working out, and cycle syncing is no different. At the start of your menstrual cycle, you’re more likely to experience fatigue and lethargy. Switch up your regular routine by opting for restorative activities like yoga, or simply take this time to rest. Once your cycle ends, you can look into upping the intensity of your workouts. Generally, your energy levels will increase as you near the beginning of your next cycle. Take full advantage of these last two weeks by participating in high-intensity activities, such as weight training and running. This might be a good time to try different fitness classes, too.
When exercising during your period, your workout attire can make a world of difference. For instance, tights may be all the rage at the gym, but you might not want to wear form-fitting bottoms during this time. If you’d like to consider reaching for looser pants, check outour Effortless Joggers II, a relaxed-fit pair of joggers made with our signature buttery-soft, sweat-wicking Everywear fabric. However, good support remains essential—especially when your breasts tend to be more sensitive during this time. Designed to provide medium-high support, our Revitalise Bra helps to reduce breast movements while simultaneously providing you with the maximum range of movement and breathability you need for a pleasant and enjoyable workout. If you’re looking for a top, opt for one with a relaxed fit. Looser tops, like our Easy Breezy Crop Tee, won’t put pressure on any bloatedness you might be feeling, making every movement comfortable.
At Anya Active, we believe in making you feel good while you work on loving yourself and your body. As your go-to ladies’ sportswear brand in Singapore, we offer a wide range of quality women’s activewear designed to support and elevate your physical activities. Browse our online catalogue or drop by our store in Singapore and let us help you find your ideal sportswear.