Art by @a-zebra-was-here on tumblr
The human body is a very complex structure, every organ in your body, every ligament and every nerve works to keep us healthy. And like a machine that needs to be oiled and tended to have it last for a long while, our bodies need nutrition in many ways to live a healthy and fulfilling life.
Today, we are going to talk about exercise and how we can gather the motivation to get up and work on our physical health from nothing other than sports anime.
You heard me right!
While watching anime is ironically an activity you will most likely perform while sitting or laying down, let us look together why physical activity is important, how that relates to anime and what to do after striking the match of motivation!
We hear it from everyone around us, especially people who are active themselves and even doctors.
Exercise is good for you! It’s good for your body and mind!
But why is that so?
Well firstly, like the example with the machine suggests, our body responds extremely well to exercise if it is done correctly. In this instance it is always better to start slow and look at what is best for yourself which might differ considering your age, gender or other attributes.
Rigorous and controlled movement of your body makes you sweat, which might be unpleasant at the beginning if you don’t like much exercise, but we can’t really see what’s happening on the inside. As you move more and more, your blood circulates a lot quicker through your body to deploy oxygen into your organs. If you’re actually interested in an anime more on that note, here’s the link to Makii’s Hataraku Saibou post!
With your oxygen levels raised, you’re straying further from the possibilities of heart diseases and even heart attacks. It also helps to lower your blood sugar and insulin levels which is very beneficial for prevention of diabetes or for people who used to smoke, as it prevents withdrawal symptoms more efficiently.
It’s not just the physical aspects of your body that are being mended, but exercise is also an extremely good measure to enhance your mood and mental health. Not to say that sports will solve all of your problems in an instant, but look at it this way; while exercising your body releases chemicals such as dopamine and endorphins in your brain that not only elevate your mood but are also essential for your general well-being. You even exterminate substances that make you feel worse, which is why oten after a workout you tend to feel exhausted but a good kind of exhausted.
Another great factor to include is sleep schedule!
Often enough we are torn between wake and sleep, as we can’t really get our mind to shut off after a long day. After some tough exercise your body will automatically deplete its own energy resources, as it’s naturally easier to fall asleep when you’re tired. The longer you have built up your routine of including exercise in your life, the better your sleep schedule will adjust!
If actual units of exercise aren’t your style, don’t worry! There’s a variety of things you can try, even stretching can help a lot in regulating your physical health and is a great way to wind down as you focus on each of your muscles.
Now after all of these facts about exercise which will probably sound a bit dull, how do we incorporate anime into this?
Do you know that feeling when you watch a new anime and you just want to dive into that world to see it for yourself?
Anime often incorporates a great deal of hype element, keeping us on our toes while watching so we stick with the extremes that are being displayed no matter the genre.
It’s the same with sports anime, right?
Just as much as the shounen protagonist in a fantasy world wants to defeat the villain and save humankind, the drive behind that one athlete to defeat everyone and win his favorite tournament is just as strong! In this case, we can even relate more to the anime character in a sports anime as his world is definitely closer to our real world as well.
Especially since we’re often shown the narrative of the underdog who fights tooth and nail to become the strongest, we can look at ourselves and think “If they can do it, I can too!”.
Of course the reason for the underdog becoming so strong is the intense workload they put on themselves to see quick and amazing results.
Another great thing sports bring are the teams.
In anime those teams can become more than just friends but more than a family, and to see so many different people work together is also a huge motivator.
Our brain immediately sees what can happen after a portion of hard work and that is precisely why we are suddenly so motivated after watching an episode of our current favorite sports anime. We envision ourselves what it could be like to be part of a team, dream or goal that we would do anything for.
Constant challenges and emotional outburst are not only part of the show that is animation, but also exist in real life! People dedicate everything they have into their sport just as much as an anime character might! Or they won’t! Sometimes it’s all just for the sheer fun of it all, and if the stiff rulings of a team feel more confining to you, be sure that there’s those happy go lucky teams everywhere in real-life as well as in anime!
The sheer rivalry between characters that have only their sport in mind is immensely empowering, and therefore a good reason to start your own journey into a new sport whichever kind you might prefer.
Now if you can’t or don’t want to grab onto your next volley- or baseball or catch the next bus to your track field or gym, there’s other ways to blend a bit of healthy exercise into your life!
Hobby teams of most sports are able to be found almost everywhere, but if you have a busy schedule and simply joining a club is too much right now, try to trick yourself into sneaking some exercise into your daily life! You might for example take the stairs instead of taking the elevator all the time, or try to do short span runs or even jumps while doing some other activity! How about leaving essential stuff like food or your water bottle scattered around your place so you’ll be forced to walk around to get it?
Try to see it as your personal ‘I have to become the best hero/player/fighter montage’ if the exercises seem dull! Imagine how some of your favorite heroes in anime have done the same so far!
An easy way to motivate yourself is to get friends and family involved! I myself have a hard time getting myself to exercise regularly on my own, but as soon as another person steps in the obligation kicks in and so could your motivation!
Another way that’s a bit less social but just as effective could be to exercise while watching a show you would watch anyway. Or rewatch something old you’ve had in your mind anyways, you could even try an audio book or something else in the background to get you through your reps!
And one more thing to conclude: it is never too late.
Don’t let yourself be discouraged by people telling you that you can’t do something. Whatever the reason might be, anyone can do anything if they just set their mind to it properly and stick to their goal with discipline.
I’m the last person who would call herself the epitome of discipline, quite the contrary, but there have been people in my life who have always taught me not to give up and stay positive, so I shall give you the same wisdom!
Now let’s go out there and take matters into our own hands! Until the next teatime!
This tea is so good! Wanna share?