Creative Fitness: Applying Health Psychology and Exercise Science to Everyday Life

By Henry B. Biller | Go to book overview

Step II

UNDERSTANDING YOUR PERSONAL POTENTIAL

Taking responsibility for your fitness has many benefits. Regular exercise, along with nutritious eating, enhances your mood, self-esteem, zest for life, and ability to cope with stress. Your confidence in dealing with mental and social as well as physical challenges increases when you engage in enjoyable fitness endeavors. Understanding yourself better will stimulate the development of a more creative pattern of exercise activities. Experience the intrinsic pleasures of playful movement and muscle stimulation on your way to a healthier overall lifestyle.

Louise, a 26-year-old waitress with two young children, had little energy to focus on her own needs. Even though she never liked to exercise, she had remained rather slim until becoming a first-time mother. She happened to pick up a pamphlet left behind by one of her customers that described the activities and child-care facilities available at her local YMCA. Within a few weeks, Louise enrolled in a personal fitness class, gradually beginning to lose the excess weight she had gained after having children. Moreover, she found that her ability to concentrate greatly improved, further motivating her to take courses in order to finish her college degree and pursue a more promising career.

Although a highly successful advertising executive, 48-year-old Mitch felt constantly under stress with little enthusiasm for doing anything but watching television when he wasn’t at work. A discussion with a friend, who was being treated for depression, helped him to realize that he, too, was missing the playful activities that he had so much enjoyed during his youth. Mitch began doing some early morning bike riding

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