For the purpose of this article I am giving you my perspective and my personal facts on my sole experiences. I want to share with you a story about my relationship between physical fitness and with my mental well-being, as I believe it to be beneficial to you during our Covid 19 quarantine. We want to train smart and have fun while training. We want to leave the training ﬂoor feeling more energized, clear headed, and happy then when we got on it.
I am a trainer, business owner, and a mom of three. I have always been active throughout all stages of my life, as I love to move my body and I love how it makes me “Feel.” As humans I think we correlate how we feel with all things that we do. Likely, if it makes us feel good, we will continue. The challenge is to push through the uncomfortable and the initial hard to get to the “good feeling.” Most will find it difficult if it does not feel good and will find it a challenge to continue. Getting your clients to push through the difficult will not only improve their physical health but improve their mental well- being. As everything in life, we strive to juggle balance to the best of our ability!
I have always been active but only when I had a young family, I began to correlate the benefits of physical training with mental well-being. I would often get up early before everyone else to go swimming, a place and time for me to exercise my body and enjoy the peace in my mind. I believed it was then that I began to use exercise to destress from the world. Even today I make sure I schedule in my training as it allows me to be more productive in my business and more present in my personal life. I see it daily with the energy of my clients when they walk through the doors verse the energy when they leave. When I feel one of my greatest achievements is when watching a mom step on the mats to take time for her own physical and mental well-being!
Looking back to my children began realizing that physical activity made them feel good was when both me and my daughters were training kickboxing Saturday mornings. My class would start at 9:00 am and theirs at 10:30. Now here in Canada that would mean some days getting up in the dark in winter with -40 degrees Celsius. If you can imagine teens at that time of the morning. We undoubtable got into the vehicle not happy but upon leaving we always had smiles on. So much so one day my middle daughter jumped into the passenger seat, we had been laughing at the time, she looked at me and said “mom isn’t it incredible how we are all so grouchy in the morning but after training we are always happy!” Bingo! “Exactly,” I said to her, “now if I could bottle that feeling up and share with everyone can you imagine how happy everyone could be.”
As my company was growing and before I strictly set that I must keep my training routine no matter what my children would become very in tune with me. As I let training slide to do business, my middle daughter again noticing my agitation would point blankly ask me “mom did you train today?” They saw the difference in how I was when I did not take time for me.
We can clearly compare this to the analogy when flying and they tell you to don your own mask for safety before helping someone else. I believe it is important to take care of yourself by exercising because if not, we deplete our mental and physical health. I will tell you this training kept me going in a positive way verse creating a negative habit. I believe the physical training and discipline allowed me to go further to where I needed to be mentally and find a balance. For me I used the positive influence training gave me to get physically stronger while it was my safe place, my mind realized that I needed to focus on creating inner strength. I do not believe I would have gotten to this point without the physical aspect. The one day I sat on the gym bench and could not lift was because my mind told my body that it needed a pause. I believe my training helped me get to that point that day to conquer my internal battles. After that moment I learned that training creates a huge impact mentally but even that has a balance that you must keep in check.
As we are in quarantine, we want you to train and keep your clients training, I want you to think of the process. Know that your body needs physical exercise to maintain a healthy body and to manage the stresses of our everyday but take time to make sure you are not overtraining to cover up some internal work that you need to do! I think as trainers who love movement we often need the reminder that is fitness should take on more holistic approach by looking at the benefits training encompasses
The beneﬁts of exercise and health are vast:
- You will be more efﬁcient.
- You will be less stressed.
- You will be more creative.
- Self Discovery
- You are a much better version of yourself when you follow a healthy lifestyle.
- If you respect yourself, others will respect you more.
- Your kids and your family look to you as an example: Be a great one!
From life experience as mom, business owner and trainer I have learnt that the importance of training our mental health is equally important as our physical health.
My hope in this time you take care of yourself and as you train you also work on the inner strength for your mental well-being.
By Jodi Barrett