Fighting for your Fitness

At some point we make commitments to exercise. Often these commitments are short-lived. It is important that we consider the ways regular exercise influence our overall well-being. People who engage in regular exercise report a high sense of satisfaction, self-esteem, self-efficacy, positive body image, confidence, positive coping, and overall health. Lack of exercise is associated with low energy, negative body image, low self-esteem, distress, negative subjective and objective measures of physical health, and depression. The issue is not whether we know exercise is good for us. The issue is the mental block that keeps us from exercise. Let’s bust now the biggest mental issues that are blocking your road to fitness. Roadblock #1 – The gym is too expensive. You don’t have to belong to a gym to exercise. You can do DVDs, fitness television shows, or simply go to a park. There are many things that cost money but exercise does not have to be one of them. In addition to free work-outs many gyms are offering specials due to declining enrollments as a result of the recession. Roadblock #2 – I don’t enjoy it. You may not have found the type of exercise that you like but you should keep looking. Some people love cycling, others love basketball, and still others like dancing. Just because you haven’t found your joyful exercise yet doesn’t mean you should give up. Not every work-out is for every person. Ask different people what they do and then make it a point to try different activities. Roadblock #3 – The gym is a meat market. There are gyms that are focused on socializing and meeting people. First of all remember you don’t have to go to a gym and the second thing is not every gym is the same. Most gyms will let you come for a trial period so you can go and see the type of environment they have. There are gyms, sometimes depending on the time when you go, where the people are focused on their fitness not on finding Mr. Right or Ms. Right. If the social scene is hindering your commitment, simply exercise at home or take a walk or run in the park. Don’t let the place stop your progress. Roadblock #4 – I don’t see any results. Exercise requires commitment over time. We are sometimes drawn into these false advertisements of people who do whatever they want and their bodies magically get fit. Each of our bodies are different so it may take a while before you see results but keep at it. Additionally you may need to try a different form of exercise if you have been doing one thing for a while and truly don’t feel or see a change. It is important to set small goals so you can see your progress instead of waiting to celebrate when you have a total make-over. Roadblock #5 – I’m just not one of those types of people. We have to stop defining ourselves in the negative. It is a form of self-sabotage. Watch the words you use to talk about yourself. The power of life and death is in the tongue. Speak life over yourself and about yourself. You are someone who cares about being healthy and strong. You are able to take better care of your temple. You have what it takes to be disciplined and motivated. Choose positive self-talk over negative self-talk. Roadblock #6 – I’m too busy. We make the time for things that are important to us. When we sacrifice our health for everything else we can end up professionally successful but with bodies that are literally falling apart – this makes it difficult to enjoy your success. Your body is a temple that deserves care and protecting time and energy to invest in you is important. What is more important than your health? Roadblock #7 – It’s just hard to stay motivated. Here are some pointers to help you get motivated and stay motivated: • Set realistic goals for yourself. Setting the bar to high is a guaranteed pathway to self-sabotage, failure, and surrender. Set fitness goals that you can attain. • Make friends who are also fighting for their fitness. If you are the only person you know who values your new priorities it will be hard to keep them. • Share with someone else your fitness goals. Speaking them aloud increases accountability. • Don’t allow a set-back to turn into surrender. We all have changes in our motivation. If you fall off-track don’t use it as an excuse to give up completely. Get back up again. • Focus on the positive. Instead of thinking about how hard it is to work-out, focus on all the benefits you will gain from being strong and healthy. Fitness, health, and well-being take effort. You are worth it so make a commitment to invest in you today.