Over the years, personal definitions of fitness have evolved, and I think too much importance has been placed on how we look over how we feel. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that our overall state of health must come first.
We need to re-evaluate how we look at fitness to have better outcomes for our health. I don’t mean to devalue wanting to look better, but that happens as a natural byproduct of reworking priorities.
Here are five mindset changes that help me maintain fitness, and you can implement them
1. Work out to feel good.
Working out is therapy. It makes you feel good. And, when you feel good, you do good. When I haven’t had a good workout because I got lost in my work, my mood changes. I feel lazy, grumpy and sometimes depressed.
It is very easy to trick ourselves into thinking we are entitled to skip a workout, because we don’t feel great. But, more often than not, that workout will snap us out of a depressed mood. Working out is a brain booster. It produces all those feel-good hormones that keep the blues away.
2. Work out to fight off sickness.
If I put fitness first, even if I just get out and walk, I know I am putting my best foot forward, literally, to battle sickness. People who prioritize fitness position themselves to stay healthier. The little things do matter; daily walks add up. If you walked only 1 mile per day, you would have a 31-mile month. The small things we do each day build better habits.
3. Don’t focus on the number on the scale.
You can have positive health outcomes without the number on the scale moving. People give up on fitness when they don’t see weight coming off. Fitness and weight loss are not the same thing. You can be fit and not be where you want to be on the scale, yet. But, if you make small changes in your life, that snowball effect will get you closer to where you want to be.
4. Work out to prevent future injuries.
I am 43 years old, and I have thrown my back out a couple of times. Let me tell you, I never want to feel that pain again. I could not move. It was awful, and when I hurt my back, I was not working out. I was stationary at a desk, and then, when I got home, I was stationary on the couch.
Now, with every workout I do, I make sure to work in some stretching. Or, I follow a 15-minute yoga video to stay limber. “Use it or lose it” is very much real and applicable to the condition of our bodies.
5. Change the all or nothing mentality.
I know one piece of cake won’t make me fat, and one workout won’t make me healthy. It’s what I do for most of the time that wins out.
As we start a new year, you can do this. No matter where you are in life, no matter what age you are, you can do this. Let’s go!
– Rhiannon Turner, mom to five, is married to Dr. Daniel Turner, a Canton chiropractor. She is chief operating officer of Lightyear Funding and a fitness instructor at Onelife Fitness Holly Spring