We all appreciate the benefits of regular exercise for our bodies. Staying fit supports your body image, organ health, posture, and more. However, the rewards are not limited to physical wellness and can have a telling influence on your mental health too.
Given our increased understanding of mental health, this is a massive incentive to invest in a better fitness strategy. Here are 10 simple steps to ensure that fitness feeds the mind.
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1| Be Geared Towards Results
All exercises will release endorphins and dopamine. However, there’s no greater sense of satisfaction than hitting your goals. Working with experts like Conte Health & Fitness to set defined objectives and milestones is key. When workouts are tailored towards them, the momentum gained with each success will work wonders. Aside from boosting your confidence in relation to workouts, it should inspire you in other areas.
2| Focus On Fun
Exercise can be a great way to reduce your stress levels. Those benefits are greatly increased when you actually enjoy the workouts. They can become the thing you look forward to during a tough day of work. Whether it’s playing team sports or working on the gym actions you enjoy most doesn’t matter. When getting fit no longer feels like a chore you’ll be far more likely to keep up the good work too.
3| Add Social Aspects
Getting fit is a self-centered and personal task. However, surrounding yourself with the right people can enhance your relationship with exercise. As well as personal trainers, you should look to form new friendships and try working out with friends. Trading a midweek trip to the pub for a workout class, for example, will boost your mindset. Better still, it will make you feel less guilty about the weekend drinking sessions.
4| Include Bucket List Items
We all have a bucket list of things we’d like to achieve in our lives. Most of us include something fitness-related. Whether it’s running the London Marathon, completing a mini-triathlon, or winning the local netball league doesn’t matter. The aspirations will provide a huge source of motivation and can be the driving force behind your workouts. The emotional rewards of getting it right will stay with you forever.
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5| Use It To Build A Schedule
If regular exercise is going to play a truly positive role in all aspects of your life, it needs to be integrated into your schedule. Other commitments cannot be ignored. However, if you leave fitness as an afterthought, you will continue to neglect it and skip sessions. Make sure that your daily and weekly schedules have dedicated times for fitness and you won’t go wrong.
6| Focus On Your Comfort
While the idea of setting goals is a priority, you should not forget that the purpose of getting fit is to boost your quality of life. Therefore, you should always keep a close eye on personal comfort levels. Exercise can actively help you get a better quality of sleep. When supported by the right recovery tips to fight muscle fatigue, you will feel better in daily life. In turn, your mind will remain in a better place at all times.
7| Make Nutrition Exciting
If you are planning to exercise more, it’s likely that nutrition will be on your list of priorities too. It’s important to eat healthily and enjoy balance. However, the great news about the increased activity is that your daily calorie limit will increase too. So, you’ll be able to enjoy a few extra traits. When you use online recipes like BBC Good Food, you can enjoy beautiful meals and tasty treats without any guilt.
8| Use Fitness To Help Others
Are you conscious of living an eco-friendly life? Or maybe you want to support communities that aren’t as fortunate as yours? You can use fitness to make this happen. One option is to raise money for charity when completing your bike ride or half marathon. Alternatively, cycling to work will reduce your carbon footprint compared to driving. The emotional rewards gained from supporting others are huge.
9| Take Time To Reflect On Progress
The ambition to keep improving is a wonderful thing. Nonetheless, if you always focus on the fact that you are not quite where you want to be, confidence may fall. So, taking time to reflect on your progress and how far you’ve come can be a pivotal step to gaining a better relationship with fitness. Just be sure to avoid resting on your laurels or thinking that the job is complete. Otherwise, sustainability won’t follow.
10| Celebrate With Treats
As mentioned, your improved fitness routines should be linked to achieving a better quality of life. With this in mind, it’s vital that you learn to actually let yourself enjoy the improved body and mindset. New clothes that show off your new and improved physique are a good option. Days out, homely products, healthy snacks, and a host of additional items can be used too. They will all highlight the fact that exercise makes your life better. Perfect.
5 Setps to Take Back Ownership Over Your Life
The start of life is out of our control. No one gets to choose who their parents are, what year they are born, or where they grow up. However, those things don’t have to dictate how your story unfolds. YOU determine who you are and what your story is going to be.
OWN YOUR ACTIONS
Have you ever blamed the people or things around you when something wasn’t working out the way you wanted it to? Well, I’m 100% certain that we have all been there and done that at some point in our lives. I’m certainly not ashamed to say that I was that person for a long time. Instead of taking responsibility for my actions, I deflected and pushed the blame onto others and what was around me. I didn’t own who I was and what I did. It was easier that way.
Taking ownership is a powerful thing. Owning your actions and choices gives you the freedom to take charge of your own happiness. You are in control. When you blame others, you give away your power.
“Life doesn’t happen TO you. It happens BECAUSE of you.”
THE TIME IS NOW
As I continue to take ownership of my life and my choices, I want to welcome you to do the same. Stop blaming and start taking action. It doesn’t have to be significant. You don’t need to quit your job or leave your family-unless that is something you feel deep down you need to do. But stop waiting. Stop pointing your finger out at everyone else. Stop believing you have no say in what happens in your life.
Like Colin O’Brady (33), the first man to walk across Antarctica, it begins with a thought. Then a small step in the right direction and then having the mental strength to continue no matter what-step by step as you head towards your destination. Like Colin, we focus on that next step and not be overwhelmed by what lies ahead.
Here are 5 steps you can immediately put into practice to help take back and keep ownership over your life:
1. Get Quiet Every Single Day
Every day find time to get quite: no phone, no distractions, just you, your feelings, thoughts, and insights. Listen to what your mind and body are saying. Observe yourself. What do you notice? Getting quiet is a powerful practice, and many overlook it merely because it doesn’t feel like action. But this is where action steps evolve. (Check out how Hope gets quiet HERE)
2. Stop Blaming Other People and Things
When you blame others, you give away your power. Blaming is a self-protection mechanism. In my life experiences, we do so as a means not to have to face the truth we know. We may be feeling overwhelmed. We don’t or don’t know who to ask for the help we need. Or, like me, we were never taught how to take responsibility for our actions confidently. Stop blaming and ask yourself how I can take responsibility for this? Now that is an empowering statement.
3. Get Up and Move
We, humans, are designed to move. We are not a lion building up reserves by sleeping and resting 16-20 hours a day to run 50 mph, then to catch our prey. Research shows that sitting a lot is dangerous to our health. And even short bursts of movement: 1-minute here, 5-minutes there can be a big difference in your well-being here. Exercise can lead to greater self-control, and for me, it leads to me feeling better about myself, making me make better life choices.
4. Approach the Situation and Decide to Learn Something
When we step into a conversation or experience with ego, we lose the leverage to learn. You don’t need to be the smartest person in the room all the time. And as Tony Robbins says, the second you are the most intelligent person in the room, you are in the wrong room. If you approach each opportunity with the mantra: “what can I learn from this”? You will shift from keeping yourself stuck and protected, to openness to grow.
5. Learn How to Say No
When we say “yes” to everyone else and everything else, we are saying no to ourselves. Now I am not saying if your child needs help with math and you want to Netflix and Chill, you should say no. But there are countless times throughout the day where we are saying “yes” out of habit. We don’t want to do it or shouldn’t do it, but we do. And then we pay the price. To not create overwhelm, start with simple things like I did. Saying no to the couch with my husband and yes to going for a walk-then R&R time with him. Saying no to adding a yoga class to the schedule just because someone is asking when I knew if I said yes, it would be too much. Do a quick daily self-reflection and take inventory to where you are saying “yes” and “no” and ask yourself if the scale is off.
YOU ARE IN CONTROL
It is a freeing feeling to be in charge of your life, and in my case, it was because that was not something I had experienced prior. It is vital to my wellness that every single day I like myself; that I love myself every single day. And when I don’t, I know the scales are off. And when I don’t, things need to change.
The 5 Best Books to Read Right Now!
I’ve never really shared with you all some of my favorite reads. In the last few years I have to be honest, I’ve shifted over to an audio book kind of girl. This helps me maximize my time and due to a head injury, staring at words doesn’t really help my cause.
And the last several podcast I have been a guest on have all asked me what I am currently reading. So I’m going to tell you right now. What inspires me behind the scenes. And as you all know, I believe we always get exactly what we need at the exact right time. And some of these books have taken me months to read through, as you can only take in so much before your brain is full.
And other books I have read (or rather listened) through in hours! And then over again.
Some are very motivational, others parenting, and some the art of selling (which when you read between the lines has everything to do with all the mental garbage we carry with as to why we resist, or over indulge in things we don’t need).
I hope you enjoy these books as much as I do.
Here are my 5 BEST books to starting reading right now!
Best Book #1: Sell or Be Sold by Grand Cardone
And I know what you are thinking. Why would I want to read that? I’ve read it 4 times now. And it has taught me a LOT about confidence and believing in what I offer to the world. I didn’t want to read it at first, and you’ll see why. We often resist what we need at that time as an unconscious means to stay safe.
This book taught me that even though I love what I do, I am very good at what I do, my self confidence when it came to asking people to work with me, buy my product or support my cause would fall flat. Not because my offering was crappy. But rather I didn’t truly believe I was worth the investment.
And this book helped me evaluate my words, actions and thoughts as to how I was the one sabotaging my own business. This best book pick was a game changer when it came to building my business.
Best Book #2: The Dolphin Way by Shimi Kang M.D.
The best parenting book I have ever read! I recommend this book to everyone when in conversation about parenting. The book is insightful for the parent that is willing to step back and evaluate how they interact with their kids. WARNING: Not a book for parents that bubble wrap their kids (or maybe it is).
Words cannot even describe how much I love this book. And maybe because it game me reinforcement in my parenting choices of no team sports before they are a teen. Let them fall, give them responsibilities. Step back so they can step forward. No technology. I could go on, but this best book is for all the parents out there who are open and read to step back so their children can step forward.
Best Book #3: Meditations from the Mat Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison
This is not a new release by any means. But still my go to book for daily devotional. 365 days of inspirational messages to keep you on track. I often share these messages in class, but most importantly this book helps bring meaning to my day, and is a surprisingly insightful combination of all beliefs, faiths, and philosophies.
It always amazes me that when I just open this book for a daily inspirational message that it is exactly what I need to hear that day. I have learned in my life to trust that the Universe always has your back. And that we are always being guided. You do not have to practice yoga to grab this best book pick. It will surely speak to everyone who reads it.
Best Book #4: Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
I just recently finished this book. And it is everything many of us are thinking, but few say. And everything we need to hear out loud because deep down we know it’s true. If you are looking for a reality check (for lack of better words) this would be your grab).
Girl, I see you. Biggest take away from this read: it’s OK to choose you. And in doing so, everything else will have more clarity, focus, and purpose because you are not trying to be everything for everyone. Including your kids. I’ve wavered with wanting to be home with my kids but feeling a huge pull to follow my passion and use my gifts RIGHT NOW. Rachel, you are my #4 best book pick because you helped me make a mind-shift that when I choose me I choose my kids at a higher quality.
Best Book #5: How Successful People Think by John C. Maxwell
This book is one of my favorites in his series. It’s small, but packed with knowledge. We can all use a reboot on our thinking at times. And this book gives it to you in bite size pieces. Get out your highlighter, because you are going to need it.
I bought this book at an airport a few years ago and it’s still my airplane book. I take it when when I travel. And open it up and just read a few pages. Again perfect timing. This book reinforced the need to organize and prioritize mentally. And in doing so the physical experience became so much sweeter.
Every step we take no matter how large or small on the path to bettering our lives deserves a pat on the back. I know from my own personal experiences that when my mind has time to wander (I’m not talking about meditation) it’s a dangerous road to go down. And I spent years digging my way out. Books assist me in my journey. And these five are my best books because they have all taught me something in a big way. And I want to share that will you.
Anytime I read something and it makes me self evaluate…That is a huge shift for me. And that means a huge win! So I can then dig deep and develop personal insight and decide what information I need and what I can leave behind.