Get a winning mindset
PUBLISHED: 11:14 25 April 2017 | UPDATED: 11:14 25 April 2017
It is vital to adopt a positive frame of mind to reach your fitness potential. Here, we explain why, and help get you going
How many times have you heard that ‘summer bodies are made in spring’? Well, summer is well on its way (hello, sunshine and welcome those BBQ smells wafting on the breeze), but you may find your enthusiasm for getting ‘up and at ‘em’ waning.
The mornings might be brighter, but there are lots of holiday days to distract you – brunch, anyone? For athletes in peak physical fitness, the difference that a positive, dedicated mindset, in terms of their fitness, brings can give them a competitive edge. But for you and I, a positive mindset can mean the difference between getting up to go to the gym, or not.
It’s all too easy to hit that snooze button or to stay at work late, when you need to be putting on the gear to get yourself moving.
However, did you know that making that effort will ultimately make you feel more awake, have more energy and generally feeling all round better? Sports psychologists know that having a positive and focused mindset is the ‘X-factor’, that means the difference between winning and coming second, or between persistence or giving up.
And you know what? Even for us ‘amateurs’, after around six weeks, exercise should become a natural part of your routine – becoming almost as natural as brushing your teeth. And you will find that you end up feeling way more positive as a result.
Endorphins, released when you exercise, not only fight stress and ease anxiety and insomnia; they actually behave in a way that makes it addictive. Yikes! Don’t be nervous – exercise is the best thing to be addicted to: much better for you than that daily coffee fix.
So, know that once you get going, it’s going to be hard to stop. Although, keeping that positivity, when you don’t see instant results, can be tricky. We have spoken to two local fitness experts for their take on why keeping a positive mindset will work wonders.
Four of the best fitness apps and videos to keep you feeling positive
1. Strava This popular app, designed by athletes, tracks your activity (be that cycling or running) and pits you against other people doing the same route as you, on a chart within the app via GPS. You can also compete against your own records. Nothing like a bit of mild competition to keep you motivated.
2. Total Body Fitness Videos with Caroline Pearce, as recommended by Glenys at Repose: “Her workouts are honest and real.” Former Gladiator and athlete, Caroline, brings her workouts guaranteed to burn maximum calories, direct to your living room. Working out at home can keep you motivated since you can fit the workout in, more easily.
3. My Fitness Pal Tracking your food intake and keeping a journal, as recommended by our experts, is made easy with this neat little app that counts your calories for you. The sticking power is in the ease of use, and it’s a great buddy up to your exercise routine.
4. FitQuote This is a ‘Marmite’ kind of app. Sure, some may find quotes a little, ‘cheesy’, but a daily dose of inspo in the form of a motivational quote, like, ‘Don’t wish for a good bod, work for it”, could just be the difference in you going to the gym instead of the chippy.
Sandra Bickmore at corefittheloft.com
How do you work to give people a positive mindset?
I want to be a inspiration, to show people how to be the best version of themselves. I like changing people’s perception of exercise, so they can enjoy it all year round - not just wait for the ‘wedding’ or the ‘holiday’, to start. Seeing and feeling the benefits is a huge buzz: you will have more energy and a zest for life.
Can you suggest ways for them to keep that mindset?
Every time you say you will do something, and don’t do it, you will feel disappointed with yourself. That’s where the, ‘oh, I will start again tomorrow’ creeps in, and ‘tomorrow’ can turn into days, then weeks. Why not start a journal, to record your goals and achievements? Changing your mindset starts with you discovering that you can be the best version of yourself. Look out for our Fitness Mindset academy courses that are run over six weeks, with lots of tips and ways to altering mindset and how we perceive ourselves.
What keeps you motivated?
I see my studio as a place of inspiration, where I love to make a difference. I love how my body feels after exercise, I do Pilates Reformers everyday, teach Booty Barre four times a week, and do yoga every morning. I write a journal and am constantly learning. I want to be the best version of myself. My motivation around exercise is definitely the mind-body connection. Keeping fit makes me smile. Keeping you fit makes my heart smile.
Glenys Reynolds at Repose Studio, reposestudio.co.uk
Why do you think some people have a negative mindset towards exercise?
If you ask most people if they ‘like exercising’, the majority will say “no”. Most people’s interpretation of the word ‘exercise’ is the idea of running a marathon or sweating it out for hours in the gym, which is neither fun or comfortable. The normal person is not an athlete but we seem to all think we need to train like one to get fit and healthy and it seems a lot of clubs and gyms promote this image.
What are your best tips for keeping a positive mindset?
If possible, start by trying out a class or doing a trial at a gym with a friend, its always easier with support. If that isn’t an option then Personal Training is a good alternative. At Repose we know that starting exercising can feel very intimidating, which is why we offer a ‘start slow and stay motivated’ programme, to give a kick-start and to help you stick with it. Understand that exercise is essential to a long and healthy life, so start to get a routine that means you are moving and exercising at least three times a week. Put encouraging notes on your fridge and tell yourself that if you are tired, rest, but never quit.
Do you have any top tips for how to fit exercise into busy lifestyles?
Find a class or activity that you enjoy, stop making excuses. Try a Power Plate class: our class is just 25 minutes. You do have to make time; it’s about health not just what you look like. Get up earlier, do 20 minutes in your lunch hour, walk more than take the car, or use the stairs instead of the lift.
What keeps you positive?
It makes you feel great. When you get in to a routine of exercise you start to love it, you feel great, positive and happy. Then it has a knock on effect. You feel better, eat better, think better and sleep better, and then you actually start to crave exercise. That is why it is essential that you start slowly and find the routine of exercise that you will enjoy.