Fitness: It’s All Mental

Do you know someone who after finishing a long run or spinning class just goes on and on about how good they feel? They may look like they hit by a truck, but yet they claim they have never felt better! That  probably seems pretty crazy to those not used to vigorous exercise. Most of us have heard of a runner’s high or the flood of endorphins exercise can deliver if you just hang in there for 20 -30 min., yet so many people dread exercise or just don’t  do it at all. Everyone can obtain a fit healthy body, so we gym rats wonder why  everyone doesn’t seem excited about exercise?

My opinion is the willingness to begin and maintain a fitness plan is mostly mental. Although we all have different areas of strength (endurance, power, flexibility, etc..), everyone’s body has the capability to be fit. So why doesn’t everyone join in? Getting past the usual reasons such as lack of time, don’t know how to exercise, etc…., our commitment to getting in shape  begins with our mindset.

I have experienced this at the gym myself.  In order to reach my goals and push myself hard enough to see results, I have to have the mental drive and discipline to make that happen – especially on hard days when disinterest or, dare I say, laziness creeps in. For me, I find this most difficult on days when I do interval or HITT training. I know how hard I can safely push myself  and  how unsatisfied I know I will be if I cheated myself out of a good workout b/c I didn’t make that extra effort. I have to make a decision that my strong side will win. Most of the time it is not our bodies telling us we can’t do another rep or push a littler harder during that interval; it is our minds.

In order to get this mindset, two things are necessary:  realization of self-worth and setting goals. This perfect image world we live in can really affect someone’s self worth or body image. We need to remember that (not only are all those photos airbrushed 😉  ), but our self worth come from loving ourselves the way God made us and for our desire for a  healthy body. Everyone is unique and that should be celebrated!

Setting goals is also imperative for success. These goals need to be realistic and obtainable within a reasonable amount of time. If you need to lose 50 lbs., set a goal for the first 5 or 10 lbs. and then change that goal as you accomplish each milestone. Just the act of setting a goal (even a small one) and achieving that through hard work and perseverance will boost someone to stay the course toward their next goal.

Lastly, we need to recognize the power of self-discipline which permeates throughout every aspect of our lives. Fitness is no different. It takes discipline every day to put on those running shoes and make it happen. No one can do it for us. We all  have to earn those endorphins. If you don’t know what I am talking about, use your discipline (we all have it somewhere)  and take 30 min. to go exercise and see if you made the right decision :).

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2 thoughts on “Fitness: It’s All Mental

  1. I’m with you on this Stefanie, I’ve had to learn that just because I get a high from a good workout it does not mean that everyone else does. It is a mindset thing but as you’ve said also ties into goals and self discipline. The key is to take one step at a time, work on one thing when that becomes a habit then move on to the next thing. Also don’t be afraid to call on your support network, they’ll want to help you be the best that you can be.

  2. Although I do have to say I have encountered people who went on and on about “feeling great” after exercise and it seemed they were more trying to convince themselves than others 😉

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