What does it mean to be physically/beautifully fit? Who or what says if you are fit or unfit? Is it the mirror, media, parents, peers... the list goes on for many sources of body image pressures.
The influences on body image are vast and often dubious. Perhaps it's time to declutter our beauty expectations, silence societal chatter and instead refine healthier standards anchored on the sciences (nutrition, biology and psychology).
Let's explore four healthy ways of making a fitness routine for beauty that emanates from within.
1. Set a self-loving tone to your internal fitness monologue
Mainstream beauty standards have a tendency to be quite unattainable and unrealistic. It won't help if we fan the flames of overly self-critical and unattainable judgement.
We need to look into ourselves individually and define what beauty and fitness means to us — regardless of societal dictations.
Let's ask ourselves, what behavior/practices are we doing to improve our fitness? Secondly, why do we want to be fitter and beautiful? Who are you doing it for?
Digging deep into to the roots of our beauty journey will help set a steady and solid foundation of beautiful integrity. Reflection and self-awareness are the keys. Your answers to these seemingly simple questions can also motivate you to keep going no matter how tough your workouts can get.
Self-affirmation is a great start to having a healthier self-body image. With a healthy inner mirror, you can then lay the next layer of bricks towards building a strong beauty and fitness routine.
2. Decide on realistic goals and routines As you develop your own healthy, subjective self-body image, it's time to set more objective yet achievable goals coupled and realistic routines as well.
Here are some simple considerations to take as you map out your routine:
Your lifestyle is going to be a huge determinant to your fitness routine. Where do you spend most of your time? How long is your daily commute? Whatever your lifestyle is like, you can create a routine that works around your lifestyle and preferences. As with every routine, timing is essential. You decide by how much and when, which is why self-awareness and adapting your lifestyle to an active one and vice versa is the essential tug-of-war for a balanced life.
This is also where focus comes in. Some people like to do time-blocking and dedicate time purely for fitness, say hitting the gym after work or playing sports.
Others may opt to seamlessly integrate or blend it into their everyday routine, like walking to and from a restaurant for lunch, walking the dog, carrying the baby, cleaning the house, gardening, etc.
That's the beauty of embracing your freedom in choosing your own beauty standards and routines: we can adapt it to who we are and want to become.
3.Evaluate your beauty & fitness regimen based on scientific mirrors
Flat/washboard abs, v-lines, weight loss, porcelain/clear skin, and images of people with cookie-cutter curves... these are the usual terms and graphics one would find when searching the internet for fitness and beauty inspos.
But healthy beauty and fitness, as we all know, is beyond the superficial. A more-is-more mindset and the world's clamor for amassing online attention in the beauty and fitness industry has fueled a digital vocabulary that can be unhealthy. Where the unpopular/less-liked, yet more credible and authoritative sciences of sports, nutrition and biology have been benched in the sidelines.
Let's attempt to make the science of beauty and fitness appealing and attainable, shall we? Try gauging beauty with these indicators too:
Mental Acuity (Smart is cool; exercise can enhance one's mental sharpness greatly and make you more attractive while aiming for your ideal figure.)
Endurance (Cardiorespiratory & muscular health will serve you well in the long haul.)
Strength (Strong is sexy; carry on about your day with strength and confidence.)
Body Composition (Being skinny is not always the goal — it's having a healthy BMI or body mass index, waist-to-hips ratio, and other more scientifically-valid measurements.)
Flexibility (Being able to do the splits is fantastic, but even the simplest of yoga moves can do wonders and are something to be highly proud of.)
Keeping track of scientific and objective indicators like these can sound daunting, but that's where tech comes in handy. There are apps and modern gadgets that can help make it simple and easy to lead an active and beautiful lifestyle.
One example of nifty tools to scientific and convenient fitness/beauty "trackers" is apps such as this Body Mass Index & Ideal Weight Calculator.
Take it a notch further into the digital age with fitness bands and smart watches that help track your steps (pedometers), heart rate, and other useful fitness indicators.
4.Be meticulous with hygiene and skincare
Make sure to take care of yourself in the beauty and fitness process with ample preparation for your skin before, during and after a good workout. Especially with sunscreen. Sun protection can't be stressed enough since it's the utimate shield against photaging/damage.