Welcome back to CF’s Gym Bag Essentials series!
Last week I showed you all some great supplemental equipment to maximize your workout. This week we’ll look at arguably the most important gym essential: attitude.
Attitude is an emotional or mental state of mind that influences what you do and how you do it. The reason attitude is so important in a workout, is because it can make or break the whole experience for you!
One study even found that,
People who shortchange themselves … could be unknowingly sabotaging their health … Meanwhile, those who feel good about their fitness level may benefit as much from their attitude as they do from the physical activity itself.Amanda MacMillan, Health
So we know that attitude is an important concept, and exercise is no exception. So how can we change our attitudes about fitness?
It all starts with pinpointing what motivates you.
Exercise has long been correlated with health benefits such as weight control, blood pressure and sugar regulation, reducing risk of heart diseases, and helping you live longer.
If your key motivation for staying in healthy shape is to increase your health, take this approach in mind when adjusting your attitude! On a day that you really don’t feel like working out, or feel tired, think about all that you have to gain by keeping your regimen.
Also, make other healthy choices that support your decision to get healthier. If you’re constantly undermining your own goal to get healthy by eating poorly, not eating enough, not getting adequate sleep, etc., it will make it that much harder to take yourself seriously in the gym!
Not only will these other poor decisions affect your drive and energy, but it won’t feel like a serious commitment… because it hasn’t actually been one.
Physical progress is a goal for many people in the fitness community and that is nothing to be ashamed of! You can still be body positive and want to see changes in your composition.
Keep this goal in mind when you’re searching for gym motivation. Remind yourself that this is a slow and long process but well-worth the work and time. The time is going to pass anyway! Where do you want to be three months from now?
Your attitude about this is important to watch, though, because if you aren’t careful, you can go to extremes and actually make the process worse.
Personally, in the past, my desire for physical change branched from self-hate. I didn’t like myself and wanted to change my body. But it wasn’t until I started appreciating where my body was in the moment, and how much it did for me, that I started to have a positive attitude about my workouts. If you’re working out from a place of self-hate, the self-pity follows and you will eventually start to hate working out!
Strength Benchmarks & Performance Goals
Benchmarks and performance goals are another fantastic source of motivation! This can be inspirational no matter who you are.
As a personal trainer, I love to remind my clients just how far they have come. I will point out how much weight they’ve added to an exercise, how much time they have cut off or rounds they have added to a HIIT session, or “remember when you couldn’t do X? Now you’re crushing it!”
Take note of your own progress. Keep a journal for your workouts and track exactly what you do. As you see those metrics change, you’ll see just how much stronger and better you’re getting. And you can’t measure that on a scale.
Setting and accomplishing goals is so inspiring and shows you that you can do anything that you set your mind to with hard work. This lesson carries over into many other aspects of life, too. It’s easier to keep a positive attitude about your gym time when you have proof that you are improving.
So What Motivates You?
What keeps your work ethic high at the gym? Share your advice with us in the comments!