“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” — Winston Churchill
What is your attitude when it comes to exercise? Is it simply a means to help you achieve your ideal body — a necessary evil if you will? Or is it something that runs much deeper? Like being a role model to your kids. Perhaps it helps groove the mental and physical toughness to better tackle your day. Or maybe it’s your daily moment of zen so you can achieve more clarity and have a calmer focus in your life.
The take home point is this, exercise is much more than a means to “looking good” (though it can be an added bonus). We have all been given the gift of having optimal health and vitality. By making a commitment to our health, it opens up all the doors of opportunity for self discovery and living life to the fullest.
Now, I realize some of you reading this might have long been “awakened” up to this point. While others haven’t found their “truth in fitness” quite yet. Once you find a deeper and more positive way to approach your exercise regime it will lay the foundation to long term success and better overall enjoyment. Here are a few ways to establish it.
Exercise should ALWAYS be a positive outlet
If exercise is something that you absolutely dread the majority of time, then it’s time to search for a workout alternative that better suits you. Don’t get me wrong, exercise should always come with challenging work, but not at the price of enjoyment. Exercise is supposed to enhance the quality of your life, opposed to feeling like self-inflicted punishment for poor life style choices or a necessary evil. Which brings us to our next point.
Find what works for you
People always ask me, “What do you do for your workouts?” Lots of things! I personally include a combination of interval training, sports conditioning, and strength training for my “gym” workouts 4-5 times per week. I also enjoy recreational activities like snowboarding, Spartan Races, and softball as well.
But what I do could be light years away from what you enjoy. Perhaps mind body activities like yoga resonate with you more. Or maybe outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, or trail running give you more satisfaction. Point being, variety is the spice of life, especially with getting fit. I always encourage people to try out different activities and workouts until you find what you enjoy most and works best for you.
Aim to improve every week
Narrowing your focus and keeping more of a “baby step” approach to success for individual workouts every week will make your goals seem more feasible and easier to manage. It could be as simple as increasing by five pounds on your barbell squat for one to two weeks, improving your minute per mile running pace by 10-20 seconds, or getting a little further into your warrior pose in hot yoga.
Micromanaging your workouts with the goal of making small improvements can quickly add up as the weeks turn into months and months turn into years. The only requirement is adapting this mindset and consistently showing up.
Celebrate your accomplishments
Last, make sure to take the time to enjoy your accomplishments along the way! Don’t get me wrong, you should continue to strive for more, but do so without losing sight of how well you’ve done up to this point. It’s very easy to forget when your workouts and/or results become stagnant. Remember to take time to reflect on how far you’ve come and let it serve as a catalyst to personal empowerment and motivation for continued success.