I’ve always found this to be a strange time of year. Many of us try to soak up what’s officially left of the easy-going summer season while desperately trying to adapt to the faster-paced back-to-the-grind time. Since my last post offered some tips on how to fit fitness into your fall schedule , I thought I’d follow-up with a Motivation Monday boost of encouragement if you’re struggling to make it happen. Remember, deciding to add exercise and healthy choices to your daily routine is about as personal of a decision as you can make. So make sure you’re doing it for yourself and no one else.
As my longtime readers already know, I’ve officially become addicted to the Physique57 workouts I started taking back in April. Aside from the fact that I always feel like I can conquer the world when the 57-total-body-sculpting workout is finished, I also love the positive affirmations offered by the instructors throughout class. While they push us to bang out just one more squeeze of the playground ball with our inner thighs while we squat hundreds of times at the ballet bar, they also bombard us with positive affirmations including:
- We’re stronger than we think
- We should not compare ourselves to what the person next to us is doing
- We should focus on ourselves and what our body is capable of during that workout at that time.
- We should be proud of ourselves for getting out of bed or out of the office for an early morning or lunch-time workout
- We need to remember with each rep and each pulse, we’re helping our bodies get stronger and healthier.
I find myself using some of that self-affirmation during other group exercise classes and even during my independent workouts. Whether I’m pushing through a high interval on the elliptical or combat rope Tabata, I remind myself that I am strong, and focus on how good it feels to expel any bad energy with every exhale and every bead of sweat. I block out the people on the machines around me. It doesn’t matter if they’re climbing a higher hill or lifting heavier free weights while doing the exact same exercise. I focus on maintaining good form and making each move count. I also remind myself how I’ll be able to face whatever awaits after the workout with new energy and a sharper focus.
So, if you’re struggling to get motivated to move more, try to think about how good you feel when you do. What’s the biggest benefit you get from that walk, run, Zumba class or park bootcamp workout? Focus on that feeling and you’ll be amazed how you can stay on track with your goals to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!
Welcome to another Monday and a new shot of motivation to kick off the work week!
Today, I want to address one of the worst things we can do to ourselves when we make the decision to pursue a healthy lifestyle and start exercising. Do NOT waste your energy comparing yourself to others!
Whether you’re out for a power walk, sweating it out on the elliptical, lifting weights or taking a group exercise class, you should be working out at a pace that feels good for you. The reality is there will always be someone who can walk or run faster, lift more or be more graceful at Zumba than you. Who cares?
I’m still working on getting over my own insecurities. While my love affair with fitness dates back to my childhood, I got certified in the fitness industry “late” in life. Many of my new fitness friends have been personal training or teaching group exercise classes since the days I started my journalism career. That’s about 15 years ago. Others got certified at the same time I did, but they’re 10 years younger. They recover from some of the tougher workouts more quickly than I do at the age of 38. Comparing myself to any of these peers is pointless. Instead of feeling inadequate about my capabilities, I’ve decided it’s much more productive to turn to these fitness friends for motivation and information on everything from human movement science to exercise program design.
So, stop comparing yourself to that “ripped” girl or guy on the machine next to you. Focus on yourself. Do what you can, as best as you can and remember, you’ve made exercise a part of your life to make your heart healthier, your body happier and your mind a little saner.
Sometimes, we all need a reminder on why it’s important to be our biggest cheerleader when it comes to following through on the plan to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!