Friday, April 8, 2016

Fitness is a State of Mind




I have never viewed myself as a physically active person. As a child I detested P.E., I never enjoyed softball, soccer, or any other type of sport. I loved to read, go camping with my family, swim a bit and ride my bike. As I got older my dad started running and I would join him occasionally, but usually because he was asking me to. I did find I did not mind running but it was not something I was really drawn to at the time. As a young mom of 2 kids I took up running again. My dad, in an effort to encourage me, would come over to my house several times a week and watch the kids so I could run. I enjoyed that. As the years went by and I had more children the opportunities to get out and run were no more and I felt raising children was activity enough.

I still never saw myself as a person who enjoyed getting out and being physical. I would make efforts now and again to try and get some exercise. I would take a class, or pop in a workout VHS tape off and on. But it was usually short lived.

Fast forward to last year and I saw myself as I'm starting my 50's and out of shape, tired often, lethargic often, and it was depressing. I also looked ahead and wondered if in 10 years will I be dealing with health issues resulting from lack of physical activity, be on medications for health issues (which seems far to common nowadays). That was a picture I wanted to avoid at all costs. I made a goal to do something about this. As I've shared in other blog posts beginning last year, my first goal was simple. Get up off the couch and move. Walk more, do more, get involved in life in an active way.

I've come to realize that being physically active is more about how I view myself and who I am. Instead of viewing activity as an enemy I need to over come or remembering how many times I've tried over the years and failed, I began to view it differently.  I want to be a physical person, I want to see myself as an active person was my new plan. It may not seem like a huge difference in thought, but it is. It is a mindset that can change the person I am.



For many people being physical is part of who they are. They don't find it a challenge or an enemy, they find it to be a part of how they would define themselves. That is what I wanted to see happen to me. And the beauty of it all is that is what I am seeing happen.

Usually fitness is combined with some other goal such as weight loss and when we don't see the desired results we want, we give up. Or the other scenario is we see how out of shape we are and jump into something too fast, injure ourselves and say, whoa this is not for me. Either way or for whatever reason we view it as a failure and are hesitant to want to try that again.

But what if fitness had no other goal than being fit, building strength and becoming more active? What if the goal was something that you could not fail at? Doing a little more in life as you are able and viewing yourself as a physical person are what will begin to make changes to your state of mind. What I have seen is simple but amazing, activity breeds more activity and inactivity breeds more inactivity. The more you move, the more you will want to move.

I truly believe the secret to beginning is to find something you love doing. If you don't like exercise classes then don't take one :). Find what you do love. I have a friend that loves to hike and gets together with friends often to go hiking. I have another friend that loves to swim, another that runs, several friends that walk or ride bikes. Try a few things and see what makes you happy and encourages to be active regularly.

I walk because it is simple. I started walking because I knew it was something I could easily do. I did not need any equipment other than a good pair of shoes. With that I began to walk and it was challenging but it felt so good to get out and move. Exercise helps so many things. I no longer feel lethargic or tired.  When I get up and move each day I feel happy, healthy and desire to move some more.



One thing that has been a huge motivation to me is my FitBit. It has been exciting to not only push myself a little more but to have a great way to visually see my progress. To set goals in steps has meant my focus has been on simply moving. Even on days I might be tired or feeling lazy I stop and think.. “gotta get some steps in today”.. and I get up and get moving. I've been faithfully using mine for a year now. I can not tell you how much I truly love it and how it has been such a huge motivation to me.  I highly recommend if you are needing a little extra motivation and a simple way to track your progress.  {affiliate link}
 



Becoming a physically active person begins with a state of mind (if we desire and chose this) and can grow to become a part of what defines us.


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