Fitness Focus

Every time a national holiday comes around, I find myself wishing there were more three-day weekends on the calendar. If you’re fortunate to be off on this President’s Day, I hope you do at least one nice thing for yourself today. For those of you who are either wrapping up or about to embark on some quality time with family and friends thanks to February recess, here’s to a whole week’s worth of nice memories!

Knock Out Self-Doubt! Photo by Leslie Hassler

In light of this being a holiday weekend, I thought I’d keep things pretty light today. So, I offer this post as an opportunity for you to assess how your 2012 health and fitness goals are coming along. When I arrived at New York Sports Club for my cardio workout this morning, I was greeted by a sign advertising special membership rates to help people with their “re-resolutions.” That’s when I realized it’s about that time again: the time when you no longer have to wait in line to use a treadmill or elliptical machine after work or arrive ridiculously early to claim a spot in your favorite group exercise class. If you’re enthusiasm about working out is waning, it’s a good time to re-evaluate the reasons why you made the commitment to take better care of yourself in the first place.

I know from first-hand experience how things like weddings, college reunions and other special occasions can be great motivators to get your butt into gear when it comes to working out and eating healthy. However, when the party’s over (literally), you’re right back where you started. So, if you don’t find a long-term source of motivation, you could be setting yourself up to fall right off the health and fitness wagon for more than a day or two. Since it takes up to six weeks for a behavior to become a habit, you need to find a more meaningful reason to make the behavior stick so eventually packing a gym bag every night or leaving your sneakers near the door for a morning run will be just as routine as brushing your teeth. That being said, make sure the focus of your motivation always comes back to you. Yes, this is one time when being selfish really can be a good thing. Instead of saying “I’m going to exercise because of the kids,” why not try “I’m going to exercise because I want more energy to play with my kids.”

One final and important note: don’t let vanity be your only source of motivation. While it’s not necessarily a bad thing to want to drop a jean size so you have more energy and feel healthier overall, it’s not okay to say “I want to be the same size as (insert name of friend or celebrity here).” Stop short-changing yourself and remember all the unique qualities that make you the person you are. Positive affirmations are an underutilized source of strength that can help all of us stay focused on the lifelong journey to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

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About LauraLovesFitness

After spending more than 10 years in the communications industry, this lifetime fitness lover and newly certified fitness professional wants to share my passion for health and well-being with others.

Posted on February 20, 2012, in Fitness, Health, Nutrition and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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