When we look at overall fitness, there are three big topics we discuss with new clients on getting results. The first two seem obvious: working out and nutrition. The third topic often gets overlooked in health, fitness, and in life, even though it is arguably the most important inside and outside of the gym.
Having the right mindset matters. We tell people: "Never complain, never whine, never make excuses". This can ACTUALLY affect your progress and fitness. Don't believe us?
A recent study put people on a treadmill test. When those people were told they have genes that predispose them to respond poorly to exercise, their bodies started to respond accordingly—even when they didn’t have those genes. They got tired faster than they had before, and they also experienced a decrease in oxygen uptake and lung capacity. All from just being told that they’re not cut out for exercise!
Negative thoughts leaked into their bodies, stunting their capability during the exercise test.
In another study, researchers recruited 84 hotel maids. All maids were meeting the U.S. exercise guidelines for an active lifestyle simply by doing the work required by their jobs each day. The researchers told, and proved to, half of the maids - Group 1 - that they were getting enough exercise just by doing their work. The other half of the maids - Group 2 - was told nothing about meeting exercise guidelines. After 4 weeks, Group 2 showed no changes. Group 1, without implementing exercise or changing their eating habits, showed a decrease in:
Their health improved with one simple change: the positive mindset that their work was also exercise.
Your perception about your workout, your diet, and your intentions behind all of it matters.
So now what? How do you shift your focus from negative to positive and reap all the benefits?!
Be thankful for what you have and what you get to do. If you're able to read this, someone out there is looking at your life wishing they had it. Don't say "I have to go to work," "I have to pick up the kids," "I have to workout," "I have to cook for dinner." (See, it's getting annoying, isn't it?).
You GET to. Be grateful for the opportunity to work, have kids, workout, cook, etc.
Always have a "WHY."
You workout because it's fun and makes you feel good about yourself. You eat healthy because you want to live a long time and see your kids, and their kids, and maybe even their kids grow up. If you don't know why you're doing something, your brain has a hard time staying positive about doing that thing. Regularly remind yourself 'why'.
Practice positive self-talk.
Start talking yourself up before you workout, cook dinner, head into a meeting you're dreading. You've all been in the gym, just before the workout starts, and you hear someone (half-jokingly) say "welp, here we go...this is gonna HURT!" While this is funny in the moment, think back to that treadmill test. Did Funny Guy just accidentally set the entire class up to get less out of their workout? Let's change one & add one word to Funny Guy's statement to completely change the mindset: "welp, here we go...this is gonna FEEL GREAT!"
While these actionable steps are simple, like everything of high value, they are not easy. They require consistent practice and dedication. We'd love to hear from you after trying out these mindset mix ups!