Good, solid training is the key to getting fit, but the way you think, your approach and ultimately your mindset can also make a huge difference. Your thoughts are powerful and can influence your actions and your feelings; a strong tool that can be used to leverage a more dynamic lifestyle and to initiate fitness workouts that could change not just your body but your whole being. As well as being in the physical movements that you do, exercise success is also in the mind!
If you want to get on the right exercise program for you and really stick with it then you need to feel inspired, motivated and determined. Establishing healthy habits and setting realistic fitness goals can lead you part of the way but if you are throwing some negative energy into the mix then you are going to find the path to a healthier you far more arduous.
Having said this, if you simply tell yourself to think differently or to be more motivated then you might find that your mind has different ideas, quite literally. The trick is to find ways in which you can engage your thoughts about fitness in a positive and proactive way. Here are a few ideas:
Experience childlike wonder in physical pursuits. Too many adults think that to take exercise seriously they have to lose that sense of fun and adventure they naturally had as a child. Open your mind to enjoying simple pleasures in life such as getting outdoors and exploring or running with the wind in your hair.
Enjoy the journey on the way to your destination or you might find that the way is an uphill struggle where you are held back by adverse conditions. Let your imagination take over and your mind connect with who you are and what you like doing. Let these thoughts dictate how you keep fit rather than doggedly fixating on some end point and accepting misery along the way. If you expect keeping fit to be hard work and boring then guess what?
Repeat positive mantras to boost your morale and give yourself an injection of motivating energy. The people around you can really impact how you feel and how successful you are at changing your life through exercise, that's true. However, you can create the best coach in the world in your mind. Speak out loud and face yourself in the mirror; declare that you are fit, healthy and happy and that your workouts are great. Half-hearted hopes are not going to get you very far.
Meditate to get in tune with yourself and to clear your thoughts of stressful ideas which can block energy and create negative emotions linked in with exercise. Meditation can really involve just finding a quiet place to quieten the body and the mind and focus on the breath, allowing thoughts to come and go without judgement or without trying to hold onto them or analyze. This is a great way to get in a focused, working out zone.
Next month we will look at more ideas on how to exercise your mind to improve your health and fitness.