Many of us have body image issues. Sometimes they can seriously undermine our confidence in ourselves and even our ability to get on with our lives. And sometimes we can also be judgmental of others.
Fitness experts see a variety of body image issues in their classes and gyms every day. They have important lessons about how people perceive their own bodies and the bodies of others.
The way you view your body is important for overall health and fitness.
Use these strategies to develop a positive body image and gain the advantage of stronger mental and physical health:
1. Understand why body image matters. How do you feel after you look in the mirror? Do you love your body, or are you constantly searching for new flaws?
• It’s easy to become preoccupied with external appearances. Do you see every flaw and feel imperfect? Do you worry about how others perceive you? Your mind forms your opinions of body images.
• Body image issues are tied to self-esteem and confidence. They’re also part of overall emotional health, so unhealthy opinions can have a strong negative impact on your life.
2. Challenge stereotypes. Fitness experts see a huge variety of body shapes and sizes. The human body is not restricted to a specific mold. Everyone isn’t the same height or weight. Accepting this variety will help you to challenge stereotypes related to body image.
• It’s important to understand that one body type isn’t the correct way to exist. There is no ideal weight, height, or shape on the planet. The universe has created a variety of shapes and sizes for a reason. Diversity makes things more fun and avoids boredom.
• It’s also crucial to understand that exercise doesn’t produce the same results in each person. One person may lose weight faster, and another may gain muscle more slowly.
• The stereotype of a stick-thin model or muscular man needs to change. Fitness experts recommend avoiding these stereotypes and focusing on your own body. What do you think is your ideal shape?
3. Find positive role models. A good role model can help guide you to better health.
• Your fitness instructor could make a good role model, but there are also other options. Do you watch in awe as women into their nineties exercise in the park? Do you admire your disabled neighbour for still finding ways to stay in shape?
• Positive role models don’t have to come out of magazines, television shows, or gyms. They can be normal people who stay in shape and love their bodies. They don’t have to be triathletes to inspire you.
• A positive role model can help you to see how a good body image can help make life better.
4. Focus on healthy eating. A negative body image can lead to eating disorders and other concerns. Fitness experts report frequently seeing these issues in their classes.
• Obsessive calorie counting and worrying can be a serious issue. Also, fitness coaches see reprimands for slipping up on a diet or eating something sweet. These issues are all linked to poor body image.
• With healthy eating, flexibility is at the heart of the meal plans.
• Experts recommend consulting dieticians and nutritionists to work on eating disorders.
• It’s important to allow yourself to have cheat days or cheat foods, so your body isn’t constantly craving certain foods. Eating these items in moderation can help you stick to a healthy diet.
5. Avoid judging others. The judgment you pass on others often transfers to yourself.
• Instead of criticizing others, focus on positive aspects of their body. This will help you see positive points in your own body image.
A positive body image is essential to overall health. If your body image is suffering, then consider these tips from the fitness experts.
Remember, diversity is healthy!