Use Mental Preparation to Get More from Your Workout
Before you exercise, you need to do more than prep your water and throw on your workout gear. Your mind is as important to your overall fitness plan as your body when it comes to getting in shape. After all, how many times have you talked yourself out of going to the gym or taking a walk for whatever reason your mind can cook up? If you really want to lose weight and get in shape, you need to train your mind just as hard as you train your body. Mental preparation is key to a successful fitness plan and to keeping your workout routine on track. Without it, you're much more likely to start slacking off and possibly losing interest altogether. Here are a few tips that may help you focus and get the most from your workout efforts.
- Taking that first step. For many, the hardest part of any workout is getting started. Once you begin and see how good it feels, it’s harder to quit.
- Simplify things. Viewed as a whole, your workout goals can seem overwhelming. As a part of your mental prepartion, think about breaking things down into smaller increments. Minor victories equate to a massive win over time.
- Have goals in place. Setting achievable goals is a great way to stay focused and motivated. Each small goal that you reach takes you one step closer to your overall goal.
- Stay positive. Constantly congratulate yourself for hitting all of those small goals. Remind yourself of the progress that you have already made, which is especially important when you plateau or are feeling down on yourself.
- Have a purpose. The best way to stay motivated is to remember why you started working out in the first place. Perhaps you were looking to lose a few pounds, or maybe you wanted to start living a healthier lifestyle.
- Find inspiration. Use visual cues to help you achieve your goals. That could be a before and after picture of someone who has lost weight, or perhaps an athlete whose body you are trying to mimic.
- Be aware of setbacks. The road to a healthy lifestyle can be a long one and there are going to be times when you have a setback. It could be a busy period at work or maybe illness that derails you. Plan for setbacks and have a plan in place to deal with them.
- Implement a rewards system. Set goals and reward yourself when you hit them. Maybe treat yourself to a new outfit when you lose a set amount of weight.
More Tips for Better Mental Preparation
- Listen to music. If you have a day where you don’t feel like working out, put on some of your favorite upbeat music and get started. You can even put together playlists designed for specific workout routines.
- Be social. One great way to stay motivated is to have a workout buddy. If you can’t find one, look for online groups where people with similar exercise goals meet and encourage one another.
- Stay mindful. All activity seems easier when you are living in the moment, especially when you are working out. Think about every move you make with your body and focus on proper form. You will do more and reduce the risk of injury.
- Form a habit. If you make working out part of your regular schedule, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to form an exercise habit. Heading to the gym straight from work is one good way to go, as it prevents you from getting home, getting comfortable, and skipping exercise altogether.
- Look at the bigger picture. There is more to getting healthy than just exercising. Develop healthy eating patterns and make sure to get enough rest, as all of these combined will get you where you want to go that much faster.
- Make it fun. When choosing to exercise, go with activities that you know you will enjoy. It’s easier to stay the course if you do that.
Getting your mind and body on the same page in regards to your fitness goals requires at least some mental preparation, and gives you a much better shot at achieving those goals. Taking the time to "get your mind right" will pay huge dividends as you embark on your journey to better overall health and fitness. Being mentally fit will only help you become physically fit that much faster. You will reach the finish line looking and feeling your very best.
RX Fitness Equipment Is Here to Help
If you think better mental preparation would help your fitness program, and you'd like to discuss it with a professional, RX Fitness works with hundreds of coaches, personal trainers and nutritionists. We'd be happy to refer you to one who can help. If you're looking for a great selection of fitness equipment and accessories of all kinds, we carry the top brands to fit every goal and budget and we're here to make your fitness routine more productive. Stop by our store in Thousand Oaks or give us a call. And don't forget to check out Tim's best-selling book, Fitness Equipment – A Shopper's Guide, available at Amazon and other online book sellers as well as in our store.
Contact Tim Adams for a free consultation or stop by the store and take something for a test drive. We’re here to help.