This morning I came across research about cultivating a fitness mindset that reminded me of an important tool I learned during my NASM fitness training.
The Fitness Mindset
One of the most effective things you can do to stay on track with your exercise program is to visualize yourself doing it.
[bctt tweet="Fitness success is 80% mental and 20% actually getting your shoes on and breaking a sweat." username=""]
This may sound slightly woo-woo, but there’s enough research to back up the validity of this technique that I think it’s worth developing a practice of doing it regularly. Even as you read this post (instead of working out), if you can see yourself outside getting that run in, with the wind blowing through your hair and a big smile on your face, you bring yourself closer to that reality.
Visualization and positive self-talk also supports you during exercise. If you can stay mindful of your internal dialogue when working out, you can manage your thoughts so that they support your progress rather than sabotage your efforts. I use this a lot in yoga. I’m not fabulous with balance, and most days, when I slowly move into warrior three (a challenging pose balancing on one leg), I’m usually ready to topple over, but the one thing that saves me is a little voice in my head that says “I’ve got this”. Almost every time, instead of falling over, I steady instead. I get a little stronger, more confident in my pose. I settle in.
Now it’s your turn! Visualize yourself succeeding in your workouts. How does that look to you? Are you in the gym? Outside? In front of a TV screen with a P90x video?
When you are working out, practice self-monitoring. Leave the headphones at home and just stay conscious of your thoughts instead. When a negative thought comes up, address it in a compassionate way. If your inner voice says “I’m tired”, acknowledge that and perhaps ease up on your effort. That’s your body telling you something.
[bctt tweet="The phrase "no pain, no gain" went out with Final Net and shoulder pads." username=""]
Do you ever use these sorts of techniques to get yourself out the door? I use the exercise visualization tool for fasted morning runs and it’s really helped me.
Caren is a certified yoga teacher, fitness instructor and author of The Fit Habit. Here she shares simple, low carb recipes, quick home workout ideas and practical ways to foster mind + body wellness.