Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Guest Post: Fitness Success With Fitspiration

**Michelle reached out to me a few weeks ago about writing a post about what inspires people to lead a healthy lifestyle. I love the idea of "Fitspiration" especially now when things get hectic with vacations and summer fun plans.  It's always a great to have mini-goals to keep you motivated- I always feel so much more proud of my hard work when I look back and see everything that I have accomplished. 

Practically everyone would agree that a healthy lifestyle is essential to longevity and quality  of life. Yet, heart attack and stroke are leading causes of death. Every year we vow to make a change. Vows are often motivated by special events, a milestone birthday or a medical, “wake up” call. Unfortunately, these resolutions last as long as it takes to make them. If we are to be honest, we have no excuse. It is a matter of discipline.

Fortunately, there are simple solutions to combat this malady, but we must be diligent to employ them. It is important to be smart about your fitness goals. Have a specific goal in mind. You may want to run a specific distance in a specified time or train for an event. Be as specific as possible. Also, make sure you can easily achieve your goal. Excitement and novelty have a tendency to make us set unattainable goals. As the stresses and activities of life continue, we quickly abandon our goals and find ourselves in the same rut. Therefore, it is critically important to ensure your goal is attainable.

Do not set yourself up for failure with unrealistic standards. If you’ve not trained in years, daily exercise is unlikely. Set a smaller goal. You must develop the mindset first. It is important to be honest with yourself. Consider your current fitness level, age and preexisting medical conditions. Is your goal relevant? If you are a 50 year old novice, do not train like a 20 year old athlete. Make sure your goal is appropriate for you. There is no quicker road to injury and burnout.

As you set your goal, it is also important to give yourself a specific time period to accomplish it. Hold yourself to a standard. Whether your time is bound in small increments or the big picture, set a time standard that produces easy adherence.

Now that we have our goal, what is going to keep us on track? Goals must be written and progress must be charted. This provides daily, visual inspiration toward the ultimate goal. When you document fitness goals on an inspiration board, you can celebrate daily achievement. This is fitspiration. Documentation gives you a realistic view of your efforts. It is easy to think we are accomplishing our goals. However, fitspiration leaves no question regarding our efforts and allows adjustments to ensure adherence.

A written goal is often the difference between exercise success and failure. It is easy to use time, work and the many challenges of life as excuses. However, written goals hold us to a standard outside ourselves. They produce accountability and allow us to celebrate success. They may also inspire others toward disciplines that produce healthy living.

Remember that fitspiration is a fluid thing. What motivated you 3 months ago may not still excite you. Keep adding to your vision board. Keep feeding the flame.

  • Golf Course- There is a popular Upstate New York golf course near my work, called Shenendoah, where I’ve started to take some lessons. I’m not very good at golf, but I love that I can be outside and all the walking. 
  • Green Machine Smoothie- A part of my personal goal live a more balanced, healthy life, I need to incorporate my nutritious snacks into my daily diet.
  • Hoodie zip-up - What better way to boost motivation than to purchase some cute workout gear?  I love this cozy hoodie from Lululemon.  The bright fun color makes it perfect for summer!  Although there apparel can be pricey, you can find comparable items at places like Target. 
  • Yoga - I’m really inspired by yoga for a number of reasons.  Yoga focuses the mind and body, teaching ourselves to find a spiritual balance.  I also love that yoga can be done anywhere, even the beach!  Yoga is great for beginners and the more advanced athlete. 
  • Inspiration Quote- It’s important that I set weekly progress goals to help keep myself on track of achieving my goal.  Also by signing up for a specific tournament, it will help me plan my schedule of goals, and allow myself plenty of time to practice and train.

Thank you Michelle for reaching out to me and writing this wonderful post!

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