We talk a lot about workout mistakes—over-exerting yourself, not using proper form, or even using the wrong footwear. But when it comes to exercise, did you know the worst mistake you can make is with your mindset? I talk a lot about how your mindset plays a larger role in your health than you may think. The connection between mental health and overall wellbeing gains more and more credibility every year, but on a smaller scale, your attitude towards your workouts can either help or hurt your results. So what’s the number one workout mistake you’re making? Viewing exercise as a punishment and not a reward.
Here’s how to reward your body with exercise instead of punish it:
Do Workouts You Actually Enjoy
Who says you have to slog away on the treadmill every day if that’s not something you actually like? Sure, we all have to push past feelings of defeat or boredom during exercise sometimes, but it shouldn’t be a constant feeling of dread when it comes to your workouts. You do not have to do the workout that’s the most popular or the workout that your friend enjoys—you have the right to find a form of movement that you enjoy. If you’re currently in a workout rut, aim to try a new form of exercise once a week (don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone!) until you find a new form of exercise you actually like. You can meet your fitness goals through dance classes, Pilates, hiking in nature, rowing, or so much more! If you need any inspiration, check out our library of workouts at Get Healthy U TV!
Build In Rest Days Every Week
If you take the no-pain, no-gain approach to exercise, you’ll burn out quickly and will eventually come to loathe your workouts. You need to build in rest days every week not only for your body to recover, but also your mind. Once you’re on a roll with your workouts it can be easy to get addicted to them and want to push yourself further each day. But taking rest days (even when you don’t want to) can help your body and mind come to crave that next workout even more—keeping your attitude towards exercise as positive.
Express Gratitude For Your Body
When you’re in the middle of a hard workout, instead of thinking something defeating, tell your body thank you. Thank you for working hard. Picture the blood pumping through your chest, the oxygen filling your lungs, the sweat dripping off your brow and show gratitude for these sensations. How you view your body and what you tell yourself about it can affect how you view your workouts. To be able to move is a blessing; find joy in your movement and exercise will be more fulfilling!
Pay Attention To Your Inner Dialogue
You’re always having at least one conversation even if you’re silent—the one in your head. You may not even be aware of the thoughts you’re having and the messages you’re telling yourself, but you’re constantly communicating things to yourself. When you’re getting ready to workout, try to become aware of the thoughts you’re having and their effect on your mood. Are you telling yourself to workout because you feel bad about your body? Or because you want to do something nice for your body? Do you feel guilty when you have the occasional indulgence or do you think “everything in moderation?” View your workouts as ways to take care of and reward your body—not as punishments for eating one too many cookies.