Physical fitness starts with mental fitness. Half the battle of adapting to a fit lifestyle starts with the right mental attitudes. And these days, we’re overloaded with so much information, much of it conflicting, that it can be difficult to know which diet or fitness routine is best for you, let alone how to successfully integrate it into your life. To help you develop a healthy lifestyle that sticks, we’ve come up with a list of mental attitudes to adapt in the hope of transforming the way you look at health and fitness.
It’s so easy these days to jump in the car, take the escalator, or find the absolute closest parking spot to your destination as possible – all in an attempt to cut out physical activity. In fact, it’s become so easy that most people don’t even think of walking as an option. But from lowering your risk of heart disease or stroke to cutting your chances of developing type 2 diabetes, studies have shown that walking offers loads of benefits to your health, so why avoid it in the first place? If you can’t squeeze exercise into your day, surely you can find opportunities to walk on a daily basis. So the next time you’re tempted to find the nearest parking spot or take the elevator, take the stairs or enjoy a slightly longer walk from the back of the parking lot.
From 10-day juice cleanses, to 60 days free of carbs and the 30-day beach body challenge, it can seem like there’s a new diet or fitness trend every week. But what do all of these fad health plans have in common? They are all short-term. When it comes to fitness, if you want a routine to stick, you need to think long-term. So unless you’re participating in these health challenges just for fun, you’ll be more likely to develop a consistent fitness plan if you think of how you’re going to integrate it into your life from now until forever.
We live in a world that favors instant results. And if you have yet to adopt a healthy lifestyle, expecting to notice dramatic changes to your body in less than a few months is simply unrealistic. When it comes to fitness, results don’t come overnight. So be patient with yourself, think long-term, and results will come.
Because it isn’t working. Even professional athletes miss a workout or indulge in a pizza every now and again. Obsessing over being 100% perfect with your health habits will drive you crazy and make you hate exercise and healthy foods. What’s more, when you fail to rigorously stick to your diet and fitness routine, which is almost inevitable, it will leave you with such a bad taste in your mouth that you’ll be more likely to swear off developing healthy habits for good. If you want a health and fitness routine to stick, shoot for 90% instead of 100%.
There is so much information about health and fitness on the internet, TV and radio, that it can seem impossible to know what to believe. Yet establishing a proper diet is not rocket science at all. Just keep it simple: substitute your cappuccinos and Cokes for water, don’t overeat, cut out as much processed food as possible, and eat more fruits and veggies. And of course, don’t forget to break a sweat while you exercise 3-5 times a week.
While taking some quiet time for yourself can help in all areas of your life, it can also improve your general fitness. Take 20 minutes a day to have a walk, or just relax on your couch or bed. This can give you some much-needed time to think about your current health habits, analyze what you’re doing right or wrong, and then plan for adjustments in your day. By doing this, you’ll be able to make deliberate choices about your fitness and diet habits and develop a plan to put them into action.