We all know of the benefits of physical fitness training. But at times the mental benefits can be greater than the physical ones. See how going to the gym changed my life.
At school, I was a quiet child, I kept myself to myself. For this reason, I was easy prey for the bullies. Years of bullying to be exact.
I wasn’t into sports except for football, I enjoyed playing it even though I wasn’t very good at it. It was no surprise that I was chosen to be the goalkeeper most of the time (that’s if I got picked).
All that changed when my friend invited me to a local boxing gym.
Little did I know how my trip to the boxing gym would transform my life
As soon as I walked through the gym doors I loved everything about it. The smell of sweat, the training, even the ‘torture’ of the workout. After my initial workout, I’d found my purpose, I knew this is what I wanted to do for years.
And so, at the age of thirteen, I began my fitness journey. Over the years I picked my many benefits while keeping fit, here are a few of the main ones:
From the first few sessions, I started seeing improvements, the more I trained, the better I got. My results were my addiction. As my skills increased, the more confidence I got.
This mentality wasn’t confined to the gym. I realised that with hard work and dedication, anything could be achieved. This mindset helps me in my education and work. Like training, it wasn’t important for me to see results right away. I knew, with the right amount of determination, that I could do anything.
Keeping fit is a great way to make friends
I was a shy kid, going to the gym changed that. I would often meet new friends, compete in a training sessions and even do lots of team activities. The training was fun, training in a group made it much more entertaining.
They say your “vibes attract your tribe”. By meeting like-minded people not only did I make new friends, but also I became more confident.
Full body workout
Life is hectic with a full-time job and a big family. Going to the gym allows me to do a full-body workout. Not only has this made me stronger, but it has improved my health by lowering blood pressure and improving my blood circulation. These benefits can be felt in my daily life. I’m a lot more energetic in daily activities, from lifting shopping to playing with my kids.
Self-defence is not only our right, but it’s our duty.
I grew up in a rough neighbourhood. For years, I used to get bullied because I couldn’t defend myself, let alone defend those around me. After going to the gym and learning how to box, I was finally able to defend myself. It’s at that point I realised that:
When It Comes To Self Defence, It Is Better To Have The Power And Not Need It Than To Need It And Not Have It. — Kevin Shearer.
This was also a confidence booster for me. I know if I’m ever in a hostile situation, I have some tools at my disposal to get me out of the situation safely. This is beneficial to both me and others around me.
A tree that does not bend is easily broken
As a youngster, I wasn’t interested in flexibility. It was years later when I stopped training for a period, had an 8-hour office job that I realised something wasn’t right. Just like the tree which didn’t bend, I was broken. I started getting back pain and shoulder cramps, getting out of bed in the mornings was painful.
After going to the gym again, I decided to stretch out, and the results were shocking. Within weeks, the pain stopped, and my posture became way better.
Self-discipline is the key ingredient to success
There are days when I can’t wait to go to the gym, being on time was being late for me. Many times I would go early to the gym.
Other days weren’t as easy. Getting out of bed was a battle for me. Pushing myself to get out of bed and hit the gym was a way to discipline myself and not fuel my desires.
I started becoming comfortable being uncomfortable.
If I did miss a session or did a workout half-heartedly, I realised that I was cheating no one except myself. This mindset not only helped me in my fitness training but manifested itself in my day-to-day life. From my studies to my workplace, I realised if I didn’t give it my 100% I’d be cheating myself.
This greater self-control that I developed was a stress relief for me. As it helped me become a lot more productive.
Entering the fitness world has had many benefits for me, both mentally and physically. Of them being:
- increased confidence
- better social skills
- I’m stronger because of the full-body workouts
- I’ve gained self-defence skills
- I’m a lot more flexible
- increased self-discipline.
Try going to the gym and see what benefits it has for you.