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Transform Your Fitness Mindset for Greater Success

Everyone wants to be healthy, fit and feel good. But it’s not as simple as logging on to the internet, plugging ‘fitness’ into a search engine, and ordering a diet pill off the first website that pops up in your results. In fact, you’d probably find enough information to confuse you for weeks – if not months. That doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of experts out there who can help you design a fitness plan that suits your needs – you just need to find one. And with all the fixed mindset-focused info you find online, it can be challenging to shift your perspective and unlock more effective thinking.

Understanding how mental reframing works is only half of the journey. Do you know what will truly make all the difference? You need to apply specific mental reframing strategies and tactics in order to achieve fitness success – even when progress slows or your motivation becomes a concern.

Health and fitness experts have mastered mental reframing through a lifetime of transformation and keep pushing boundaries one step further by continuing to learn from their own experience aided by the ability to spot patterns and trends in performance improvement.

reframe your mindset

Can you trick yourself into liking exercise? Psychology experts say yes. They use the term “reframing your mindset” to do so, and it is one of the most effective strategies for helping you get off the sofa and get moving. As those experts explained, “Even though most of us put happiness near the top of our want lists, many of us are secretly convinced that it will always be just out of reach. But the truth is that happiness is already available to us. All we have to do is start moving.”

They go on to explain that research has proven that movement alters our brains in a manner that triggers a sense of happiness, and said: “moving our bodies is one of the best ways to foster a chemical reaction that leads to happiness.”

Yet, not all of us love the idea of a workout, and so we have to alter our mindset about what it all means. As a simple example, when you hear the term “exercise,” don’t think exclusively of an intense bout of running or weightlifting. Don’t think that you must work out for a long period of time or it simply “doesn’t count.”

Instead, adjust your mindset to think of any sort of physical movement as counting as exercise. After all, if you skip the elevator and walk those five sets of stairs to the office, it counts as exercise.

How else might you change your mindset about exercise?

  • Think of any movement you do as exercise AND simultaneously as a gift to yourself. Gift yourself in this way at least once each day, but try for a few times daily. For example, gift yourself 15 minutes of gentle stretching during lunch or gift yourself an hour’s jog or walk at the end of the day.

  • Give yourself some flexibility in scheduling. For example, if you planned on doing a one hour jog but your schedule got disturbed, still give yourself some smaller chunks of time to get that exercise into the day. Altering the mindset to accept four 15-minute intervals as the same as a solid hour requires you to be flexible in your thinking, but will change how you see and feel about exercise.

  • Your reason for doing exercise should NOT be about losing weight, getting into shape or improving your health. Why? They are temporary motivators and bound to fall short of long-term goals. If you are going to adjust your perspective on exercise, you have to turn it into something your brain likes at the moment. Because of that, you should exercise because it feels good, stops you from feeling blue, or gives you joy (such as dancing, playing a game or any other reason)

  • Exercise is NOT a guilty pleasure or something that should be seen as self-indulgent. If you feel guilty about taking time away from household chores, the family, or anything else, you must halt this thought process. Self-care is essential, never selfish. Taking a bit of time each day to address your well-being and health is never a guilty or vain behavior – it is essential.

  • Make it fun. One of the best ways to change your mindset about exercise is to look forward to it. If you follow the tips above, you will realize that you can choose just about any physical activity as your exercise. So, if you find that you enjoy belly dancing, juggling, walking the shopping center or something else, and it is a way you can get yourself healthier, then do it and do it with joy.

Taking better care of yourself is what exercise is all about. Make it anything BUT a chore, change your mindset about it and the benefits enjoyed, and you’ll be finding yourself working out more than ever before.

change your mindset


Struggling through pushups in the fitness test?

If your childhood memories of gym class are associated with dread, embarrassment and a sense of failure, it could affect how you perceive your own physical abilities years later — and influence how likely you are to get off of the couch as an adult. A recent large study from Iowa State University found that those with cringe-worthy gym memories were less likely to exercise as adults, while those who looked back fondly on childhood gym class were more likely to stay fit years later. That’s not surprising.

How to change your attitude about fitness?

You can’t rewrite your history, but you can reset your fitness attitude.

Change your definition of exercise

“You might think exercise means being on the treadmill for a certain period of time, but those kinds of assumptions can be a barrier,” Mirgain explains. “Exercise is just moving your body.” Consider the full spectrum of activities that can get you moving, whether it’s dancing to music in your living room or doing tai chi in the park.

Revise your mental script

Research shows that a growth mind-set — which recognizes that improvement is possible, even when you’re struggling to learn something new — is more beneficial than a fixed mind-set, which focuses on whether you’re naturally "good" at something. Instead of focusing on the past, congratulate yourself for recommitting yourself to a healthier lifestyle and acknowledge your progress. Try to focus on how good your body feels instead of dwelling on negative thoughts.

Focus on movement over 'exercise'

“The goal is movement and getting more active, and our bodies are designed for that,” she said. “Then you start to ask, 'What gets me moving?’ and all of a sudden, options start to open up. It could be taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking farther away at the grocery store or taking a 5-minute dance break. Moving really gets us out of our heads and into our body."

Remember how you felt after your last workout

Think back on the feel-good rush you got from exercise-related endorphins, how you felt less stressed, could think more clearly and slept better that night, and use those fresh, positive memories to propel you back to your workout the next day.

Set small goals

If you haven’t been exercising at all, you might aim for just 10 minutes a day. Manageable goals make it more likely you’ll get started and stick with it, and small wins build up over time. Mirgain shared the story of one woman who began with 5 minutes of exercise three times a week and then completed a half-marathon within a year. “The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step,” Mirgain said. “A big mistake is when people take on too much all at once. We want to have positive wins so we can override those initial memories that were negative, and build confidence.”

Make it a habit

“Getting in regular exercise several times a week is better than being a weekend warrior who exercises for 2 hours,” she said. “It’s like with physics: A ball that’s stationary is harder to move than a ball that’s already in motion. Building new habits is all about consistency. If you wait until you want to exercise, it may never happen." Also, if you exercise only sporadically, you could be more likely to injure yourself.

Make it fun

Try out new activities such as Zumba, Animal Flow or a water class; tune into your favorite music, podcast or TV show while you work out; make it a date with a friend; or exercise outside in a beautiful setting.

Try mindfulness

“Really notice the sensation of exercise and how your body feels in response; be aware of the blood pumping through your heart,” Mirgain said. “You can even use it as a practice of appreciation for your body. You might think, ‘I love all the ways my body can move and all that my body does for me. There are people on the planet who can’t move in these ways.’ Or you might try repeating a mantra or affirmation like ‘Motion is lotion,’ 'My body was made to move' or 'Just get started.' "

Build in accountability

Maybe it’s finding a workout buddy or paying for an exercise class — whatever it takes to nudge you into showing up even on those days when you don’t feel like it.

Start with the end in mind

Training for a specific goal — such as a charity run/walk or a trip — can keep you motivated. “It helps to have a plan and a destination,” Mirgain said.

what is transformative thingking?

It’s not enough to simply realize that you need a healthy lifestyle change, and then hope that your body will follow where you lead.

Fitness, health and wellness is a mindset. The first step towards changing your physique and improving your health is committing to changing the way you think about fitness and fitness training. The pros at fitness, health and wellness teach clients how to see their bodies from a completely different perspective: how to view them as the vehicle for transformation rather than just how we were born.

If you want a long-term solution for realizing your major fitness goals, contact us today. Stay up to date or catch up on all our blogs and news.

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