By: Michele Sotak
Michele Sotak (@musclesmichele) is a CPT and Life Fitness Master Trainer. Here, she reveals the importance of strengthening the mind before committing to a workout routine.
If you’re trying to reach your fitness goals, your mind has to change before your body can. Productive actions and thoughts will improve your daily energy, bring mental clarity, and increase your self-confidence, helping to make the journey to a stronger body feel almost effortless. Yes, I know. It's easier said than done. But nurturing the mind is important because it sets the mood for a positive and rewarding fitness journey -- not one that's plagued by a destructive attitude.
The first step in changing your body is determining whether your mind is a friend or foe when it comes to your state of fitness. Your mind can be your ally or enemy when it comes to getting stronger and fitter. Your most powerful "muscle" lies in your mind, and you can either flex it and boost perseverance, or clench it to resist efforts. If you choose to flex it, you not only gain strength but also a more consistent motivation, positive spirit, mental clarity of your goals, as well as the fortitude to reach them.
Think about your body and mind – what state they’re both in, their shape, and capabilities. Are you your no. 1 cheerleader when it comes to supporting your goals? Or does your comfort zone lie in negative self-talk? If it’s the latter, it’s time to hush the critical voice and replace it with a positive, reassuring one. Do it for the sake of your mind and body.
If you’re fortunate enough to already have an upbeat attitude, it can’t hurt to take it to the next level by kicking up your mental strength. Ramping up your attitude will produce a win-win outcome. The mental vigor you’ll develop will fuel your physical fitness and help you create an invincible mind-body connection that will help you thrive.
Then there's procrastination. It's a common problem for some people who are in the midst of tackling a major goal. If this is the case with you, ask yourself, “What am I waiting for?” Figure out who the best version of yourself is. If you’re far from it – physically and mentally – then today is the day to commit to the fitness plan you’ve been too afraid to start. The plan is to reach your goals with the right attitude.
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When you condition your mind to overcome obstacles and bounce back from setbacks, you’ll become resilient. It’s important to keep in mind that a healthier lifestyle and a boost in self-confidence only add to the quality of your day to day. An essential goal in life is to improve the emotional relationship you have with yourself before tackling aesthetic goals. Why is this important to remember? Because you’ll still be the same person when you reach your goal weight. When you change your mind before and during your body transformation, then you’ll have truly won the battle.