The benefits of healthy selfishness in your fitness journey: prioritize self-care, set boundaries, and boost life satisfaction. Find your perfect balance.

Exercising a Healthy Dose of Selfishness in Fitness and Life

Break a sweat, but don’t break yourself. There’s a thick protein shake of advice, attitudes and aspirations out there, but let’s face it, it’s about going through the reps and sets of life at your own pace. Believe me, it’s time to put the “self” back in “self-improvement” to bring your fitness and life to another level.

There’s no “I” in Team, but There Is in Fitness

Okay, so, you don’t have to cut everyone out of your morning yoga routine. That said, we sometimes forget that the essence of maintaining health and fitness is prioritising your own needs. Sounds selfish? Maybe. But a dash of selfishness might just be what you need to keep your relationship with fitness going.

Taking refuge in our default “kindness” zone might make us a champ at people-pleaser Olympics, but remember, your back squat won’t improve just because you’re consistent…with attending to other’s needs. So, while selfishness carried to the extreme can make you the unwanted center-of-the-universe, never putting yourselves first can brew a storm of resentment and drain your energy tanks.

The Gym of Life Calls for Healthy Boundaries

Let’s flex your healthy selfish muscles, shall we? If there were a ‘Healthy Selfishness Scale’, it would look like a crossfit workout routine. Effective, intense, and a tad unusual. Healthy boundaries, self-respect, that guilt-free “me” time (cue gym time), positive selfishness (cue more gym time), and prioritising personal projects over others. Sounds hard? Remember, no pain, no gain.

And the benefits? They might come to you as naturally as proper breathing during wind sprints. A boost in life satisfaction, psychological adaptivity, a smaller likelihood of dealing with depression, increased self-compassion, pride in your accomplishments and less inclination to aggressively dominate others. Now that’s what we call “workin-on-fitness!”

The Selfish-Altruistic Fitness Balance

Among the squat racks, rowing machines, and your dairy-free protein shakes, life’s an intricate dance between selfishness, self-centredness, selflessness, and altruism. They’re not deadlifting against each other; they’re more delicate partners in a wellness waltz. Warming up with a little self care can push you towards the altruistic end of the continuum, enabling you to provide care for others down the line.

But striking the perfect balance can be tough, especially for women, parents, and marginalised individuals. The crunch here isn’t the abs-ripping kind; it’s wrestling with financial obligations, family expectations, cultural pressures, and professional zeal. Talk about an intense circuit, huh?

Appreciate Your Personal Rest Day

We’re living in an always-on, always-doing culture. When you’re not pounding the pavements or hitting the weights, guilt can sneak in. “Expressway to burnout, anyone?” Prioritising rest and self-care can be game-changing. It might not drop that PB immediately, but it may just prevent that unnerving – and utterly uncool – inner scream session.

Your Mantra: It’s Not a No, It’s a Healthy Boundary

A wise man once said: “It’s okay to say no.”, and I could not agree more! But if saying ‘no’ is like trying not to drop the barbell during a punishing superset, never fear, we can build that muscle too! Start by understanding your upbringing and identifying any fear-of-rejection gym bags you might be lugging around.

And when you’ve set the boundary and mastered the ballsy “I’m not pumping iron at 4 AM for anyone” way of life, you might just find yourself being a source of happiness for everyone around you. How’s that for a winsome workout wow-factor?

Conclusion: Set the Fitness Pace, Break the Mould

So there you go. Time to put your needs at the top of your training plan. Whether it means taking a break from the treadmill, putting down the kettlebells or revamping your entire routine, remember, opting for self-prioritisation isn’t a contrary curl in your fitness journey. It’s necessary. It’s healthy. And it’s completely okay to be the prime mover in your own fitness life. Start embracing a healthy dose of selfishness. Ready… Set… Lift!

  • A shift towards healthy selfishness may be crucial for mental and physical wellness.
  • Healthy selfishness involves establishing boundaries, prioritizing personal development, and practicing self-care.
  • Exercise can be seen as a form of healthy selfishness, bringing both physical and emotional benefits.
  • Understanding and challenging societal expectations can provide an essential starting point for setting boundaries and practicing healthy selfishness.
  • A guiltless ‘no’ is vital for maintaining your equilibrium and effectively managing relationships.
  • Regaining control over personal time and decisions can lead to positive ripple effects in other areas of life.

Source Citation: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2023/dec/30/the-healthy-guide-to-being-selfish

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