ORLANDO, Fla. — Running, biking and lifting weights are all great ways to stay in shape, but research shows that inner fitness can also be an important part of good health. It’s about focusing energy on your emotional well-being rather than exercising or dieting. Simply monitoring how you talk to yourself is one way to improve your inner fitness.
“Negative self-talk is a daily, everyday issue because it shapes our identity. It becomes who we are,” says psychotherapist David Baker.
If you have trouble talking about yourself, try replacing negative thoughts with reasonable thoughts. But first, identify the harmful voice speaking to you.
“We don’t just want to replace him,” Baker said. “We want to ask, ‘Why are you here?'”
Mindfulness meditation is another way to improve your inner fitness. Studies show it can lower blood pressure, improve sleep, reduce chronic pain, and reduce the risk of anxiety. Mindful eating, which involves tracking your feelings and habits around food, can help you lose weight and keep it off. And yoga, which uses movement, breathing, and meditation, has been shown to reduce stress, improve flexibility, boost immunity, and decrease anxiety.
Meditation and yoga classes are often offered at local recreation centers or health clubs. You can also check out different apps. Some are popular: Calm for meditation and Glo for yoga.