Hello, everyone. Let's talk about something a little different today. I want to talk about the mental side of exercise. Both, how your mental outlook can help your exercise results and how exercise can help and strengthen your mental outlook.
Let's talk first about the beginning. I've talked about this before and with every passing day I become more and more convinced that your mental outlook is crucial to getting results. It actually may be the most important factor of all. Let me explain what I mean. The majority of the people I see are interested in losing fat and losing fat is not easy. It takes discipline and work. What makes it even harder is that what works for some people may not work as effectively for someone else. Compound that with the fact that, at some point, even people who are successfully losing fat will hit a plateau where the fat loss will stall.
This is where your mental outlook means everything. Someone with a positive outlook will keep pushing when the times get tough. When they haven't lost any weight for a few weeks they'll simply make some adjustments and keep pushing. Someone with a poor mental outlook will just use these roadblocks as another reason why they can't do it and give up.
How do you develop that outlook? This is a very individual thing but I think that goals play a huge part. Write down your goals and, more importantly, write down the real reason you want to hit them. Losing 20 pounds is a good goal but no one wants to lose 20 pounds just for the heck of it. Maybe they want to get off some medication, maybe they're looking for a girlfriend/boyfriend, maybe they have seen the effect of excess weight on a loved one's health, maybe they want to win $500. The point is that knowing the real reason for your goals can improve your motivation and that can improve your overall mental outlook.
Let's now talk about the flip side of things. How can exercise help your mental outlook. Well, I'm sure you can imagine that once you start getting results and feeling better your outlook will improve. Exercise has been shown to help with people experiencing depression. Exercise can also be a tremendous way to build mental strength and confidence. The stress that a good workout causes is absolutely mental as well as physical and the ability to get through that can pay huge dividends with both aspects.
If you have any questions or comments on how to improve your mental outlook or the things that either get in your way or help, please let me know.
Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Lean Eating Coach
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