3 Tips to Increase your Health and Fitness

What more can you do to increase your health and fitness beyond having an adequate diet, getting sufficient sleep and suitable exercise? Whatever your level of wellness at the present time, these three tips will benefit your health and wellbeing:

  • Develop a healthy mindset through affirmations
  • Listen to your body and act on the information it gives
  • Deal positively with emotions such as anger and resentment
Let's take each one in turn.

Think Positive about your Body and your Health

It is vital to maintain a positive mindset where your health and fitness is concerned because your state of mind affects your body.

You can create a healthy attitude by using positive affirmations. For affirmations to be powerful they need to embody what you wish to create. If you want a healthier body write down some statements that reflect what you want. Look at the examples below for inspiration.

Healthy affirmations

I am grateful for the body/health/mobility/etc. that I have
My body is doing a good job in keeping/making me fit and well
I am becoming healthier and fitter every day
There are no limits to how healthy/supple/strong etc. I can become
The food that I eat and the water I drink nourish me/build my strength
Every breath I take I inhale health-giving oxygen
My body is repairing/healing itself or growing stronger/healthier while I sleep/rest
My immune system is strong and keeps me well

Don’t use negatives like 'I repel illness' or 'I am preventing cancer'. Always use positive words and phrases, in the present tense as in the examples above.

Speak these or other appropriate affirmations either out loud or 'loudly' in your mind several times throughout the day. In a short time they will become embedded in your unconscious mind and act powerfully from there.

Listen to your Body

Your body has intelligence and it communicates with you – but for the sake of your health and fitness, you need to listen to the messages it sends to you. By listening to and acting on these sometimes subtle communications, problems can be nipped in the bud and your body can be kept on a healthy track. Here are some of the messages your body might be sending out:

I’m tired and I need you to go to bed early
My throat is sore and I need you to eat more foods with vitamin C
My eyes are uncomfortable and I need you to leave the TV or the computer for a while
I feel sluggish and could operate better if you went for a brisk walk
I have pain in an unusual area, better see the doctor
I have a rash, please cut down on dairy products

Respect your body's wisdom

You may be aware of such messages from time to time, but tend to override them – to the detriment of your wellbeing. Instead, listen to your body and co-operate with it. Then you will strengthen it and make it more resistant to illness and disease.

When this attentive relationship between you and your body is fully developed, the extent and range of the communications will grow too. You may become intuitively aware when something is wrong, even before symptoms appear.

Deal with Toxic Emotions

When they are left to fester, anger and resentment act like poisons in the body. They have been linked with various illnesses ranging from headache, skin problems, insomnia, digestion problems, through to arthritis, heart disease and stroke. So if you tend to store up your anger and resentment, you are undermining your long term health and fitness. It doesn’t feel very good either.

There are four main ways to deal with these emotions and avoid their negative effects on the body: venting, channelling, resolving, and managing. Let’s look at these individually.

Venting clears the system

Venting gets your negative feelings expressed and out of your system, benefiting health and fitness. It's to be done in private without an audience and certainly not in the company of any person with whom you feel angry. Choose from punching pillows, screaming, or ranting and raving. When you can really let rip, these methods can liberate you from anger amazingly quickly and effectively.

If you find the idea of vocal or physical expression too difficult, you can write out your anger in the form of a letter that will never be sent. If you are angry at a person, address everything you say in the letter directly to that person. Be as accusatory, critical, and expressive as you can (remember no one is going to read this). This is about expressing raw emotion, so pay no attention to correctness of spelling or grammar, or politeness. These would interfere with your flow.

You can write to an organisation, company or institution in the same way, or to God, fate or whatever. Do be direct in a ‘finger-pointing’ way. Tell them how you feel, what they have done to you and how they have affected your life, how wrong, evil, despicable, unfair they are. Make it colourful and it will be effective.

When you’ve finished, destroy the letter in a meaningful way. Burning it is my favourite method of destruction. For me, the charred remains are symbolic of permanent change. Whatever you do, don’t keep the letter.

Other variants are: using a punch bag, furious digging or chopping wood. Be creative and find the right method of venting for you. Remember to personalise the activity so you are ‘hitting out’ at whoever or whatever has angered you, and ‘paying them back’ in your mind. You hurt no one, and you build your health and fitness.

Channelling provides an outlet

An alternative is to create an outlet for your anger by channelling it into vigorous exercise or competitive sports. This can relieve the intensity and pressure of the emotion - and directly contribute to your health and fitness at the same time.

Creative pursuits can also provide the vehicle for negative emotions to be converted into something positive. Anger could become the subject of a painting, for example, and be expressed that way. It might also be transformed into acceptance or forgiveness during the creative process.

Resolving issues

Sometimes anger and resentment can be resolved like a problem. If there is an issue you can do something about, you may be able to resolve your anger by going right to the source of it. This is not always possible so here’s another approach.

Your health and fitness can benefit from talking about your feelings, especially those of hurt and anger. Sharing them with someone else, can help to diffuse them. If that someone is part of the issue, dealing with them in an adult respectful way can be the way forward, but be careful your anger doesn’t get out of control in this situation. It would probably make things worse.

Another potential way of resolution is through understanding and forgiveness. If someone has hurt or offended you, forgiveness could be the answer for you. Forgiveness isn’t very popular as a remedy – it can feel like you are conceding victory to the other person. However, they need not know. Forgiveness can be your way of moving forward.

Managing anger

Ways of managing anger may include identifying those situations that make you angry and making changes to reduce the incidence of this happening. It might involve learning to be assertive rather than aggressive. If you are a generally angry person you might benefit from professional advice in the form of anger management courses or therapy.

Provided that your lifestyle is reasonably healthy, following these tips will take your health and fitness to a new level. Applying positive thinking, using your intuition as a resource and transforming toxic emotions, can be productive even when you are unwell. If you are currently suffering from an illness, take a look at the mental techniques you can use to enhance your recovery.

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