Is Your Mind Messing with Your Workout?
Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…sometimes we think if we just forge on ahead, we’ll get somewhere. Especially when we’re considering our fitness. If we just keep moving, eventually something will happen. Well, guess again. That’s not always the case. Sometimes you can move your body all you want, but then your mind gets in the way.
I sat down with Christine Brown, Medical Fitness Specialist Manager at Rejuv Medical, to get her take on how you can manage when your mind weighs down your workout.
Kirsten: As a Medical Fitness Specialist here at Rejuv Medical, do you see people’s minds sometimes overtaking their bodies?
Christine: Every day! The key element of a positive workout mindset is setting yourself up for success.
Do people struggle with that? Yes! Coming into the gym is one thing but you truly need to have a specific plan such as making yourself a schedule and sticking to it, not underdoing it but also not overdoing it. Don’t say you’re going to come to the gym five days a week, and then come three times a week, (which is still great attendance, by the way!) That is setting yourself up to fail. Before long, you will get down on yourself and eventually you will give up because you didn’t live up to your own expectations. Set realistic expectations so you can realistically meet them!
Kirsten: But don’t people need to make big changes in order to see big results?
Christine: Yes, often times starting a fitness lifestyle is very new and different for people. Just because it’s different, doesn’t mean it should be temporary. Don’t see this opportunity to change your life as short-term, “I’m going to do this for a few weeks and get fixed.” That’s not how it works. Think instead, “What I’m going to do is change my lifestyle forever.” When you start to drive a car, you become a driver, you don’t just do it for a few weeks and then stop. Same here. Once you start, don’t stop. Just get better.
Kirsten: What should people do with fitness roadblocks that inevitably come up?
Christine: You adjust. Just like driving a car – hit a roadblock, find a new way. You don’t just turn around and go home. Let’s say work gets in the way. That’s a common one. So, accept in your mind NOW that there will be both expected and unexpected times that your work will require more of your time. If and when that happens, you need to accept that you may not get to the gym for a few days, or even a few weeks. You need to choose to not lose steam. Don’t jump off the fitness bus, just because you didn’t get to the gym. Missed your bootcamp? Then walk at night after work. Stressed out and feel like eating an entire take-out pizza? Keep your nutrition where it needs to be as much as you can.
Don’t let life’s obstacles get in the way of your lifestyle.
You don’t have to be perfect all the time.
Accept that your regular routine may not work this week, but it will work long-term.
Kirsten: So, work can be a big roadblock. What are some others?
Christine: I’d have to say short-term expectations cause the biggest problems. If you want to succeed in becoming a stronger, healthier person (note, I did not say skinnier because that should NOT be your mindset!) you need to focus on your entire lifestyle and your long-term commitment to your health and wellness. Everybody wants a quick fix, an easy button, a start date and an end date. The end date when you should stop working on your wellness is literally the end. Honestly, until you’re done with your body, you need to take care of it the best you can every day.
We also run into people who don’t truly adopt our plan. They want to exercise, but still cook the same way they have for years, and yet expect big changes. When I first meet a new client, I ask him or her to follow our plan of clean eating, drinking enough water, getting enough sleep and moving correctly and often for one full week and see what the results are. More often than not, if they follow that plan perfectly for just one week, they will start to drop weight, their skin will be better, their eyes will be better, they will be less bloated, they will feel better. A lot of people can do it most days, but not every day. And that’s a work in progress. Develop a mindset of being a healthy person. Check off as many of the things on the list as you can and don’t add more to your plate than you can handle.
Another roadblock that I see are people in our lives who don’t support the habits necessary to reach the healthy goals that we have set up for ourselves. It’s easier to keep your mind focused if you surround yourself with like-minded people. That doesn’t mean to get rid of family and friends who chose their couch over crunches, or macaroni and cheese over vegetables, just find a support system like our Rejuv community. The people here share your healthy mindset. Want proof? Watch the bootcamps – people support each other – they have the same mindset! Come in, have some fun, be around people who enjoy doing things that will improve their lives.
Pain can be a really uncomfortable roadblock to say the least. Painful joints, strained muscles or impinged nerves can put a damper on the best-intended workout. That’s where our regenerative medicine comes in with prolotherapy, PRP (platelet rich plasma) and stem cell treatments. Those all natural procedures can completely turn around those painful problems in short order and without surgery.
Hormones can be a real hang-up too. Nothing throws a monkey wrench into a weight-loss regimen faster than elevated cortisol or an out-of-whack thyroid. Rejuv Medicine’s Functional Medicine Department can help balance out hormones and get fitness clients back on track.
Kirsten: What if people still struggle?
Christine: One of the best methods to get into the right mindset is to work one on one with a trainer, or as we call them at Rejuv, medical fitness specialists. When you have someone coaching you on a regular basis, keeping you accountable, and saying those things you need to hear to keep you going over and over again, it starts to sink in. It starts to alter your mindset. Our medical fitness specialists don’t just get you through your workout, they help customize your lifestyle from your fitness to your nutrition. They can give you tips on getting your family to be more active and to eat how you eat.
Honestly, sometimes our biggest roadblocks are ourselves. Typically, people don’t put themselves first. But think about it, who is going to take care of your family if you don’t take care of yourself? You do deserve time for yourself so you can be the best you can be for others. Open up your time and your life for yourself. Be an example to your kids that it’s important to work on “self”. Do you want them to see you as stressed, exhausted and frustrated? Or do you want them to see you as strong, focused and uplifted? For as much as they don’t think they want to become you, they will. Model what you want for them.
I strongly believe being part of the Rejuv community takes down many of the roadblocks that people face when they are trying to change their lifestyle. It’s a healthy place for people of all abilities to go to not only become healthy but stay healthy.