Welcome back for another healthy “life hack.” This is a little series that I promised which shares some of the lifestyle habits embraced by healthy, happy, fit people. I love to talk about this stuff, and I hope you do too! (if you missed it, the first in the series, HERE.)
#truth: The way you think about your workouts will determine how far you make it with your health and fitness goals.
From my own experience, as well as years of personal training, and talking to people who embody health and fitness, I have found TWO MINDSETS consistently evident in the lives of successful people.
Let’s look at them now!
1. Exercise as a non-negotiable.
People who make exercise a long-term habit are much more likely to get fit and stay fit. There is a big difference between committing to a workout plan with the goal of quickly dropping some weight or looking good for a vacation, and deciding that you will exercise routinely, for the rest of your life.
It’s a lifestyle.
And no– IT’S NOT EASY. IF IT WERE EASY, (as the saying goes,) EVERYONE WOULD DO IT.
But you’re not everyone. And you know the benefits of consistent exercise, right? Well, just in case you don’t, let me remind you of just a few of the benefits of exercising consistently over the long-haul:
A healthier heart, as well as all vessels running to and from your heart; decreased blood pressure; lower blood sugar levels (less chance of diabetes,) greater lung capacity, decreased body fat, increased energy, more muscle tone, less chance of injury as you age, greater enjoyment of everyday activities, decreased stress, increased sexual satisfaction, better sleep, better overall mood.
I’ll stop there, but trust me—there are many more.
Working out is incredibly good for you in almost every way.
My brother has a favorite analogy on this topic. Lance, who at age forty suffered a stroke (he was a stressed out lawyer, neglecting his health,) is now a 47 year old triathlete, enjoying the best health of his life (still a lawyer, but learning balance and committed to health and fitness.) Lance compares exercise to brushing your teeth: No one really feels like bruising their teeth, right? (unless you just went heavy on the garlic,) but you brush your teeth because you know you should. It’s good for you, and you know it, so you do it. You do it out of fear of cavities, drills, or false teeth. You know the benefits of good oral hygiene. And one thing for sure–You never regret brushing your teeth! No one ever lays down in bed and says “Dang, I wish I didn’t brush my teeth tonight!”
Exercise works the same way: Sure, physically fit people don’t always feel like working out. But they do it out of commitment. They do it without thinking or questioning. They do it to avoid diabetes, obesity, or a heart attack. They do it because they know the benefits, and they know that at the end of the day–they’ll never regret a workout.
Commit to a lifestyle of fitness, and you are guaranteed to see results.
2. Exercise as an Identity
Some people workout, but would never call themselves “an athlete,” “a runner,” or even “fit.” But owning an identity can really be powerful! If you want to be lean and fit, start calling yourself an athlete, and be proud of it. If you run, I dare you to call yourself “a runner.” If you do yoga, or crossfit, or jazzersize (is that still a thing?) then give yourself that name.
Claim your workout as part of your identity, and speak and act as the person you are becoming. Sure, you may be a long ways from your goals, but if you’re committed, you are already in a select category. Own that with pride.
Along those lines, I really encourage you to make your workout schedule a priority, and not let things get in the way. For example, if you have company staying at your home, and you normally exercise in the morning, let them know the night before “I might be out walking (or at the gym, etc.) in the morning, but help yourself to coffee and I’ll be home by eight.” People will understand and respect this. If you travel, pack your tennis shoes and scout out a good jogging path, or look into a gym at a hotel. You deserve this, and I promise you’ll feel better at the end of your travels if you’ve kept up on your workouts while you’re away.
The point is: Your behavior will most often follow whatever identity you are embracing. So when it comes to your workouts, decide who you want to be, and wear that identity loud and proud!
There are a more Life Hacks coming over the next weeks, so stay tuned. I hope you’ll pin and share this post if it encouraged you!
If you’ve made workouts a consistent part of your lifestyle, I’d love to hear some of your personal strategies. Any tips you can share with everyone here? Questions or specific struggles in this area? Please share in comments!