We live in a world of seductive commercialism and tempting material benefits. There is always something bigger, better and prettier one wants to acquire. Though economic prosperity is a strong indicator of society’s progress; losing ourselves and our values in the whirlpool of money and marketing can burn us out to the point of grave unhappiness.
As the social rat race keeps getting more frantic, there arises a greater need for each individual to find emotional balance, build stronger self awareness and revive physical fitness to fuel an inspiring life of realized aspirations. Simply going through the motions does not produce a past that you can look back at and feel proud of. A sound body supports a focused mind. It is never too late to start treating your body with the respect it deserves.
People who are fit are also highly driven, successful and fulfilled. We all could learn a thing or two from their deeply ingrained positive attitude towards fitness often reflected in the following patterns.
- Highly fit people push themselves hard, to the point it feels right
Never let your ego run your workouts. Some men pump iron in the gym purely for attention. They often jerk through extremely heavy lifts even when they are not ready for it. While others who fear looking silly in public, pick up an activity and stick with it for years and go through it like a zoned out zombie.
When in pain, stop and give yourself enough time to recover through soreness. Seek a trainer’s guidance and supervision as often as you can.
Even if you workout just 2 or 3 times a week, choose quality over quantity. Every time you do exercise, move with awareness and deliberation. 10 hard minutes with a strong mind-muscle connection will make you stronger over 30-40 minutes of a workout that you literally day dream through.
Sticking to the routine matters most. Consistently building upon your strength bit by bit will make you reach a level of fitness that will astound you as much as it might surprise others.
- Highly fit people make a choice and stick with it
As lazy as you might be, there are bound to be activities that you are likely to enjoy more than others. Find a way to make exercise fun by choosing an activity that complements your personality. If you are social then join a group class to have something to look forward to. If cardio feels boring, then step outdoors with your favorite playlist on the iPod. If weight training appears tedious, join the gym with a friend to retain accountability.
As far as nutrition goes, fit people do not diet. Fad diets or deprivation of any food group has a temporary existence. Incorporate small changes that you see yourself sticking to for life. Wean yourself off sugar and junk food gradually. As you space your food weaknesses further apart you are likely to see a better response from your body which further dispels frequent cravings.
- Highly fit people befriend change and diversity of experience
Good workouts include a wide range of exercises that strike a balance between stabilization, compound and isolated movements. As much as we like to stick to what we are good at, stepping out of your comfort zone every few weeks will minimize imbalances in physical form, movement and symmetry.
Explore the logic behind different schools of workouts. Frequently switch fitness classes from high tempo to focus and control driven low tempo ones and vice versa. Challenge yourself with what you are likely to be weak at. Get out of breath too easily? Work on a ten minute continuous run. Legs burn out too easy? Train them 2-3 times a week. Have a weak core? Incorporate moves that require greater stabilization and deeper hold.
- Highly fit people keep themselves motivated without unhealthy bias and comparison
Best-selling author Stephen Covey claims that comparison with others is one of the many cancerous habits that inhibit greatness. As long as you keep comparing your body to somebody else’s you fight a losing battle because you can never be an exact replica of someone else.
A negative attitude blows the possibility of focused self –improvement and prevents an accurate identification of progress. Hence, you fail to make any serious headway with the little improvements you do make.
When fitness becomes a lifestyle, people relish exercise as a time to unwind. Fit people share experiences, celebrate each other’s progress and revel in your own uniqueness.
- The 80/20 rule – Work healthy habits on autopilot, but let go occasionally.
Finally, healthy people make fitness a priority. They don’t let excuses take over their life and use them as a convenient escape to avoid doing things that ‘feel’ scary or difficult.
Slot exercise as a part of your day and try and meet that commitment just as you would try and meet a doctor’s appointment. Since, getting started is always the hardest part, so being a part of a group always helps. All you have to do is show up and follow the trainer for the next hour to the best of your ability.
Create a sound balance between discipline and indulgence. A day off for self indulgence acts as the light at the end of the tunnel of a long disciplined week.
If you are the kind of a person who finds it hard to get out of a binge for days, you need to evaluate and sort out the emotional triggers that drive you towards over indulgence and develop new ways of rewarding yourself for being disciplined.