Could Affirmations And Gratitude Change The Way You Work Out?
Here at Sweat, we talk a lot about the different ways you can improve your health and wellbeing, whether that’s through the power of movement, good nutrition, getting enough rest, connecting with your community or goal-setting. But one of the most effective tools to change how you feel is the language you use to speak to yourself.
Learning how to observe your inner dialogue and being intentional with the language you use to speak to yourself can be an amazing way to help change how you feel about yourself and your fitness journey. For Kelsey Wells, this is a big part of her own fitness philosophy and a pillar of her new program, Redefine Fitness.
“I remember reaching a place where I took a long hard look in the mirror and realised how unhealthy the way I spoke to myself and treated myself was,” she says, explaining how so many of the women she connects with are in the same boat. As part of her own journey, Kelsey has embraced the power of positive self-talk.
“For the first time, instead of shaming myself, I accepted myself. I thought, this is where I am right now, but I don’t have to stay here. I can get to work to shift my mind into a healthier place. I have learned that making change is about awareness, acceptance, and then taking action and putting in effort.”
Try Kelsey’s new program
Redefine Fitness is a one-of-a-kind program that’s now available in the Sweat app, infusing strength training with mindfulness. Each workout includes intention-setting, affirmations and moments of gratitude guided by Kelsey to help transform how you feel about yourself.
“I started using these three tools and helping others to use them, and suddenly I knew I would never train another person ever again without them. That’s how important and powerful I believe they are,” Kelsey says.
According to Glenn Fox, a neuroscientist and gratitude expert at the USC Marshall School of Business, there are a number of physical and emotional benefits associated with practising gratitude. This isn’t just about feeling better emotionally, but physically too!
Look for the good
As you work out alongside Kelsey, you’ll be using affirmations to remind yourself about your worth, your power and your strength. Then, at the end of every session, she will invite you to take a moment to ground yourself in gratitude and feel proud of what you just did for yourself.
Sure, you might sometimes feel challenged or out of breath while you exercise, but a workout should never feel like a punishment, nor should you be criticising yourself throughout it. Moving your body should be about fun and enjoyment!
Speaking affirmations aloud, Kelsey will support and encourage you to think positively about fitness and your body throughout your workout, with phrases such as - I move my body out of gratitude for my body. I move my body to care for myself and my health.
“When you take the time to get really intentional with what’s happening in your mind too, it’s a game-changer,” says Kelsey, who says the responses to the new program from her community has been one of the highlights of her career to date.
From women who are grateful to find an outlet for their body AND mind to people who are appreciating their bodies in a whole new way, Kelsey says these messages from women experiencing Redefine Fitness for the first time mean the world to her because it highlights that she's not alone in how she feels.
"For a long time I’ve known that mental, emotional and physical health are not separate from each other, so to release a program that combines everything I stand for is so meaningful, and I believe it’s so needed,” Kelsey says.
Give it a go!
If you’ve never tried practising mindfulness before, or aren’t sure how it might fit into your workout routine, Redefine Fitness is an amazing starting point as Kelsey will be right alongside you from start to finish. All you have to do is follow Kelsey’s lead and be open to trying something new!
A 2017 study published in Current Psychology journal examined whether practicing gratitude explained mental wellbeing differences in the 231 participants. The results indicated that gratitude can make a significant contribution to psychological well-being and self-esteem, above the effects of other variables and personality traits.
“I know some people have an aversion to things like affirmations and gratitude because they think they’re ‘woo-woo’ or fluffy, but I urge people who might think it’s ridiculous to give it a shot. It’s a safe space, no one is next to you, you’re not in a group class - it’s only me and you. Just try me,” Kelsey encourages.
“It might feel uncomfortable or awkward at first, you might be rolling your eyes - and trust me, the affirmations I need the most are the hardest for me to say out loud - but the more you do it, the more you’ll start to feel a shift in how you feel.”
A 2019 research article in Frontiers in Psychology journal looked at the evidence from two longitudinal studies. Both showed that gratitude and life satisfaction mutually predict each other over time, meaning higher levels of gratitude increase life satisfaction, which in turn increases gratitude, leading to a positive spiral of feel-good emotions and improved wellbeing. A win-win!
“That’s one of the things I love about this and about fitness. You’re not going to have aesthetic results in a week or even a few months if you’re doing it in a healthy way, but you’re almost immediately going to start feeling those beneficial ripple effects.”
What are you waiting for? Start your journey with Redefine Fitness today in the Sweat app.
* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.