Our mindset is as important as our physical condition. Without the proper mindset we cannot commit to an exercise program, successfully engage in an activity, or make the mind/body connection necessary to have a safe and effective workout. Few people consider their mindset when thinking about, starting, or maintaining an exercise program. I believe mindset is the foundation to engaging and maintaining a successful exercise regimen. Mindset plays a key role in several areas.
The first area where mindset comes into play is prior to beginning a new exercise program. Most people can feel confused, frustrated, fearful, or just not have enough knowledge on how to begin. It is important to set realistic goals whether the goals be focused on weight loss, strengthening, toning, better quality of life, etc. This can help to alleviate the negative feelings and create a more positive mindset. If you’re not sure where to begin, consider interacting with a certified fitness professional to guide you through the process.
The second area to help mentally prepare you for exercise is selecting an appropriate activity for your body that you also find fun. Selecting a fun activity will help keep a positive mindset and help insure you stay committed to your new program. You will want to check in with your medical doctor as well prior to beginning any new activity. Also consider prior injuries and pain or discomfort in your muscles, joints, or ligaments.
The third element to consider is how often and how much time you can commit each week. This will directly impact your mindset. If you set an unrealistic expectation (whether it be number of days or hours per week), if you don’t hit your goal, you will feel stressed and feel that you have failed. This may result in stopping exercise all together. Though I am a big supporter of being flexible, when you are unable to meet your goals, whether you miss a workout or get off track with your food, it is most important that you keep going and adjust your goals and expectations as you go. The important thing is to stay positive, recognize your accomplishments, and not focus on what you didn’t get done.
Mindset or the mind/body connection is extremely important while you exercise. This will insure that you are focused on the muscles you are training and will help to reduce the chance of injury. Along with the mind/body connection, positive affirmations and visualization while you exercise are quite effective. Whatever your goal, while performing an exercise you can create an affirmation to support it (such as, “my bicep is getting toned”) and then visualize that outcome.
Focusing on your mindset is a powerful tool. It will help to give you the motivation and commitment necessary to be successful with your exercise program as well as other areas of life.