In a day and age where we promote happiness and we all know how delicate the mental health of every individual is, why is there still such a focus on how our body’s look? There are magazines stacked on shelves where celebrities, in particular females may I add, are torn apart for the way they look. They are criticised for having too many curves, for not being curvy enough, for wearing no makeup, for wearing too much makeup, for dressing too formally, for dressing too casually, when is it going to stop and when are we all going to think about the way we make others feel? This only sets a precedent for how the rest of the world thinks and the things they worry about. Consequently, this drives people to exercise for one reason only, to look a certain way (which is an unhealthy relationship to have with exercise). Not because they want to, but because they believe they need to exercise to look the way society ‘expects'. Surely, we should exercise because we want to and because of the way it makes us feel. This will also make exercise feel a lot more rewarding. The physical results may follow, but regardless of this, you will feel happy from the way being active has made you feel.
How you feel is more important than how you look. If you are happy, healthy, and you enjoy what you do, this is the best way you can be. Exercise is an opportunity to celebrate what your body can do and the way it makes you feel, purely striving for aesthetic goals can leave you feeling dissatisfied and never quite happy. In the past I became a slave to exercise, purely because of the way I wanted to look and the way I felt I should look. This was not something that made me happy and it completely took away from the enjoyment of the activity I was doing. Learning to move your body for the sake of your mind is a vital lesson.
We can all work together to step away from this trend of exercising in order to change the way we look. We rarely become friends with someone or get into a relationship with something purely based on their looks. If we did this, we would end up spending our time with people we don’t get on with at all! It’s just not realistic! So, if we choose our friends based on their personalities, why don’t we compliment people on things that really matter? Rather than always commenting on looks, and rather than magazines tearing people apart because of the shape of their body, why don’t we celebrate their successes? Rather than criticise the body of someone after just giving birth, we should celebrate the fantastic act their body has performed and the stress it has coped with. We don’t always have to look for the negatives. We worry about these things as it is, we don’t need to be made to, or make others feel worse.
I think the important thing to think about is, would you rather be the kindest and happiest person you can be and look whatever way that may present itself, or look the way you believe others want you to look and be miserable? Happiness is the biggest and best goal to achieve in life, so lets all work together to get to this! Exercising, be it running, swimming, or going to the gym, should be done for the joy it brings us.
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!