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THE JOURNAL

Your dose of fitness, health and wellbeing information with Han.

Listening To Your Body

han romano walking in the botanical gardens

We’ve all heard it’s so important to “listen to our body” when it comes to health, nutrition and fitness, but what does this actually mean? How do we know if we’re just feeling a bit lazy, or if our body really needs that break or extra snack?

We are all born with this ability, although modern-day life has thrown us into believing we should eat set meals and work out at certain times of the day, without using our intuition of whether we’re actually hungry or need to take a break.

Why is it so important to listen to our body?

You might think that strict dieting and working out as much as possible will help put you at the peak of health, but the reality is it’s all about balancing our mental and internal health too.

Becoming aware of what your body needs and checking in on yourself when you feel exhausted, stressed or upset all play a huge part in your overall health.

It impacts everything from how fit and strong we are through to inflammation in the body, our immunity and the state of our emotions.

So, how do you do it? I’ve put together a few easy steps below to help you get in tune with your body.

Hannah holding her dog in her gym
  1. Trust Your Gut

 We all know this one! Sometimes it’s easy to understand when our body is trying to tell us something, but other times that little voice in our head can get the way and tell us something different.

This can happen with big life decisions, but also in day-to-day life. For example, when you have delicious snacks or desserts in front of you, your body might be telling you you’re full, but your mind is telling you to indulge. Try to listen to what your body is feeling, rather than what your mind is saying.

  1. Calm Your Mind 

This one can actually be pretty difficult, especially at night when we’re trying to sleep! Instead of constantly running through a mental to-do list or worrying about things for the next day, try to clear your mind with some meditation and focus on your breathing.

If you’re really struggling, try a podcast or music track to help get you into this state. I always love having a cup of herbal tea before bed to help me relax. 

Cup of calming tea
  1. Focus on Your Emotions

As cliché as it sounds, let yourself “feel” emotions rather than trying to block them out, whatever they may be right now.

Do you feel anxious, excited, stressed, calm, upset or happy? These feelings have a purpose: to impact your behaviour.

Try to use any negative emotions to direct you to avoid or pursue something, to help change the way you feel.

  

  1. Enjoy Some Quiet Time

Find a quiet spot without distractions such as music, television or your phone to focus on what your body is trying to tell you.

This is especially helpful when eating mindfully, as you’ll get a better idea of when you’re feeling full. You may also want to try some fitness without music or noise occasionally, to listen to your breath and really feel whether you’re pushing yourself too hard, or not working hard enough.

 

  1. Write Down Some Thoughts

Either on paper, on your phone or computer, create some lists or write out your thoughts or ideas so that they don’t clutter your mind.

Constantly overthinking can lead to stress and an unhealthy body, and writing things down is a great way to feel more organised and vent your emotions or thoughts. 

Hannah Romano doing pilates in the park on a yoga mat
  1. Listen to Your Heart

 Not just a catchy 80’s ballad, this phrase has some truth! Rather than seeking answers and solutions from other people, from books or from vices such as food or alcohol, clear your mind and allow yourself to feel empathy and self-love.

What are the right solutions for you? You know yourself better than anyone.

  

  1. Focus on Your Awareness

This is all part of “mindfulness” and taking in your surroundings, together with a focus on your physical feelings.

Take a moment to listen to your breath, and focus on one thing at a time. Do you feel warm or cool? Does your body feel comfortable with the position you’re sitting, standing or lying in? Are there sounds around you? Take everything in and focus on the moment.

 

  1. Treat Yourself to “Me-Time”

I get it can be hard for those with busy lives, but your body knows you need some you-time to feel your best.

This could be a Sunday night bath ritual, putting a couple of hours in the calendar for a facial once a month, buying your favourite coffee a couple of times a week or doing a ten-minute walk in the fresh air to escape the office or your home.

 

  1. Don’t Be Too Harsh on Yourself

Sometimes we over-indulge in food or skip a workout in exchange for a morning of Netflix on the couch, and that’s totally fine.

As long as it’s in moderation, it’s still easy to reach your health and fitness goals if you’re treating yourself or taking a break every now and then.

Feelings of guilt, denial, judgement and self-loathing will only lead to failure in the long run! Focus on getting back into it, loving yourself and pursuing a happy, healthy life.

  

  1. Have Some Fun

 It’s your life and you only get one – so live it the way you want to! Find what you enjoy, and what your body truly wants to thrive.

If you hate running or eating broccoli, no one is making you do those things. Eat the healthy whole foods that you love the taste of, and do the workouts that make you feel alive.

Listen to your favourite music often and find joy in each day, whether it’s watching a great comedy show or giving your pet some love and attention.

Hannah Romano Fitness coach laughing in the park

I hope you found this helpful and that it made you smile. Han 😊

THE JOURNAL

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