When we get home from work, all we want to do is sit on the couch, turn on the TV, and eat enough junk food for a lifetime. After a stressful and tiresome workday, why would you want to head to the gym or prepare a healthy meal? Well the truth is your body is wired to want to work out and make healthy meals but, due to the world we live in, that drive doesn’t always kick in the way we expect.
Sound crazy? It isn’t. Our anatomical chemistry drives us to survive. We used to have to hunt and gather our food, outrun predators, build shelter, you name it. Exercise was a part of everyday life, and the food we ate was necessary to keep our bodies alive and able.
Today if you’re hungry you can text the pizza emoji to a ‘za joint and get it in 30 minutes — without missing a second of the Bachelorette.
The “fight or flight” response is ingrained into our psyche. It helps us deal with difficult situations and get us out of trouble when we need it. But long ago when you had a conflict with someone, you would either need to physically run or physically fight. Today you can instead just go home, have a drink, and call it a day. Essentially the way we deal with daily stressors has changed.
Exercise can help us release our stress and tension in a way that our bodies are designed to respond to. So instead of smacking your annoying coworker or walking out on your job, you can hit up the gym and maintain your relationships and career.
You see, there isn’t any sort of innate difference between the people who get to the gym everyday and the ones who eat Cheetos in their bed all day. The difference between the two lies in how they have conditioned their bodies to survive on a day-to-day basis.
The key to disciplining your body into wanting to workout comes from how you approach your workout. If “I want to be able to fit into my jeans from high school” is your reason for working out, you won’t get too far. You need to set a goal that will make you emotionally invested. “I need to lose 10 lbs so I can be healthy enough to travel” is a much more emotionally centered goal.
Centering goals around emotion is the best way to get in touch with our primal side, which gives us the drive to apply the change as a way to ‘survive.’ Using this method combined with starting out a small is the best way to get a lifestyle change to stick.
Making a change doesn’t have to be a difficult thing. If you use your body’s natural survival instincts, getting to the gym can be a breeze. For more information on how to use your body’s fight or flight response for wellness, check out this article.Get Started! Tell us about your goals!