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5 Virtues that Fitness Can Cultivate

Posted on August 27 2018

5 Virtues that Fitness Can Cultivate

5 Virtues that Fitness Can Cultivate

Oftentimes, people seek to get fit for the sake for the body. They want their muscles to be stronger, their stomachs flatter, their legs leaner. Overall, their main concern is improving their physical health. What they might overlook, however, is the mental fortitude they gain after sticking with a fitness regimen. Suddenly, the mind no longer treads a fog. The body it controls feels more invigorated, less tired. In some ways, the body and mind become one entity, sharing a newfound steadfastness.

In short, fitness makes people stronger in both body and in mind. There is something to be said for someone who forgoes their base desires--overeating, sleeping in, lazing on the couch--to better themselves. Along the way, they unlock positive virtues that might have never considered allowing to show. What are these virtues? Read on to learn more about the virtues fitness can help cultivate.

1. Discipline

Discipline might be one of the first virtues to come to mind when you think of fitness. After all, keeping yourself on a strict regimen takes work. At first, you might dread it completely, maybe even fear it. You might wonder: How do I know this is even going to work? What if I am just wasting my time? Once you find your rhythm, though, you gain a sense of accomplishment. No longer is it about making yourself do it but making yourself do it better. You gain a new sense of order. Eventually, that sense of order may spill into your everyday life until you find yourself wanting not only to do everything but to do it well, at everything excelling at work to caring for your family.

2. Strength

Of course, when people think fitness, they think strength. What is a more fitting image of fitness than a muscled man holding high a glimmering weight? The strength fitness cultivates, however, goes beyond even that. When you push yourself day after day to do something you might not like to do, you are doing more than moving your muscles. You are moving your brain, teaching it to always reach, always long for challenge. Thus, when a time comes when you must move forward even when it feels impossible mentally, you do it. Not necessarily because it is easy, but because you have cultivated within you strength that wants to be tried.

3. Humility

The fitter you become, the better you understand what your journey is all about. Perhaps you decided to get fit because you wanted to get revenge on an ex who frequently commented on your weight. Maybe the tipping point for you was noticing how much attention the big-shot “gym bro” received and being tired to sulking in the shadows. When you start a fitness routine, your own body might humble you when you find yourself gasping for air after running  a couple laps or struggling to lift even the lightest weights. After several months, you can run longer without stopping and lift more without flinching. But you did not get there simply by telling yourself that you are innately great. You got there by letting your body betray you many times.

4. Enthusiasm

Before embarking on your fitness journey, you might have enjoyed some form of physical exercise, at least passively. Maybe you liked going for a swim on a hot summer day or taking a stroll around the block. When it comes time to get serious about fitness, though, many people balk at the thought of having to do the same thing for several days in a row, often without seeing any real progress for a while. Getting motivated to exercise can be a challenge!

But with time, you do not only feel driven to stick to your routine because of the discipline you’d developed. You want to because you actually enjoy it. You might even feel disappointed when you have to skip out on it. Like discipline, this enthusiasm may well carry over to other aspects of your life. For instance, maybe attending your garden is a lot more enjoyable than it once was, because you are able to work for many of the same things you sought from your fitness routine: the growth of something meaningful.

5. Reverence

We often respect people who accomplish things we see as difficult, perhaps even unobtainable. When you start taking your fitness seriously and reaping the benefits, you may gain a new perspective not only giving respect but also on receiving it. For one, you respect yourself  enough to allow temporary discomfort for long-term health. Moreover, you come to understand what people sacrifice to gain, which in turn fortifies the respect you hold for those you admire. Finally, you gain reverence for the body, but not just because it looks the way you think it should. Rather, you witnessed it sweat, ache, and fall short. And then you witnessed it mend, strengthen--gradually.

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