Hi! Welcome to Fit, Food, and Fun Fridays! Today we’ll talk about getting a fitness mantra to help with your workouts. This week I was talking to a friend about the fact that I have a “fitness mantra” – something that makes me work harder, which helps me be the best version of myself. The best part is that it’s my own mantra, something that I’ve actually come up with myself and is unique to me. This is a well-known philosophy that has helped me and millions of other people start and stay on a healthy lifestyle. So, is there a scientific way I can help you “get” a fitness mantra too?
Self-talk is one of those concepts that may seem simple, but it’s surprisingly hard to master. It’s also incredibly impactful, especially when it comes to our mental health. Spending a few minutes during your day saying positive affirmations to yourself will have a significant impact on your attitude, energy levels, and overall well-being.
If you wish that workouts felt more like play and less like work, a simple fitness mantra could make your dreams come true. A recent study proved once again how powerful self-talk can be.
A group of cyclists preparing for a competition was divided in two. Half of them urged themselves on with statements like, “You’re doing well,” while the other half went without mantras. The self-talkers were able to keep biking for about 20% longer. They also felt like their workouts required less effort.
Get fit the easy way! Take a look at these characteristics of a dynamic fitness mantra and write your own personal manifesto.
Characteristics of a Powerhouse Fitness Mantra
1. Think positive.
Focus on your strengths. Celebrate your unique gifts, abilities, and potential. Choose to be happy and hone your sense of purpose.
2. Seek inspiration.
Get in touch with what motivates you personally. Maybe you want more years to spend with your family. Maybe you define success as being able to fit into your old jeans.
3. Demonstrate courage.
Becoming stronger or faster means pushing your boundaries. Dare yourself to ice skate even if you fall down at first.
4. Indulge in humor.
Have fun along the way. Take time to laugh. Give yourself permission to look silly.
5. Practice patience.
A healthy lifestyle is a long term pursuit. Be prepared to go the distance. Intensifying your workouts gradually is the way to make lasting gains while lowering your chances of injury.
6. Become empowered.
Believe in yourself. Give yourself credit for showing up and taking risks. Hold yourself accountable for your decisions.
7. Live joyfully.
Honor the mind and body connection. Happy thoughts will lighten your steps. Take pleasure in the way your way your body operates. Notice how a brisk walk melts your stress away.
8. Encourage hope.
Identify the results that you want and know that you can make lifestyle changes to achieve them.
Using Your Mighty Fitness Mantra
1. Write it down.
Everything becomes more concrete when you set it down on paper. Spell out your affirmations in a journal or print them on a colorful t-shirt.
2. Say it out loud.
Give voice to your statement. Use it to get in the mood on your way to the gym or running track. Call it out while you’re exercising.
3. Repeat as needed.
Go over your mantra again and again. Invite it into your heart. Concentrate on its meaning.
4. Share it with friends.
Let your friends know your secret. You can support each other as you work towards your fitness goals. You may even want to borrow some wording from each other.
5. Wear a smile.
Research also shows that a smile instantly makes us feel more relaxed and improves our performance. Think about your best friend or favorite love song and let a grin naturally spread across your face.
6. Breathe deeply.
Taking full breaths is a natural source of energy and poise. Inhale before you start saying your mantra. Let each syllable be carried along as you exhale.
7. Track your progress.
Of course, your mantra needs to be put into action. Take note of where you’re making progress and where you may want to adjust your course.
8. Stay updated.
Over time, you’ll gain fresh insights from things you read and people you meet. Let your mantras adapt to reflect your personal growth and revised goals.
Power yourself up with a little psychology. Use your fitness mantra to talk yourself into working out harder while you feel like you’re taking it easier.
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I really wanted to talk about this topic today because the overweight and obesity epidemic is at an all-time high! We are a fat society and it’s killing us prematurely. Not only do I truly believe that you have the power to lose weight to improve your health, but the science also agrees! You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of obesity so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
I use lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you lose weight, and maybe reverse some of your chronic diseases. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.
Since weight management is very important in combatting chronic diseases, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor (*this scale cannot be used with a pacemaker or other implanted devices).
Physical activity (or exercise) can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, just to name a few. Physical activity can improve your mood, boost your immune system, and even help you maintain a healthy weight.
I often recommend yoga and resistance training for physical activity, but as you are aware, there are plenty of forms of “movement” that you can do! But for the basics, especially if you’re just getting started, yoga and resistance training are where I would start.
Yoga can be a great way to improve your strength and flexibility, manage your stress, improve your heart health, and lose weight! I recommend using a grounded yoga mat to connect yourself with the earth and reduce inflammation.
Resistance training is the mainstay for overall health. It not only has beneficial effects on reducing body fat, it also increases muscle size and strength. Check out some basic dumbbells/free weights that I recommend to everyone.
Another alternative for dumbbells/free weights are resistance bands. They are great for physical therapy, yoga, strength training, and excellent for traveling.
Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, and reducing stress are the best ways to maintain a healthy weight. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.
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