Keeping our bodies healthy conjures oodles of images and activities. Exercise is usually at the top of that list with exercise regimens washed down with cold-pressed green juices, supplements, and day-to-day planned gym routines, all in the name of healthy bodies. Given our penchant as flawed beings, people can become addicted to the notion of exercise-induced health benefits, giving way to a special brand of self-destruction that we’ll call the pursuit of someone else’s happiness.
What gives? In the everlasting task of health and wellness, we often set unrealistic goals perpetuated by our inundation with social media. You know what we’re talking about. The 25 fitness models you follow on Instagram aren’t doing much to help in a society with body image issues. It’s useless to deny the influence that influencers hold over our perceptions of health, beauty, and the drive to perfect ourselves.
Unfortunately, this idea of perfection is being defined by other people and peddled in the glittery Insta-packaging we see on a daily basis. This becomes problematic because exercise and wellness can take a dark turn into the pursuit of picturesque over true wellness. There’s no problem with bettering yourself, but the slope grows slippery when we lose sight of health and strive to become someone else’s picture. This can be incredibly isolating and turn the healthy act of exercise into an obsessive pursuit with the opposite effect.
There’s no such standard as perfection. The closest to perfect we can strive to achieve is a level of balance we apply to our personal health goals. This differs per person, so applying someone else’s image of perfection to you is striving for a balance that isn’t your own. It’s a journey that changes as we do. Going forward with practices and people that help you find your balance is the healthiest way to walk (or jog) down your path to wellness.
However, EDcare, a health improvement group, has designed an infographic that can help people to distinguish what’s healthy and what’s not. Aptly named the 12 signs that an athlete or fitness enthusiast is closer to injury and illness than health and wellness the infographic is a useful tool that aims to prevent injury and illness. Plus, the infographic includes tips for parents and coaches on how to spot signs of obsessive exercise and unhealthy eating patterns that may be harmful to health, as many of the infographic signs are linked to exercise addiction and eating disorders.