While most thoughts turn to romance this Valentine’s Day, we are encouraging you to find love elsewhere – starting with yourself.
Now, we’re not talking about fitting into a particular dress size or having a certain physique, this is about taking care of your body – because you only get one!
Unlike a car or a washing machine, our body isn’t something we can slowly replace parts of and rebuild as the years pass by, yet we still expect it to keep up with our busy lives.
So, this Valentines, put your body first, and ensure it continues to do you proud for the future.
Our campaign #findyourwhy is all about finding your own reason for visiting Life Leisure and keeping healthy – so perhaps your ‘why’ should simply be out of respect for your body.
Your body shouldn’t have to finish a triple marathon or complete a gruelling workout to earn your respect. It already works extremely hard 24 hours a day, supporting us as we go about our daily tasks and then working hard to repair itself as we sleep.
Once you learn to respect your body you can go about looking after it better, whether that’s being more aware of what fuel you are putting into it or spending time on strength and conditioning to ensure you are strong enough to take on the things you need to do.
According to Government guidance, keeping your body in good working order is as simple as doing at least 150 minutes of moderate activity a week including two days of strength training exercises.
But that doesn’t have to be a HIIT class or running 5k, moderate activity is anything that raises your heart rate, makes your breath faster and feel warmer, so you can have some fun with it.
A brisk walk, a gentle swim, riding a bike or dancing in the kitchen – finding an activity that you love rather than one that is simply designed to burn maximum calories will ensure you stick at it.
One of the most important parts of our bodies is the brain, which requires just as much love and attention as the rest of our bodies.
This complex organ that controls thoughts, memories, and emotions, so looking after it is very important.
Of course, things like crosswords and sudoku are all fantastic ways to keep your brain active, but you can actually benefit your brain simply by moving more. That’s because exercise releases endorphins that make you feel happy and positive.
And the good news is, it doesn’t require a lengthy workout. Research suggests just 10 minutes of exercise can boost happy chemicals, and just 20 minutes can boost your mood for up to 12 hours afterwards – what’s not to love?
Make a date with a friend
Another fantastic way to give your health and wellness some attention is by teaming up with a friend.
As well as simply lifting our spirits and putting a smile on our faces, friends are incredibly effective at making you feel emotionally support and loved, which is vital to prevent loneliness and promote good mental health.
Friendships are also fantastic at helping you keep going when the going gets tough, and to recognise your own self-worth – If people like being around you, you must be doing something good right?
Group activities such as a walking group, sports team or aerobics classes are a great place to start when it comes to finding new friends with common interests. But there’s also plenty of opportunities to make some lasting connections with fellow gym goers on the gym floor, it just takes someone to make the first move.
Enjoy some alone time
Another way to ensure your brain gets the support it needs is to give it some time to process.
Ensuring you get enough sleep is a fantastic way of giving your brain a rest, but simply spending some time alone with your thoughts can also works wonders to help alleviate stress and calm your thoughts.
You can choose to use the time to concentrate and reflect on your needs without interruption, or you can make the most of the silence to be calm and shut out the world.
In fact, many activities – such as swimming and running –can actually help you relax and calm a busy mind, as the repetitive action can result in a meditative effect.
And while a gym or leisure centre is a great place to meet new people, it’s also one of the few social settings you can go along to and simply keep yourself to yourself with your thoughts.
So, instead of looking for romance this Valentines, look to improve the relationship you have with your health and your friends – your body will thank you for it!