Jiu Jitsu and Improvement in The Feeling of Wellness

When talking about fitness and weight loss people always try to sell others on it talking about how good they will look, and briefly gloss over how much better you feel. Or maybe that’s just the impression I have gotten over the years. Personally, I would like to flip the emphasis. I said this to a couple of people recently: if I could somehow bottle up just how good you feel when losing weight and getting healthier, I think it would encourage a lot more people to get out and exercise.

Our brains are pretty much pleasure junkies-I’m pretty sure I stole that term from a Cracked article (and yes, I read Cracked articles now and again), but whatever, our brains love feeling good and there are so many pleasant emotions when you finally get yourself into gear and become healthier. Granted I’m speaking from a jiu jitsu perspective, but really this could apply to any sport: for Pete’s sake if a trampoline class and Zumba make you happy, go to class and shake what your Momma gave ya, because I can almost guarantee that you will feel better afterwards.

I’m not going to lie, sometimes working out sucks. Sometimes you are tired, sometimes you are sore, and sometimes you are feeling lazy and you just don’t want to get yourself moving-  but even just the immediate feeling after a work out makes the effort work it, for the most part.

There are also times when you feel good that may not be so obvious- the satisfaction of climbing a flight of stairs and not being (totally) out of breath, for one. When you are able to push yourself just a little faster, a little harder every time you work out.  The feeling of accomplishment when you are able to execute a skill or technique all on your own, without any additional instruction- almost like you know what you are doing! That feeling of surprise when you are able to fit into those pair of pants you never thought you could squeeze yourself into (yes, I know it’s related to how you look, I’m cheating a little here), or you put on an old gi and find yourself swimming in it. And finally, that feeling when you realize that even when you are sore and tired from all the exercise and skill learning and everything, just a general feeling of wellness even at rest- and you realize that you wouldn’t trade one of your worst days now for one of your best days when you were the least fit.

I have little interest in telling people how good they will look from getting involved in jiu jitsu- sure, you will lose weight and that’s awesome. But how you will feel- that to me is more important. You can be skinny and feel terrible, but being active (and eating right, but to me that’s subjective to your own dietary needs and preferences), maintaining a general feeling of wellness, unfortunately it’s something you can’t show a person but I feel is so crucial for people to experience for themselves.

Do you feel like you have experienced this improvement in overall wellness- physically, emotionally, since starting jiu jitsu? If so, was there a specific moment when realized that you just overall felt better about yourself, life, etc.? Let me know- otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Jiu Jitsu and Improvement in The Feeling of Wellness

  1. Laurie

    Completely agree! While I do like looking more fit, it’s a side benefit to how great I feel. I’m excited to attend jiu jitsu class not for what it makes me look like, but rather, for how it makes me feel — stronger, calmer, more confident, and just plain happier.

  2. Oh definitely. It’s a great stress-release for me and I notice the difference between being able to go to class and having to sit out for even a week. And I feel physically healthier, lost a bunch of weight, etc., but I didn’t actually notice the weight thing until my entire wardrobe turned out to be 2 sizes to big all of a sudden! That was definitely an ‘aha’ moment.

    • Katie

      Nice: I don’t think I had that moment until I literally had a pair of pants practically fall off of me at work…it was sort of an awkward “aha” moment.

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