How Working Out Changed My Life

How Working Out Changed My Life

Exercising regularly and having a healthy lifestyle has a massive impact on how you go about your daily life.

While many people think it’s just about having a more muscular body, exercise has the potential to boost many areas of your life – in your relationships, personal life, work, and more.

That’s why I decided to write a personal article today. I want to show some of the drastic changes in habits I had after understanding my priorities in life – living well and with quality of life regardless of my age.

As such, the purpose of this article is to inspire you to make improvements in your lifestyle based on changes I have seen over the past few years on my fitness journey. Here, I will not include scientific research but my personal experience.

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How Did Fitness Change My life?

In a nutshell, improving my fitness has brought so many benefits that it’s genuinely challenging to list all the changes I’ve seen.

Some of them were:

1. Boost On My Energy Level

It’s crazy to think how my energy level was low 5 years ago when I was overweight and in a destructive lifestyle. I used to drink almost daily, sleep poorly, be completely sedentary and eat a lot of junk food. All of this has sabotaged my performance for years.

I say performance in general because this lack of energy affected my mood to exercise, work, and even my personal life. I just didn’t feel motivated to overcome my comfort zone, which meant that I never gave 100% of myself in any activity I set out to do.

When I decided to change my lifestyle and start exercising, I noticed considerable changes in my energy levels and mood – right in the first few months.

I began to feel good and willing to face my daily routine, regardless of sleepless nights, problems at work, traffic, and everything that caused me stress.

2. It Increased My Motivation

The motivation was one of the most transformative changes I’ve noticed along my fitness journey.

Until then, I was that person who unconsciously believed in “the least possible effort for the maximum result”. I wanted the best life could offer me without having to step out of my comfort zone. I also used to blame a lot of others for what happened or didn’t happen to me.

In this sense, running changed my life – as it was the first activity I started to practice when I came out of a sedentary lifestyle. I was 15 kg overweight and utterly dissatisfied with my life – my health, my career, and other issues.

I started running 3 times a week with a friend who was also overweight, and I remember a simple run of 100 meters left me breathless at that time. Even so, I could see that at the end of the first month, those 100 meters were so much easier. If I persisted on that path, it wouldn’t take me long to run 1 km.

Approximately 6 months later, I was running 6 km and had already lost almost 10 of the 15 kg I wanted to eliminate.

These two factors gave me such great motivation that I realized that if I applied the same effort in other areas of my life, I would perform better and succeed in whatever I tried to do. If I had won once, I could have won again, and again!

3. Improved Sleep and Less Tiredness

I believe my sleep improved due to several healthy habits that I started to have. Around 5 years ago, I was sedentary, eating poorly, smoking and drinking a few beers with my friends after work – practically every day of the week.

It’s incredible how, at that time, it didn’t matter how much sleep I got. I would feel tired anyway. Sleeping 7, 8, or 10 hours, I would wake up with the feeling that that night’s sleep wasn’t enough to recover and prepare myself again for another day.

Today I follow a healthy lifestyle, eating better and exercising regularly for almost 5 years, and it’s shocking how much better and faster my body recover is. I have the feeling that even on the worst nights – where I sleep 5 hours – I can still wake up with energy and carry out the activities of my routine.

I have slept an average of 7 hours a night over the last few years, and I feel entirely recharged every day. I no longer have insomnia, and the quality of my sleep has improved considerably.

4. Better Performance Overall

As soon as you understand that exercise is not a punishment but a life project – a lifestyle – your life begins to change radically.

I say this because when I realized that all the hard work resulted in physical changes in my body, I began to associate effort with reward, rather than thinking it would just be a boring thing to do.

When you understand that any result you achieve in life will depend on your own effort – most of the time -, it is clear that improving your performance will take you even further.

You come to understand that the more consistent you are at something, the better off you will be – and that will bring you even greater rewards.

The magic of this kind of mindset is that you start using the same self-discipline in other areas of life – like your job, personal relationships, or whatever. It is clear that the way you perform determines your results, which gives room for constant improvement.

If you are a better employee, dedicate yourself more to your business, or study more, you will have even more significant results – just like it happens in the gym.

That mindset gave me the self-motivation to try to be a little better at something every day. Whether in your health, in your personal or professional life, there is always room for improvement!

Can Exercise Change Your Personality?

I cannot say that the exercises will change your personality, but it is safe to say that they will change your perspective in the face of problems, difficulties and bad habits.

Here are some of the changes I noticed:

1. Better Mood and Less Stressed

Science indicates that improving mood and lowering stress levels are two of the many benefits of exercising regularly, and I also noticed this change myself.

I was never a toxic person, but I became a negative person during my sedentary years – who complained a lot and got stressed out easily. I believe that it also had to do with the dissatisfaction I felt and the lack of perspective for a better life.

I slept poorly, woke up every day without a purpose and still spent 8 hours a day on a job that didn’t fill me and stressed me out. When I started exercising, I noticed that those 60 minutes of daily exercise made me feel alive, happy, and purposeful, in addition to sleeping better. This radically changed my priorities.

I started to have a reason to wake up – which was to transform my body – and put up with that boring routine I had. I could see that it no longer mattered how bad my day was, as later that afternoon, I would go jogging with my friends, and it would make me happy – feeling good about myself.

In this wave of improvements and concern for my health, I started to care more about my mental health, and I understood that, although my job paid my bills, I was not forced to stress because of my boss’s personal problems – or from anyone else.

Today I understand how harmful stress can be, and I have no doubt that the exercises helped me fight it. My priority became to live my life to the fullest with more health, well-being and less stress.

2. It Boosted My Confidence

My period of sedentary lifestyle also greatly affected my self-esteem. At one point, I, who have always practised physical activities and had good physical conditioning, found myself overweight, which demotivated me a lot – and for a long time.

When you’re not happy with yourself, you’re even less confident that you can get better. It’s almost as if you unconsciously accept that that state is final and that changing can be so painful or demanding that it’s just not worth it.

Keep in mind that nothing in this life is definitive and that you are capable of change! Better than that: you can take small steps to get small wins within a long-term goal. There is nothing more rewarding that boosts your morale than realizing that you set out to overcome a barrier and managed to win.

In this sense, when I started to notice my weight loss, increased performance and muscle mass gain, I understood that I was fully capable of doing whatever I set out to do.

If I lost 15 kg because I started to dedicate myself to running, what else would I achieve by applying the same effort?

That question started echoing in my head every day, and since then, I’ve overcome so many challenges that I just have this feeling that I’m ready for anything.

I started to be more confident in myself, my skills, and my potential to overcome difficult periods and stay focused on my goals. I understood that we are complex beings with total adaptability!

3. It Built My Resilience

I believe I started to develop my resilience even more when I started working out at the gym. I say this because part of the understanding you must have when training is that you must excel every day.

Regardless of what your goals are – losing weight or gaining muscle mass – you will learn that progression and self-improvement are what allows you to go the furthest on your fitness journey.

You won’t get stronger by lifting the same weight every day, just as you won’t continue to lose weight if you exercise the same way you did when you were a beginner. The beauty of it is that you come to understand that, to evolve, you need to constantly adapt, and sooner or later, you will start to apply this mindset in other areas of your life.

If you are physically able to do one more rep, increase your load, or simply improve your endurance, you are fully capable of making other improvements in your life.

When I understood that I could overcome the limits of my own body, I started to become even more resilient and motivated to face other obstacles.

4. Increased Focus and Self-Discipline

Last but not least, exercising regularly has helped me immensely in improving my focus and self-discipline. I consider myself a very anxious and agitated person, and although these characteristics help me in some situations, they can also interfere a lot.

The exercises made me understand that most of the things we do in life depend on two things: consistency and time. These two factors guide most of our results, whether at the gym, at work, or in our personal projects.

When I understood that most of my goals – including my bodily transformation – were achieved with a lot of effort, consistency, and time, I came to realize that I couldn’t count on luck, much less on immediate results.

Most of the things you want to achieve in your life will take time, and that’s fine!

As human beings, we are incredibly analytical, and, most of the time, we can only motivate ourselves to something when we can see precise results. When you can measure that all your effort was worth it – whether noticing that you’ve lost weight or gained muscle mass – you start to drive your focus to what really matters.

Discipline becomes a reality rather than a challenge, and you don’t even realize it. You naturally get rid of distractions or things that hinder your results.

You come to understand what you should and shouldn’t do to succeed at something, and that specific tasks are simply necessary for success.

Look for your own sources of inspiration and use these memories to remind yourself that you’ve gone through difficult times and managed to overcome them.

Over time, this collection of successful tasks will give you the motivation and self-discipline you need to move forward with any challenge!

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