Everyone has different fitness goals. You may want to lose weight, tone up, excel at a sport, train for a marathon, or just be able to chase after your kids. Regardless of the stage of life that you’re in or if your fitness goals are aesthetic or performance-based, the common factor is that we all want to continue to do the things we love for as long as we can.
In order to stay mindfully fit, we must focus on the following key factors: mindset, mobility, stability, and consistency.
Mindset. Be positive. I know it’s cliché, but you need to believe in yourself — actually, truly believe in yourself. Be confident in you. You have the willpower. Your triumph or demise is at the mercy of your own habits and patterns. It is important to dive deep and focus on how you exert your energy, what you spend time thinking about, and how you respond to things that are out of your control. Observe your thoughts without judgement. If you hear yourself complaining or feel yourself stressing, stop. Close your eyes, meditate, do yoga, read a page of an inspiring book, or think about something you are grateful for. We only have so much emotional energy in one day — don’t waste it on silly things that don’t matter.
Mobility. Maximize and move more efficiently. Being mobile makes you stronger. It helps you get more out of your workouts and the activities you love because it gives you the flexibility and body control to access the right muscles and stop overusing the wrong ones. It is so important to ingrain correct movement patterns. If you’re moving wrong, you’re putting yourself at risk for a setback or injury. Most injuries do not happen overnight. They happen after years of incorrect movement when your body just can’t take it anymore. Just like you brush your teeth to prevent cavities, you must stretch and mobilize to maintain a basic level of technique. Focus on where you feel tightness. Use the foam roller (I know you know what I’m talking about). Five to 10 minutes a day, before, during or after your workout — that’s it. You’ll feel better. You’ll move better. You’ll be less sore.
Stability. Balance. Control. Form. Body awareness with proper execution leads to getting more out of doing less. Every time you exercise, tell yourself, “Everything should be moving and working together.” Focus on it. So many people don’t know they’re moving wrong. Don’t wait until after you throw your back out from “picking up the laundry basket” or until after you tear your shoulder from “carrying the groceries” because you’ve been lifting weights wrong or squatting with the incorrect form your entire life. Make a change and start today.
Consistency. Commit to being healthy — mentally and physically. Do it because you love yourself, you love your body, and you want to be stronger and healthier. Incorporate some sort of movement into your everyday life, whether it be a 45-minute power lift session or just a stroll in the park. Eat fruits and vegetables. Set goals, short-term and long-term. Keep yourself accountable. Be persistent. Be determined. Push yourself. Most important, listen to your body. We have all heard the saying “fitness is a lifestyle.” Yes, that’s true, but let me let you in on a little secret: that statement is what you make it. You don’t need to deprive yourself. Fitness is a journey. Do you (trust me, you can) and have fun!